The Finger Painting Artist: How Iris Scott Made a Career Finger Painting


All you need is one idea or one moment
to change the course of your life. This is embarrassing to admit but I
actually kind of remember thinking, oh I could be the finger-painting artist. So this is my studio, I also live here. We’re in the middle of Brooklyn. Half of the house is where I pretty
much live and the other half is where I work. So I grew up in a rural little town
outside of Seattle. Everything out there is covered in moss. I do seem to remember
showing artwork to my parents and them being like, “oh that’s very beautiful
we can put that up on the fridge for a while.” So I was always kind of working as
hard as I could to try to get to that place of framing. Yes I love that. I love that. The first time I made a finger painting was a scene of these yellow
flowers that I was painting with brushes and oils. I needed a really fresh stroke
of yellow but all the brushes were pretty stained green and blue at that
point so I was like oh I’m just gonna finish this off with my fingertips and I
did a few strokes and I was like good god that’s so effective. I seem to
remember what kind of like hearing a voice it was like you should just do
that, you should work within that limitation. After that day that I sort of decided to
focus on finger-painting I decided that working within that limitation would
have advantages so I wouldn’t be tempted to even work with the brushes and try to
do what they’re good at. I wanted to work within this obstacle and I have found
over the years that what is perceived as an obstacle or a limitation is usually
an advantage in disguise. The actual painting part is so therapeutic. I just want to make more art that makes you feel loved. I try not to be too connected
to them once they’re finished. I look at them as something that has taught me
something and has gotten me closer to the eccentric 80 year old artist that
will one day exist, and she’ll be really good.

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