This week, I was part painter, part Italian pastry chef. When my professor announced our latest assignment–using knives, not brushes–I was eager to load up my palette and get cooking!
We were instructed to choose an object from our last still life and paint an impasto piece. I strapped on my apron, put down my paint brush, and picked up my palette knives. “Impasto” means ‘dough’ or ‘blend’ in Italian. To work in the impasto style, you mix acrylic paint with thick, dough-like, textural molding paste and ‘paint’ with a palette knife. The goal is to create impressionistic, dimensional textures that convey emotion.
I prepped my canvas with a bright purple ground as if I were flouring a baking pan. I mixed my paint and molding paste until it was a thick, rich consistency, then spread it on my canvas like creamy icing flavored with sweet blueberry, fragrant vanilla, and tart lemon.
For me, it was just like frosting a cake–a really complicated, inedible cake…And while my mouth wasn’t watering in anticipation, and my nose wasn’t bombarded with decadent aromas, it was a treat for my eyes and my soul. Now that’s amore!
“Let There be Light”–acrylic on canvas