I am often asked how I got into finger painting, and why I stayed with it. I first tried it twenty-five years ago in a Jungian dream group; I stayed with it because it provided more personal satisfaction than years with traditional methods.
Getting my hands into the paint and moving it around feels good. There is a spontaneous and personal connection between what is going on inside and what is about to happen outside on the paper. The ancient Chinese artist believed his spirit flowed out through his fingertips ... that he instilled a part of his soul in each painting, Chih-hua - expression of the spirit.
I usually start without a plan or subject in mind and try to bypass conscious intention, to just let things happen. Choosing colors which please or excite me at the time, I start at the top and work down allowing things to evolve; getting clues from what I see emerging - the color balance, the color blending, the strokes and shapes made by my fingers. Sometimes an image appears and seems to say, "Here I am and this is what you are to do with me." When this happens and I move with it, it feels so right.
Finger Painting suits my nature. I like to see things happen quickly - some paintings are finished in less than an hour. In addition to fingertips I use my open palm, the edge of my hand, rolled-up fist, thumb, any and all fingers, particularly my little finger. Fine detail is possible with nails, and skin textures drawn through paint leave some remarkable striations and effects which are very difficult to achieve with brushes.
Examples of my work from the large-scale "Garden Dancer" down to miniatures of postage-stamp proportions, "Rain and Rooftops," are included in this site. Some are quite representational while others are more playful, abstract, or visionary. All show some portion of finger painting's potentials. I encourage you to look at them and then try it for yourself. See "On Your Own" page.
Please feel free to e-mail me your comments or questions.
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