In 1964, at age 16, Robert J. Seufert was fortunate enough to meet an
artist by the name of Ronald Keyes. Ron worked in and taught
"exclusively" the painting knife technique. Ron's lessons emphasized a
rapid, loose style with this unusual instrument. Since that time, Robert
has worked hard to master and perfect this tool, using his own artistic
abilities to develop his own unique technique.
Working in a very slow deliberate fashion, Mr. Seufert crafts
each painting with consistent attention to light, color and form. What is
the real hallmark of Mr. Seufert's style is his meticulous use of the
tip of the knife to dab or stipple paint onto the canvas to create
trees, shrubs, rock textures, etc. This painstaking process has its
advantages in that small areas have a very rich look through the use of
multi-color applications. The only drawback to this technique is the amount
of time required to complete even a small canvas. Robert chooses to
overlook this aspect of his style favoring instead the special, personalized
look he achieves. Very few artists work to any great degree with the
painting knife, choosing to use the conventional brush.
This technique is very similar to that used by French painter
Georges Seurat (1859 - 1891), who used a brush to achieve his innovative
technique of pointillism.
Mr. Seufert basically uses a variation of one style of painting knife.
The shape of the blade resembles an arrowhead and varies from approximately
one to three inches in length. (see picture) With this tool paint can be
mixed on the palette in the same fashion as a palette knife but more
importantly can be applied directly to the canvas. Large flat or gradated
areas can be achieved by spreading paint onto the canvas in a sweeping
motion with the knife's edge held diagonally to the painting surface. Soft
blending of colors can be achieved with practice. Fine lines are
established by holding the knife's edge perpendicular to the canvas and
pulling the knife downward.
From a distance and when reproduced in magazines or on a postcard
Robert's work almost looks photographic but when viewed from life, up
close, the "impressionistic" style is apparent. Thus, the
term "photo-impressionistic" applies solely to Robert J. Seufert's
oils, in that he is indeed the premiere draftsman of this "Unique