Vibrant, Textured Finger Paintings by Iris Scott
It is amazing how one single moment or decision can change the course of a career, but this is exactly what happened to Iris Scott. While living in Taiwan, painter Scott needed to make some last minute adjustments to a piece, but all her brushes were dirty. Instead of venturing outside into the oppressive heat to fetch a clean brush, she decided to make the adjustments using her fingers.
The result? An impressionistic feel that has remained an integral part of Scott’s work.
Now, every piece she creates is made solely using her fingers – an art form we see a lot in schools, but not so much in the high-end galleries of the world. Scott’s mastered the nuances of finger painting, using surgical gloves to keep colours to themselves.
“I knew within 10 strokes that finger painting with oils was what I would spend the rest of my life doing,” Scott says of that fateful day she chose convenience over heat.
Now based in Brooklyn, Scott is famed for her colourful, impressionist-style pieces. Thick blobs of vibrant oil paint depict subjects like dogs, cars, and fish, and scenes of cities and the countryside.
When talking about why she uses her fingers to craft her paintings, Scott says it is because “there’s nothing between me and the paint, I feel all the tiny nuances.” She goes on to add that she can use paint with her fingers in a way that she can’t with the limitations of brushes, palette knifes, and other traditional tools.
The resulting work is unique in that there is a great sense of movement in every piece, almost as if a snapshot has been captured in time. Scott tends to use more than 100 colours for a single piece, which means every painting and subject becomes an entrancing world of its own.
But it was a long and experimental road that Scott traveled down to get to where she is today. “In order to find your style, you need to remember that you must pay your dues and put in some serious hours,” she says, adding that no artist is going to stumble upon their signature style by thinking about their art or writing about it. “You need to be building/painting/making,” she says.
Scott’s inspiration for subjects stems from her outdoorsy childhood. Whether her paintings showcase a wet dog shaking itself dry, the golden glow of a field in autumn, or the bustling charm of a busy city, there is an infused sense of all things wild in her work. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest Rain-forest, Scott got an early taste for the outdoors by exploring the untamed terrain of the region. “There’s a denseness to those woods that has stayed with me,” she says.
It is easy to see this sense of “wildness” in Scott’s work, whether it is the vibrant, almost surreal colour palettes she uses, the raw and very “real” subjects she depicts, or the technique she uses that touches on a base level. Either way, Scott brings the stunning beauty of the world to life in her impressionist finger paintings.
Enjoy the track “Mercy” by Juxta Position while viewing the gallery below:
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