Inspired by the beauty in old weathered trucks and buildings, artist Gale Suver uses a palette knife to create texture and movement in her paintings. View more of her work on her website.
It was exciting to me when I realized in the second grade, at just 8 years old, that I had an ability to draw! My teacher recognized that I had some talent as I helped draw a Christmas mural in our classroom. I remember that I would lose myself in drawing while sitting in classes that did not hold my interest. I did the same while at home when I didn’t want to do my homework.
During high school, I took any art class that was available. Unfortunately, I didn’t always find them satisfying. I remember my art being a source of frustration because I wasn’t mature enough to understand it or serious enough about working hard to improve my talent.
Five months after I graduated from high school, I was married. Within two years, we had started our family. While raising our four daughters, I dabbled in crafty type creations. I wanted to improve and further develop the creative ability I was so fortunate to have. but because my time was limited, I kept continually putting my art on the back burner. As our children got older and I was able to retire from working as a medical assistant, I decided it was my time to get serious and explore the desire to paint that had always resided within me.
In the past, my art was pretty much limited to charcoal, pastels and graphite drawings. I had always admired and been drawn to painting compositions with loose brush strokes, moved by the way the right colors together would contrast with each other to create movement.
I decided to start out with some online classes. This whetted my appetite for more, so I moved on to in-class instruction. To this day, I continue to participate in workshops and plein air outings. I learn much from the talented artists I associate with.
After a couple years of years of painting with brushes, I discovered the palette knife. I absolutely love the versatility of this tool! I became extremely interested in painting old vehicles, weathered barns, forgotten equipment and unique architectural compositions. What I found was that the palette knife allows the freedom to create the stokes, texture and markings I desired for my paintings. And it gives them a realistic feel and a looseness that I had been trying to accomplish in my style.
While I still use a brush to do the underpainting of my paintings, the palette knife has been my sole tool for the past seven years. Painting has become my passion! It takes my mind off of everything else and has the ability to transport me anywhere I want to be. This was extremely therapeutic during the pandemic.
I find great satisfaction as I complete a composition, so much so that I cannot wait to begin a new one.
My current inspiration has been to create on canvas whatever I see that gives me that immediate feeling of “it”. That “it” is almost always old—the more rusted or distressed, the better. “It” could be an abandoned vehicle, or a barn that has seen better days in the middle of a grassy field. Or the old impressive architecture of a shuttered feed mill.
I realize not everyone initially sees the beauty in the things that I do. That is where the challenge comes into play for me. My goal is to create a composition that enables the viewer to see that rusty truck, that battered barn or that feed mill of the past, in a whole new way.