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Slice of Creativity

Oil paintings made with knives are on display at the Briggs Lawrence County Library by artist Kathleen Hollett, of the Ironton Artists Association.

Oil paintings made with knives are on display at the Briggs Lawrence County Library by artist Kathleen Hollett, of the Ironton Artists Association.

Artist’s work on display at library shows unique painting technique

A cardinal sits on a tree branch as snow falls and the Niagara River cascades over the edge of the falls in Kathleen Hollett’s paintings currently on display at the Briggs Lawrence County Library in Ironton.

Nature and landscape scenes are some of Hollett’s favorite subjects to paint.

“I am very fond of nature,” said Hollett. “I just love landscapes and water. I find myself painting a lot of water.”

When it comes to finding inspiration for her paintings, Hollett said that travel and her husband’s nature photography are her primary sources.

“Something can inspire me on a trip,” said Hollett. “I really like it when that happens.”

In many of her paintings, Hollett uses knives to paint instead of brushes.

She began using that technique several years ago after taking a painting class at Cabell County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC).

While taking the class at CCCTC, Hollett said that she used brushes and sometimes forgot to clean her them afterwards, something her instructor who painted with knives didn’t like.

“He would yell at me all the time for not cleaning my brushes,” said Hollett. “To get him off my back, I started using knives.”

Painting with knives is a “little more difficult” than painting with brushes, but there are benefits to the technique, said Hollett.

“You get a lot more texture,” she said. “You can paint on top of a layer. I do really well with the waterfall (paintings).”

Using knives to paint is a faster process than painting with brushes since the artists can paint on top of another layer without waiting for it to dry, said Hollett.

“I can usually finish a painting in a day or two,” she said.

Several of Hollett’s pieces in the exhibit at the library have been painted using the knife technique.

By displaying paintings completed through the knife painting technique, the community is able to learn about a alternative to painting with brushes, said Hollett.

Hollett has 15 paintings that will be on display at the library until Oct. 2.