A blog about art, photography, and everything that falls in between

After exploring many different kinds of painting techniques, mediums, and tools, I have fallen in love with one in particular. Palette Knifing is one painting technique that is quick, efficient, and creative. It creates an entirely different piece of artwork that is truly original.

Palette knifing is a technique used to apply paint to a surface using a blade of an artist's knife. It can be made out of either plastic, wood, or metal. The most common type of palette knife, and the one that I like the best, is the metal palette knife.

Different paints are used when using the palette knife as a tool. A major preference is basic acrylic paint because it can easily be built up and the texture is unique. The texture it mainly why artists choose to palette knife instead of traditionally paint. Oil paints have also been used to in the palette knife process, but not to gather the texture that acrylic paint possesses.

Many famous artists such as Joan Mitchell and Jackson Pollock use the palette knife technique in all of their paintings. It gives their paintings more depth and emotion, and gives them free range of creativity.

The palette knife process is quick yet attention to detail is highly critical. People are often curious about this technique because the tool is mainly used to mixing paints, and not actually creating a painting.

Although palette knifing seems a bit archaic, it is responsible for many famous and successful paintings throughout history.

For more information on the art and community of palette knifing visit http://paletteknifepainters.blogspot.com/​ 

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​Before I came to college, I never realized how lucky we are to have the technology we do today. Especially in the art industry, technology is something that has had such a positive impact. 

The world of digital photography is something very known. From commercials, to magazine, digital photography is everywhere and is every assessable. We often forget how fortunate we are to have things such as 3-D printers and online tools to create things that were once so hard back in the day.

I took a film photography class first semester and it was one of the most challenging courses in my college career so far. The process of developing film is painstaking and tedious, yet I am so happy to now be knowledgable and well versed in that technique. 

I found my self photographing different things after using a film camera. I thought about the importance of each photo more as I took it. People often responded differently when they saw I was going to be taking their picture with a film camera as opposed to a digital one. They were hesitant, the idea that the picture could not be deleted was terrifying to them.

That made me think about how unauthentic our digital world is today. We can delete, after, and manipulate any picture we want. We have the power to distort images to make them look a certain way. After practicing with film photography, I appreciate its authenticity and realness. After a picture is taken, it cannot be deleted or manipulated. That picture is final until the moment you develop it.

The developing process is another thing that is highly underrated. Spending hours in the darkroom processing one photo gives you that emotional connection to it. You are grateful for the photo you just produced and this gives it a entirely new emotion to portray. 

Film photography is easily forgotten about but should not be discounted. With the constantly changing times, technology will continue to develop and make our lives easier. However, we should not forget about the basic things that made photography so extrordinary. 



Dia:Beacon is an art museum perfectly situated on the Hudson River in Beacon, New York. Along with all of the art is possesses, it is also home to a box printing facility, Nabisco, that was renovated by Dia. Dia:Beacon has a permanent collection of art as well as temporary exhibits of different new and exciting artists.

When I first heard about Dia:Beacon, I was not expecting much of such a small museum located in upstate New York. I didn't realize what a hidden gem it really was.

It's high ceilings and industrial feel create this ambiance to the museum that is truly original. With the warehouse feel, the art inside Dia:Beacon flows directly with the overall aesthetic.

A hard thing to consider when creating a gallery is the idea that all pieces of artwork are going to initially be sitting next to each other. It is hard to decide what should go where and what pieces will do well in certain rooms. Light and window space is an obvious concern that some museums do not consider. Dia:Beacon executes this perfectly. Light, space, and shape is all considered in the placement of their exhibitions and staple pieces.

Each artwork stands on its own beautifully while complimenting its surroundings at the same time. Sculptures are beautifully placed around the building adding to subtle accents in the open rooms.

Dia was the pioneer in the conversion of industrial buildings for the housing of contemporary art. This aesthetic is now adopted by many famous museums around the world.

Dia:Beacon has collaborated exhibits with many famous artists throughout the years. From Dan Flavin to Andy Warhol, Dia:Beacon is no rookie to housing famous works. It's spaces are well suited for large installations and paintings.

The building of Dia:Beacon is even an art piece itself. They collaborated with American artist Robert Irwin and formulated a plan for the building exterior.

Dia:Beacon is definitely a museum worth taking a look at if you are ever in the area of Beacon, New York.



I recently traveled to Dia: Beacon, an art museum located in Beacon, New York. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the work there and a few artists definitely caught my eye.

One of them was Agnes Martin, an American abstract painter who's work has been credited as an essay in "discretion on inwardness." Her work has many traits of minimalistic types however she considers herself to be a full abstract expressionist.

Martin focuses on simple pencil lines and hues. Her artwork is very basic and she plays with different colors that form together with faint distinctions. She has a soft touch that is easily noted through all of her works. She is mostly associated with Taos, and a few of her pieces are directly inspired by the desert environment. After being discovered by Betty Parsons, an artist gallery owner, Martin moved to New York City in 1957. She settled in Lower Manhattan with her fellow artist colleagues. They assisted Martin by promoting her work throughout New York City until she became a household name and staple in the artistic world.

Martin's early work contains biomorphic paintings and much subdued color. She is credited for her emphasis in transcendent reality. The concept that the state of nothingness is most freeing is what Agnes Martin follows when she was creating most of her work.

Agnes Martin's signature style consists of faint grids and lines. This continues to follow her love for subtleness within her artwork. Her exhibition in 1966, Systemic Painting, consists of 6 x 6 foot square canvases covered in soft graphite lines. These paintings were highly successful and were displayed next to the works of other famous abstract expressionists such as Sol LeWitt and Robert Ryman.

I was especially interested in Agnes Martin's work because it was so subtle and downplayed. I enjoyed the simplicity of it and the lack of chaos it possessed.



Do art majors have it worse?

​As finals week approaches, sleep slowly decreases and the library reaches its capacity. While biology, math, and literature majors flock to the bookshelves, an entirely different group of students are spending their finals time a different way. 

51 Fulton is the temporary art studio on campus this year, and this finals week has been especially tough on the building. With students constantly running in and out, gluing things to the wall, and hammering on the tables until the sun comes up. The art majors here at Marist College are some of the most hardworking and talented people. Their determination to produce successful pieces shines through in their impeccable work. 

Art majors have it especially tough when it comes to finals and making deadlines. As regular students study flashcards and make Quizlets, art majors have to be constantly working and creating. When the assignment comes to create a final series of paintings or drawings, there is no telling how much time each one will take. The task of building something seems painstakingly simple, however the work that goes behind each series is complicated and time consuming. 

Students have been known to spend more than five hours in the studio and ending up with having only 10% of their final complete. Art students are in a constant state of "work." Their mind is always turning and reworking things. This causes a lot of projects to be reworked and modified, leaving much room for possible mistakes. 

Art majors are sometimes criticized for having the easy way out when it comes to finals. They are often thought about as a joke. 

"It's pretty funny actually, my friends always say I have it easy being an art major. They say all you have to do is draw a picture and then your done. Little do they know I'm spending hours in this studio painting one part of my canvas over and over again because I cant get one petal right. I have six more canvases to complete by the end of this week." Christi Sdhmitt, Sophomore. 

Art finals are especially different than regular tests because they consist of open critiques. Students display their work for faculty and colleagues to look at and comment on. This is nerve racking for students who may not be comfortable in front of large crowds. Art majors are credited with their ability to take things with a grain of salt. Their thick skin allows them to take criticism easily and see the beauty in their own creation. 



Club 57 was a famous hangout and performance venue in the late 1970s located at 57 St. Mark's Place in the East Village. Artists, musicians, and celebrities flocked to this secret nightclub and enjoyed its exclusivity and mysteriousness. Club 57 was first started in the basement of the Holy Cross Polish National Church. People often referred to it as the melting pot for everything Punk and non-traditional.

The MoMA is paying somewhat of a tribute to this underground gem by constructing an exhibit. The image of the East Village Circa 1970s and 80s is something that the public loves. Club 57 has influenced every club that followed it. Its ambiance and overall aesthetic of sexiness and freedom has started a trend for all nightclubs.

Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village examines the life of this downtown space. The exhibition is focused on tapping into aesthetic of Club 57 and exploring how the convergence of film, video, and other mixed medias cultivated this amazing environment that seemed to spark an entire underground revolution. The exhibit is said to present accomplishments that stemmed off of Club 57 including fashion, printmaking, and film.



Jackson Pollock is known for his unique style of drip painting. Pollock first studied under Thomas Hart Benton before leaving techniques and exploring more into abstract expressionism. Similar to other abstract expressionists in his day, Pollock uses very different techniques to apply paint to his canvas. He has been known to stand on large surfaces such as ladders and pedestals and pour paint directly on the canvas. This technique is instrumental in creating his loud and interesting pieces.

Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming and was the youngest of five brothers. He was known to be a very needy child always craving attention. While living in Los Angeles while he was younger, he enrolled in Manual Arts School and really discovered his passion and talent for art. Jackson Pollock moved to New York City at age 18 and began to study under Thomas Hart Benton.

A massive amount of Jackson Pollocks most renowned paintings were made during what is called his "drip period." This period was between 1947 and 1950. Following 1950 there was a dramatic shift in Pollocks work. His color pallet dramatically shifted to darker hues, referred to as "Black pourings." Pollock was trying to find somewhat of a balance between his abstractions and color. His drip period was a time where he would paint in his barn converted studio. He adored the idea of being alone and free in a space where he was allowed to be fully creative. Pollock became to successful with his drip painting technique he was featured in a four page spread in Life magazine. After he made this debut into the art industry, critiques attacked Pollock calling him a fraud. This resulted in him beginning to question even his own work. Fame and attention negatively impacted Pollock and he turned to drinking heavily to deal with his troubles.

People often thought the dramatic shift was due to Jacksons internal mental health struggles. He battled with alcoholism, and was often accused of having schizophrenia. Pollock faced the problem of alcoholism, just like his father. He started to receive treatment from a Jungian analyst who fueled his interest in symbolism and native american art. Pollock became romantically involved with Lee Krashner and later married in October of 1945. Pollock soon lost the battle to alcoholism after he crashed his car into a tree while driving under the influence.



Clyfford Still was one of the first artists that I started studying when I was first becoming interested in the art industry. . He studied painting, literature, and philosophy at Spokane University and later studied at Washington State College where he stayed and became a faculty member. His paintings are dynamic and attract much attention. They show intense conflicts between man and nature, and the push and pull of power. Still explains his work by saying, “These are life and death merging in fearful union, they kindle a fire.” He loves the emotion his paintings give off, and he wants his viewers to feel the internal struggle every time they come into contact with one of his paintings. Still uses different tools to create his paintings, including palette knifes. One thing that is very interesting about Clyfford Still's process of work is his techniques. He is known for having strange but effective ways of getting his paint onto the canvas. This motive seems to be very common among different abstract painters. Still also uses thick mediums to create texture and shimmer within his paintings.

Still's first solo show was at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1943. This was his opportunity to get his name into the art world. Later, in 1947, Still was awarded a solo show at the California Palace of Legion of Honor. Other presentations by Clifford Still include showings at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania and the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery in New York. The Metropolitan Museum of art housed the largest showing of Still's art.

Clyfford Still was very protective of his work, he is known for shunning the New York art world and denying any opportunities for critique. He went to great lengths to control where his paintings were sold and who was able to get their hands on them. Not Surprisingly, a majority of his work was unseen until the city of Denver built a museum in Stills honor.



In order to successfully produce my own pieces of art, I find it very beneficial to draw inspiration from other notable artists. I find myself being drawn to the same techniques from a variety of different artists. One painter that I constantly am basing artworks off of is Joan Mitchell. She is most known for her large paintings with bold coloration and sweeping brushstrokes. She is not focused on creating recognizable images, but more on conveying emotions. Mitchell's work is about the process itself and not just the final product. She uses a variety of tools to create these masterpieces such as pallet knives and traditional paintbrushes. Joan Mitchell became successful in the 1950s when women were not usually recognized in the art world. Often referred to herself as being the “last abstract expressionist.” Mitchell often composed her pictures in a way that promoted impressions of landscape.

Ever since she was young she always showed an interest in painting and poetry. Growing up in Chicago her mother sparked her interest in poetry and the artistic world. She would often attend the Art Institute of Chicago as well as other museums with her father. Mitchell studied art and english for two years at Smith College and then transferred to the Art Institute of Chicago. Her student work was often influenced by Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, and Paul Cezanne. Joan Mitchell moved to New York City originally planning on studying with Hans Hofmann. However, she found herself extremely intimidated by him and ended up attending only one of his classes. She credits New York for inspiring her as well as her time abroad in Paris. These travels introduced her to new expressionist landscapes and contributed to her love for abstract painting.

I admire Joan Mitchell for her use of the pallet knife to contribute to the textures of her abstract paintings. I find myself trying to imitate the way she expresses line and emotion within her pieces. Mitchell encompasses everything an expressionist is, and she is one of few women to be fully recognized in the industry.

Today, Joan Mitchell's work is shown all around the world and continues to be a staple in the abstract expressionist portfolio.



The Metropolitan Museum of Art is personally of my favorite museums in New York City. Its wide range of artwork and ever changing exhibitions contribute highly to its appeal. Each time I go into the MET I have a different experience and discover something new not only with artwork but with myself.

One of the new exhibitions at the MET is works from artist David Hockney. Hockney enjoys working with a wide range of media and materials that make his projects exciting and intelligent. He works off the question of movement and how to capture this important quality in a two dimensional painting. Hockney's exhibit at the MET consists of his best works ranging from drawing, painting, and multimedia.

Some of David Hockney's earlier pieces focus on modern abstractionism. Hockney was very experimental and enjoyed toying with the concepts of illusion and realism. Most recently, he has focused on landscapes. His "jewel-toned" accent creates an exciting twist on a traditional technique. Hockney finds joy in exploring nature and its perception within his works. He enjoys Cubism and the idea of distortion of reality.

Hockney has evolved from creating iconic pictures of mundane items like pools and backyards with a style that makes them beautiful and emphasized. He now focuses on large portraits with features of his friends and intimate partners.

This exhibition runs until February 28, 2018.