I learned how to paint from my father, Lee Boynton who is a professional artists. Growing up, I was my father's model, posing for him out doors. Throughout my young adult life I studied painting with him, watching and listening to him explain to me about color mixing and color theory. My Dad taught me over the years the importance of explaining a specific visual moment on daytime through color relationships. Painting from life, outdoors in natural sunlight and capturing the specific color of sunlight with paint was the method of our vocabulary.
Growing up with a father as an artist was a very special experience. My brother and I were often asked to pose for my Dad. I remember my brother and I rowing through a lake on Cape Cod, the lake full of blooming lillies, Jon and I trying to keep the boat still all the while being very distracted by the frogs jumping through lilly pads. Dad studied on Cape Cod with Henri Henche, a descent student of Monet's Impressionism. He applied what he learned from Henche about the color of light to watercolor and came to Annapolis to paint the fishermen who worked with waters of the Chesapeake Bay with large wooden sail boats called skip jacks.
Dad would go out with the fishermen at day break to photograph them drawing their nets. He would stretch large sheets of watercolor paper on stretcher bars, keeping the wet paper taught as he worked. He composed large watercolor paintings so fresh and alive with color; a group of men working on the decks of the ship, pulling in the nets, sails filled with wind and sun. Sometimes their shapes would fade into yellow white as their forms blocked the sun's intensity. The sunlight in his work is just as present as the men working. Now I realize more about these paintings, that the sunlight in his paintings was actually a representation of his faith, the sun acting as that ever present reminding force of God's guidance.
I like to use a palette knife because of the rich color you can get. Color statement purity. Using the palette knife makes painting almost like a mosaic where each color is laid in side by side. It forces you to paint in thick painterly swatches and keeps your statements bold and fresh. I also like to lay in a color to stain the white surface of the canvas panel, then lay a different color in on top of that, in order to scrape away the second color revealing the color underneath.
My aunt, Margaret Mcwethy, is also a fabulous painter who paints primarily with a palette knife. I'm lucky to have so many refined painters in my family, teachers really. She is always giving me meaningful pointers.
Here are their websites:
Lee Boynton: http://leeboynton.com/collections/57739
Margaret Mcwethy: http://margaretmcwethy.com/