Iris Scott has been painting without brushes since 2010. Armed with surgical gloves, Iris enjoys feeling the paint, and almost sculpting the thick texture onto her canvases. As soon as she tried oil finger painting in 2010 Iris knew she wanted to make this unexplored medium a career.
She has poured more than 10,000 hours into the art form. Hundreds of paintings later, and nearly a decade of brush-free painting behind her, Iris’ work has been featured in Forbes, Barron’s, Business Insider, USA Today, NowThis, CBS New York, and American Art Collector Magazine.
Iris had her first solo show in New York city in March 2018, her originals ship worldwide, and prints of her works are available online starting at $47. Browse the whole collection at:
Artist Iris Scott Biography:
Iris Scott was born in 1984 to two hippies on a small farm near Seattle, WA. They named her after the Greek goddess of the rainbow. Both her mother and father worked at home self employed. Mom taught piano lessons and tended the gardens, while Iris’ father supported the family, building custom cabinets in a shop attached to the house. As a young girl Iris had ample time to be alone with her own mind, left to play and entertain herself without a screen or numerous toys.
The home was nestled at the end of a long driveway, in a clearing surrounded by lush mossy evergreen woodlands. Iris and her little sister had no shortage of pets, they grew up playing with their dogs, cats, bunnies, horses, ponies, parrots, lizards, goats and chickens. Summers were spent barefoot, digging caves in the hillside, building tree houses in the woods, and creating pottery from clay they unearthed.
On rainy days, of which there were many in Seattle, Iris holed up in her bedroom, pouring over how-to-draw books borrowed from the library. Emulating her parents, and following their modeling of “practice, practice, practice”, Iris tackled art by first teaching herself the rules of drawing realistically. She copied photos and paintings from an early age, learning the rules so that one day she could break them.
Just a few months after graduating university, and while living abroad in Taiwan, Iris in 2010 was about to stumble upon her unique career as the first professional finger painter. Over the course of college Iris had learned fundamentals of charcoal, pastels, watercolors, oils, acrylics, and clay. With this foundation of knowledge and preparation, a lucky opportunity arose one hot and humid day in Southern Taiwan in a moment of laziness.
On Iris’ easel an oil painting of yellow flowers was just a few strokes away from finished, but all the brushes were dirty and needed cleaning before proceeding. Too eager to complete the painting in that moment, Iris simply took a few swipes at the canvas with oils squeezed right upon her fingertips. The thick paint went right on, texture was suddenly easier to control. Iris was thrilled to discover what she believed could be mastered, oil finger painting. The next day she hunted down surgical gloves…
Iris has been featured in Forbes, Barron’s, Business Insider, USA Today, NowThis, CBS New York, and American Art Collector Magazine. Several galleries carry Iris’s originals, her collectors have included Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Children’s Hospital, and Swedish Medical Centers.
In contrast to much of the contemporary art scene scarcity model, Iris’ prints are intentionally accessible because she believes withholding affordable prints is not aligned with the collective conscious of art history’s future. Iris’ vibrant rainbow palette depicting a parallel, but familiar universe, emits an energetic optimism and a respect for the natural world.
Using just gloved fingertips, Iris Scott works with paint like a malleable, nearly clay-like medium. Finger painting is becoming an entire art movement, as thousands of beginners worldwide are setting down their brushes in favor of this more tactile approach. For those who want to learn finger painting as an adult, Iris offers this free video, a kit of supplies, as well as a book, Finger Painting Weekend Workshop.
Filo Sofi Arts in New York City
Adelman Fine Art in San Diego, California
Horizon Fine Art in Jackson, Wyoming
Does Iris have any available originals?
Yes! Iris is busy finger painting in her studio and preparing for her upcoming solo exhibition, Ritual in Pairing, in New York, NY. As she continues to prepare for the upcoming collection, her new originals become available for pre-sale. View all available originals here. Don’t forget to check back in as the collection steadily grows between now and May 2019.
Can I commission Iris for a painting?
Yes! Currently there are 7 people on the waitlist for new commissioned finger paintings. The wait is around 12 months. Beginning in 2018 Iris is only accepting commissions 60×60 inches (25 ft sq) or larger because big canvases allow her more expressive freedom. Custom dimensions are welcome, as canvases can be ordered at any size for specific large walls. If you would like to see her work in person, you can visit her upcoming solo exhibit in May 2019 at Filo Sofi Arts in New York City. If you would like to proceed with a commission, contact the studio email@example.com
How does the refundable deposit for a commission painting work?
A 50% deposit is needed to be added to the waitlist, however the full deposit is refundable at any time. The commission can be canceled prior to, during, or after the painting is finished either by Iris or the client. Art is very personal and subjective for both the client(s) and the artist, so in the event that a commissioned artwork is not claimed it will be released to the open market and/or the galleries. No harm done. This system has kept everybody happy, and mainly it allows Iris to always paint what she wants to paint without sacrificing the surprises inherent to the creative process. For a commission, typically clients will suggest a subject, and palette preferences. Iris does not accept all subjects or palettes but is happy to hear what you have in mind. Contact her. For example, a client might say they want a 72in x 90in horizontal artwork depicting something reminiscent of their favorite three paintings. Since the deposit is 100% refundable Iris has the freedom to run with the suggestion and make it her own. The final artwork is a surprise for both Iris as well as the client.
Does Iris sell prints of her work?
Yes, starting at $47, nearly every single painting Iris has ever created is available as a print on stretched canvas. No additional framing is required. Prints arrive ready to hang. Free shipping to the contiguous 48 states, Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Shop here.
How did Iris discover finger painting?
Iris is not the first professional artist to dabble in finger painting. Many painters have explored the age-old technique of making marks without a brush. However Iris Scott is the first artist to exclusively dedicate her career to finger painting.
In turn, Iris has taken finger painting further into the realm of fine art than anyone has ever done before. Working mainly with oils, Iris has completed nearly 500 finger paintings over the last decade. As the leading finger painting artist today Iris is very excited to share the joy of brush-free art with the world. Her how-to book, and free instructional video, have been enjoyed worldwide.
What inspired Iris to become an artist?
From a young age Iris knew that she loved to draw. She was praised by her teachers and classmates for the drawings she created. She put in many hours of practice throughout her childhood and continues learning things in each painting she produces today. Iris is self-taught, but was encouraged by both her parents modeled through their own careers the importance of practicing and working with one’s hands. Iris’ mother is a piano teacher, and her father is a custom cabinet maker.
Where did Iris grow up?
Iris was born on May 26 1984 in Maple Valley, Washington. The birth was planned to take place at home and with the help of a midwife. Iris was literally born in the living room. Along with her sister, Iris grew up on a micro-farm where her hippie parents raised farm animals, and countless pets. Animals such as exotic parrots, reptiles, wild baby animals, cats, dogs, rabbits, and pet mice were all part of the family.
Iris’ mother, a piano teacher, taught the important of practice, and her father a cabinet maker demonstrating the magic of working with your hands. Iris was always encouraged to pursue her dreams, placing love for ones work higher than the pursuit of a career that would be more financially promising.
Where did Iris go to school?
Iris attended Washington State University where she earned her Bachelors of Fine Art degree. Her junior year was spent at a small art academy in Florence, Italy called Accademia Italiana. Iris also obtained her Masters in Teaching K-8 in 2009 from Western Governors University, although she never had a chance to teach because her art career took off right after finishing her graduate degree and teacher certification.
How long has Iris been finger painting?
Iris has been finger painting since 2010. Prior to this chapter she studied and loved mediums such as watercolor, acrylic, clay, charcoal, and pastels.
Where does Iris get inspiration for her pieces?
While Iris used to rely more heavily on being inspired by photo references from her travels, in the past year there has been a shift in the source of ideas. Iris, having spent years painting from photos, is now looking within. Meditating has been a source of ideas, however Iris also calls upon psychic readings for insights into the unseen realm of her subconscious.
Her recent painting “Stormy Splendor Dragon Ember” was seeded during an abstract painting, wherein Iris gazed at the random shapes/colors created during the expressive bursts until she caught a glimpse of the dragon in the clouds with a foggy jungle below, and a fire on the hillside.
What artists influence Iris’s work?
Her work is influenced most by three of her favorite painters: Klimt, Van Gogh, and Picasso (his blue period). She strives to one day emulate more the works of John Singer Sargent.
What advice does Iris have for young, aspiring artists?
Iris often tells young artists that hours and hours of practice are essential to reaching their artistic goals. She also shares stories of her own success, telling fans about her year spent in Taiwan, which was an integral step required for turning art into a career. By reducing her cost of living drastically, Iris was eventually able to spend seven days a week painting.
Social media has been a huge catalyst to Iris’s success. She places much importance on sharing through social media, and having pages specifically dedicated to art. The Web allows for free advertising, so new artists can gain traction in the art world with slow sustainable and organic growth.
How long do Iris’s paintings take to complete?
Now that Iris is paintings a larger scale, her canvases take a few days to plan, and several weeks to complete.
Does Iris teach classes?
Iris used to teach classes, but has become too busy to continue teaching. She has a book available called Finger Painting Weekend Workshop, and a free video on her website. She is now writing a three-part book for drawing, painting and marketing that will be available before 2020.
What is Iris’s creative process?
Iris’s creative process takes place in a third floor corner loft studio in the middle of Brooklyn. The factory building used to be a mattress factory. She paints barefoot, with 120 oil colors at arms length, music blaring, and her cat Foxy at her feet or on her lap as she works. On painting days Iris wakes up early and works straight until bed time, often ordering food in so that she doesn’t have to pause to cook and clean.
The process can be exhausting but thrilling, so she doesn’t paint every day. Iris describes art as just a lifestyle, not something compartmentalized as “work time” since she basically spends almost all her time – and dream time – thinking about painting as well as completing administrative tasks for Iris Scott Fine Art.
Her creative process is simply her life. Wherever she goes, near or far, becomes opportunity to plan new pieces. Iris moved to New York in 2014 so that she could have close access to the best art museums, and recently she is able to afford traveling the world several times a year to visit additional museums and artworks in far away lands. She is constantly in a state of careful observance of masterpieces, both in person and online. From the Masters, Iris absorbs as many details as she can and apply them to the conglomerate of tricks that is becoming her artistic style.
Has Iris considered experimenting with other techniques in the future?
Iris has certainly considered venturing out of finger painting in the future, but right now she is far too obsessed with continuing to see what finger painting can do.
What has been Iris’s most difficult/technical painting and why?
Iris’s most difficult painting technically so far has been the giant canvases in the 100 inch wide range. It’s really hard to see what she’s doing at that scale. But Iris has recently invented a rolling platform that floats above the canvas as it sits on the floor so she can access the center of the canvas without stepping on it. Gravity was once her enemy, now, thanks to this platform, gravity is her new ally.