01 September 2010
If you desire daily paintings you can really sink your teeth into, may I suggest the work of Halima Washington-Dixon. Her pieces are alive with direct, juicy-thick palette knife work. (“Juicy-thick” being a technical term I just made up.) Though she does at times use a brush, an overwhelming amount of this lush work is achieved with a knife. Her subject matter ranges from landscape, urbanscape, still life, to figurative work painted with oils on either canvas or panels. • If you think about it, using a knife is a good match for daily/alla prima/direct painters. The wonderful energy of Mrs. Washington-Dixon’s alla prima experience has been spent in the one sitting and is there, in all its splendor, for us to admire. A knife, wielded well, can relate the immediacy of that creative energy and its handiwork does not always lend itself to being revisited the next day – the decisions have been made and executed – it is done and going back into knife work can ruin it. This is a good lesson for daily painters: Get it done and move on, discover and grow. In no way do I mean to imply that Mrs. Washington-Dixon rushes her work, a knife does not necessarily speed things up, it just requires a different set of decisions, and we all work at our own pace. There seems to be this fixation on the time it takes to complete daily paintings. It seems that the humans dithering about the time issue, an annoying hang-up, are often people who don’t paint. Whoops, I wandered off topic and possibly insulted somebody (yet again). • Mrs. Washington-Dixon’s blog is simply entitled “Small Works” and was started in January of 2009. The pieces shown here are from her blog, but the blog does not contain all of her small work, so I would recommend also jumping to her website for more. • Go look at Mrs. Washington-Dixon’s work at her blog: www.hwsmallworks.blogspot.com and her website: www.halimawashington.com and I think you will find your fix for wonderfully tasty work.