In contrast to the extravagance and scale of much modern art, there is something about the purity of working with nothing but a pot of paint and some brushes that people find eternally romantic.
But what if you were to go a step further in bringing things back to basics - by painting using only your finger tips?
New York-based artist Judith Braun works using a method as old as civilization its self, but her paintings are no crude cave drawings.
A landscape painted by Judith Braun
Instead she creates beautiful landscapes and symmetrical artworks on a large scale using nothing but charcoal and her fingertips.
“The inspiration for each Fingering is site specific” Judith explained to us via email.
“I like each one to be different, based on the space and context, but also because I'm interested in exploring the range of possibilities within chosen limitations - in this case, the vocabulary of marks I can make with my fingers dipped in charcoal.
“All my work uses carbon medium (graphite and charcoal) because it is the most common element of life as we know it. So I use my body as a drawing tool, and the material it is made of.”
Judith’s Fingering series began to grow in ambition after 2008, when Raimundas Malasauskas, a visiting curator spotted her solo show in New York and invited her to apply her technique to a 27 foot long wall in his own exhibition. Since then, there have 9 new paintings.
“Each Fingering project has been in different locations ...with different viewers, but one of the general responses is "surprise", which comes from the initial perception of patterns from a distance, to finding the actual fingerprints from closer up.
“And then there is also the physicality and performative aspect of the work that arouses curiosity and led to recording the process and having viewers watch.
“When I was at the Chrysler Museum of Art, in VA, the execution of the 50' wall was done live, with the public watching. The place was packed, all ages, sitting for hours.”
What do you think of Judith’s work? Mesmorizing or just plain messy?