I always liked abstract and impresism art. I’m a big fan of the works of Rembrandt, Kincade, Monet, and van Gogh. I had the chance to go see one of my favorite works of art in Paris at the Musee d Orsay, “Starry night over the Rhone” it was the highlight of my visit to the city. I think it’s amazing how art can tell a story.

A few years ago. I tried my luck with palette knife painting. Results were ok. I did not understand the drying time for oil paintings or any of the techniques. Here I am someone who can barely draw a stick figure trying to paint with oils. I thought my first painting was a disaster. you can tell the mistakes in it. So the palette knives and tubes of oil paint sat in the garage for months.

A local studio posted an art class event dealing with knife oil painting. I decided to give it another try. This class was not like your regular wine and paint a picture of a flower class. The instructor went into great detail of the techniques used with this type of art.  Knife painting with oil mixed in with some brush work is very challenging, but I think it also broadens your mind. The importance of preparing your canvas, mixing your paint correctly, how to use turpentine, and how you apply the paint to the canvas was all taken into account. It’s almost like frosting a cake.

My second painting.

Sometimes you start painting and you decide to go another route with your idea. After looking at my 2nd painting with oils, I trying to capture reds and purples you would see at dusk or dawn over the water. I could not get it right. But as you can see if I would have left that portion alone, I think it would have been a better painting. I don’t think it’s the best but did learned from it. Sometimes it’s good to deviate from the plan and go with what is going on at the moment.

One of the other hardest thing to do is once you apply to paint on the canvas with a knife to give it some texture and leave it. It’s hard to leave it alone. You want to make it perfect so you keep smoothing it out, but you lose all the texture. That is the same with life. Sometimes it’s best to make your mark and then step back and let things happen. I think that’s the hardest thing to do.  When you go in and try to correct mistakes sometimes you make things worse.

I think this is something that can be done. Just like in life, every time I pick up a Palatte knife or a brush, I can learn from it.

Shane is a retired Navy Chief and a former Deputy Sheriff. He now works in the aviation field ensuring the safety of the flying public. The views expressed here are his own personal views and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer.

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