I too was once afraid of paint. I just finished Emile Gruppe’s “Gruppe on Color”, a wonderful book. He studied with John F. Carlson, one of the most influential teachers of plein air/landscape painting ever. Gruppe relates a quote by Carlson that you should “paint like a millionaire“, which is so true. Some subjects just require lots of paint–not just for texture, but just to lay down pure color over others. You can have so much fun with brushwork!

I’ve been thinking about holding a workshop this summer–haven’t done one in years, but Gruppe taught all his life and said he learned a lot from his students, which is very true in my experience. If I do teach, I’m thinking about designing an exercise to relieve painters of their fear of paint, a very common problem. One would be to get some cheap paint that has the feel of oil, and just give them huge, half-cup piles on their palettes and ask them to use all the paint on an 11×14 canvas. Force the issue! I find that once you get over this apprehension, it really frees you. Did you have a fear of paint? How did you get over it?

Okay, back to the painting at hand. I can’t imagine doing my current “rocks & surf” series of paintings without mounds of paint. Ken Auster told me that the ocean is nothing but edges, so you have to paint it that way. Use lots of paint and your brush to create these edges, and it will read as water. I hope this painting is a good example of that.

I’m having a great time with this series–I hope the joy shows. Enjoy!

Rocks & Surf Frosting – Oil on Linen – 8×10


11 thoughts on “Paint Like Frosting

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