Artist hoping to spread love of finger painting


Ash Bolt

Four years ago Geelong-based artist Justine Martin discovered the technique of finger painting when an illness made it difficult to hold a brush.

And now she’s trying to help others rediscover their joy for finger painting.

Ms Martin said the technique was a lot more nuanced than the finger painting we all knew from our childhoods.

“About four years ago I discovered the technique … I was going through cancer at the time and I lost the ability to hold a brush,” she said.

“I was devastated that I couldn’t create … but I was able to finger paint – it was a form of meditation for me.

“It’s not the same as what you learn in school, it really puts a new spin on it.

“People are less afraid when they’re finger painting than [using a brush] and there’s a real tactile nature to it as well.”

Ms Martin has previously run workshops in finger painting through Barwon Health and this week will start teaching classes to encourage more budding artists get their hands dirty.

“The workshops got great feedback … people would always tell me they didn’t know they had it in them,” she said.

“They’re always shocked too because it is so different to what they were expecting.

“It takes you back to a time when life was carefree.”

Ms Martin said she hoped to see more people try the technique.

“If there’s one thing that the last few years has shown us is that people need hobbies,” she said.

“Hobbies build resilience and help us overcome adversity.

“They’re also important to self care and making sure you’re putting your needs first.

“Finger painting is an inexpensive way to start a hobby; all you need is paint and a canvas.”

Ms Martin said her classes would focus on techniques of using hands to paint and would see all participants leave with a “canvas you’ll be proud of”.

The classes will run every Friday and Saturday over the next few months.

They will cap off a busy 2021 for Ms Martin, who is also in the process of writing and publishing a children’s book.

Details on the classes can be found at