When you first see these images by Toronto-based artist Caroline Larsen, you may not realize that you are looking at a painting. Each piece in this series, which features ships that the artist has come across on her travels, looks like it was created with intertwined, woven pieces of fabric. if I hadn’t read otherwise, I would still not believe that these are created with oil paints–the optical illusion is so intense!
Larsen explains, “I was inspired by pointillism and I have always been attracted to super thick paintings. In art school, I would experiment with all sorts of ways to apply paint, and the decoration tips really stood out! I also have a background in ceramics, so making paintings that are super thick just came natural.”
This technique with oil paintings is quite unique. She squeezes paints through a serrated steel tip–similar to cake decorating–to pipe the layers of paint onto the canvas. The visual patterns and thick paints create textures that make viewers want to run their fingers over the surface of each piece. The paints are so thick that Larsen has to be extra careful to let them images dry across the course of five weeks. She says, “I have to be hyper aware of my self around the paintings, I have had my pony tail sweep over the painting and smear paint all over the place!”