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Layered Style: Painting by Timothy Sullivan

A painting made up of blue and white paints scraped across the canvasCoast, acrylic media on paper

Our featured artist today is Timothy J. Sullivan! Timothy is a painter who uses a layered style, applying a thick coat of paint and scraping it away using rags, palette knives and large brushes.


The look and texture of Timothy’s paintings is remarkably varied, depending on the different paint colours and removal techniques. The substrate that the paint is applied to might create a very rough texture, or a smooth polished texture – the latter is visible especially in the paintings that Timothy finishes with resin. The artist seems to have an affinity for the contrasting colour combination of blue and red as in his Blue Red Collection, where highly saturated splashes of red and blue seem to fight for supremacy over the painted surface.


A red and blue saturated abstract paintingUntitled

A gallery of recent works on Timothy J. Sullivan's art website

A gallery of recent works on Timothy's website 


The way Timothy works his paintings is to make it seem as though he’s slowly digging through
layers of colour, sort of painting in reverse. This contrasts with other artists who create palette knife paintings by addition. 


An abstract painting made with a palette knife and purple coloursFaint Hope (detail), acrylic on wood

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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