Beginning The Grove August 4, 2023 13:02
I've been spending a lot of time experimenting, but after all that, I've decided that what I like painting most are trees, skies, and water. Not necessarily as traditional landscapes but as subjects in themselves. My most recent painting, The Old One, really showed me how much better I paint with that sort of subject and also gave me plenty to think about in terms of experimentation with texture and color. So I started the next tree painting by painting over the gesso with Michael Harding's Transparent Oxide Red. I think this is the most wonderful transparent red iron oxide I have come across. I hope it will give a nice glow to my painting.
I've been adding Michael Harding oil paints to my stash for a while now. I love the rich colors but even more I love their squishy quality. They are so much easier for me to paint with. I think the only paint I've found that's similar in squish is Blockx, and that's just too expensive and slow drying due to the poppy seed oil. If I had a large studio, I wouldn't mind the drying time because I could keep five paintings in rotation like I used to. But my place is tiny and I don't anticipate having either more room or a separate studio any time soon. So instead, I will use up all the Williamsburg, M. Graham, and Winsor Newton paints I have and gradually switch over entirely to Michael Harding.
I've also got a ton of Princeton Select brushes in my Blick cart that I hope to purchase in a couple of weeks when I get my royalty payment. I went through my oil brushes the other day and tossed everything that was splayed, had hardened paint under the ferrule, or was just trashed due to my negligence. That meant about 3/4s of my brushes. I noticed that my Princeton Select brushes have stood the test of time really well. I also like the Bristlon brushes I got recently, but I haven't had them long enough to tell how well they will wear, so Princeton Select it is. I have also seen artists I admire using them.