Frequently Asked Questions
Can I commission Iris for a painting?
Yes! There is currently a waitlist of 13 people. Iris absolutely accepts certain types of custom finger painting requests. If you placed your order today, the wait would be about one year. Beginning in 2018 Iris began only accepting commissions 72x72 inches or larger. See price chart. Custom dimensions are welcome, as canvases can be ordered at any size for specific large walls. Don't have a large enough wall for a 72x72 inch painting? Iris will paint smaller works, but the price remains a minimum of $32,400. Iris is only painting on large canvases this year because this scale poses new challenging and is more expressive. If you would like to see her work in person, you may do so at Filo Sofi Arts in New York City (254 Broome St), Adelman Fine Art in San Diego (1980 Kettner Blvd), and Horizon Fine Art in Jackson WY (30 King St.)
Ready to request a custom painting? Typically clients submit a list of 5 to10 of their favorite finger paintings as a guideline for Iris to work within. Spots are secured on the waitlist by sending (by wire transfer or check) a 50% refundable deposit for the 72x72 inch (or larger) artwork. Iris and her clients have the freedom at any time to cancel the project, even if the work has been started. There is never any pressure to purchase the painting, deposits are returned immediately in the event that circumstances change. The 50% refundable deposit earns the client what is called a "first right of refusal", meaning they have first opportunity to purchase the work before it's released the public. If the client is not 100% in love with the painting that's okay! In such a scenario, the painting is simply released to the open market, and galleries. Iris understands that art is very subjective and personal, she loves this system because it keeps everybody happy...and most importantly she has the creative freedom to paint what moves her.
How did Iris discover finger painting?
Iris left the brushes behind and took up full time finger painting in 2010. Iris was living in Kaohsiung Taiwan at the time of her discovery, she was age 26, and in her small rented studio was just nearly finished with a painting of yellow flowers. Irritated by a work table full of blue-stained brushes -- and zero clean ones -- Iris opted not to pause on her work to go tediously clean brushes. A few swipes on the canvas with her fingertips and she noticed instantly that removing a paint brush from the equation could allow her more control of thick Van-Gogh-like texture. The next day she hunted down surgical gloves.
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 was encouraged by both her parents, two extremely creative people, who never discouraged her career in art.
Where did Iris grow up?
Iris was born in Maple Valley, Washington at home with the help of a midwife. She grew up on a microfarm where her hippie parents raised livestock, and where countless pets ran amuck. Pets such as exotic parrots, reptiles, wild baby animals, cats, dogs, rabbits, mice, and other animals. Her parents were both creative people, her mother a piano teacher and her father a cabinet maker. Iris was always encouraged to pursue her dreams, placing love for ones work above wealth.
Where did Iris go to school?
Iris attended Washington State University where she earned her Bachelors of Fine Art. 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.
How long has Iris been finger painting?
Iris has been finger painting since 2010. Prior to this chapter she studied countless other mediums such as watercolor, acrylic, clay, charcoal, pastels, etc..
Where does Iris get inspiration for her pieces?
Iris takes ideas from her everyday life, whether it be a shaking dog during a canoe trip, a rainy day seen through a windshield, or her own friends posed into positions she dreams up. Traveling also plays a significant role in Iris's painting process. Iris takes frequent trips abroad, capturing countless photos that she can use later in her New York art studio.
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).
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. By reducing the 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?
Iris's smaller paintings can be completed in a single day with frantic, rapid-fire finger painting inside 15 straight hours. Her larger pieces are more calculated, careful and tight, taking up to a week or more to complete. Iris's goal is to be able to paint her larger pieces rapidly, while still achieving what she sets out to compose.
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 unit loft studio in the middle of Brooklyn. 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. Her creative process is simply her life. Wherever she goes, near or far, become a new 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.