Until I came across the fascinating work by sculptural painter Justin Gaffrey, I had no idea what impasto was. Impasto is a painting technique where paint is laid on the canvas (or other flat surface) in very thick layers, usually thick enough that the brush or painting-knife strokes are visible. Gaffrey works with a signature line of extra heavy acrylic paint, and his painted pieces are typically between 1and 6 inches thick. I want to touch them all!
Gaffrey was originally a chef and restauranteur, but in 2001, he happily gave up the hectic life and long hours of restaurants in favor of the artist’s life. A self-taught painter, Gaffrey played with a few different painting techniques until he found his voice with impasto painting, which he thinks of as “creations that live beyond the canvas.” The northwest Florida native is also a skilled metalwork and furniture artist, and he showcases all of his artworks in his Santa Rosa Beach gallery.
You can see all of Justin Gaffrey’s gorgeous work on his art website and on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. And if you’d like to try your hand at impasto techniques, Gaffrey also has a signature line of paints and supplies for sale on the Justin Gaffrey Mart Material website.