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.
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.