One way artists give the feeling of 3D movement to a 2D piece is by – well, making it 3D! Intense texture can make art *literally* leap off of the canvas.
In oil painting, this texture is called “impasto.” Impasto is created in a painted surface by the movement of the brush and usually implies thick, heavy brushwork (but can also refer to more delicate textures).
Michael Murphy Gallery artist Amy Donaldson is well known for her abstract oil paintings – but what makes them work? To give these totally abstract scenes a more dynamic feel, she uses bold, heavy brush strokes that make certain strokes pop and others flow together. Her technique involves both adding and scraping away paint to create bold ridges and deep valleys. In all, this technique gives her art substance, harmony, and wonderful movement.
This particular piece, “Just Because,” may at first appear rather unassuming because of its smaller size and slightly muted color palette (12” x 12”). However, upon closer inspection, the amazing texture of the thickly applied paint fills this little gem with drama and dynamic life. Wow!