In this early stage of my new blog, it makes perfect sense to explain how and why I started painting with a knife. In 2009, I picked up painting after being away from it for years. I painted with a brush and acrylic paint. It was a fun way to get back into learning color.

In 2012, my wife was away on vacation with her family, that I couldn’t take the time off for. It was also her birthday weekend and I wasn’t done shopping for her gifts. Since she loves garden décor, I figured an art fair may have something unique for her. The only art fair around that weekend was the one in Northville, MI. Very quickly, I found a cool angel on a pole that even had a nifty bell on it. Perfect! Since I found it in so little time, I decided to stroll the rest of the art fair.

I came across a booth with amazing paintings with thick paint and rich colors on large canvases! I was stunned by their beauty. The artist of this terrific work was Kim Rhoney of Milan, MI.

They say it’s not polite to try to get technique secrets out of exhibiting artists, but I can be pretty clueless at times. Luckily, Kim is a warm and generous person, and she told me how she used painting knives to get the gorgeous textures in her paintings. I’ll always be grateful for the time she took to talk with me about making art. Since then, I’ve seen Kim and her art at a Birmingham Art Fair, and Arts and Apples in Rochester. And every time, Kim will always discuss techniques and tips for knife oil painting.

That’s because Kim’s not only a terrific artist, but also a wonderful and encouraging teacher. A couple years ago, I took a knife painting workshop that Kim taught at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, which propelled me into oil knife painting.

I’ve posted some images of Kim’s art, but you need to see her work in person. The textures she makes with her knife go well with the lush colors she applies on her canvases. Her subject matter ranges from sunflowers and poppies (two subjects this Ukrainian obviously appreciates) to old barns and apples and birds nests and trees. She rarely seems to use drab colors. Her colors are bold. They grab you immediately and pull you into her world of warmth and sunshine

If you’d like to see Kim’s work in person (and you do), check out her website at or follow her Facebook page. She always lists any art fairs she shows in. Take it from me. One workshop with Kim and you’ll be converted to painting in oil with a knife too.