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The Midas Touch: Iris Scott’s Finger Paintings

Most painters utilize brushes or other tools to create their works of art, but artist Iris Scott has taken a different path. In Issue 83 of American Lifestyle we talk with Scott about her process for using nothing more than paint and her fingers to build incredibly intricate, large-scale pieces.

An excerpt from “The Midas Touch: Iris Scott’s Finger Paintings

My formative years as a young artist began around first grade—I began dedicating noticeably more hours to practicing my drawing than to interacting with my peers. All I drew or seemed to care about were horses and unicorns, particularly if their manes were made of rainbows. [laughs]

I didn’t start calling myself an artist until 2010. I think that’s because I’ve always felt like such an amateur. When I finally started telling people I was an artist, it was after I had begun paying bills with my artwork.

My parents have always been very supportive of my artistic pursuits. Neither of them ever told me it would be impossible to make a living from art. Both are artists in their own ways: my mother gives piano lessons and is a writer, and my father is a cabinetmaker. Being raised by two craftspeople helped shape my understanding of how skills are developed: you’re not usually born with them—it takes practice.

For more on Iris Scott’s finger paintings, download “The Midas Touch: Iris Scott’s Finger Paintings” from Issue 83 of American Lifestyle magazine.