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.
Work in progress 5/5/21 May 5, 2021 11:41
The initial layer of this painting was a bunch of ripples made with some ultramarine pigments, just because I don't usually use them. They are just sitting there in their tubes and maybe hardening. So I figured to use some of them, together with the siccatif I bought. But I used poppy oil as a medium instead of walnut oil, so that layer took a long time to dry compared to the paintings I started with walnut oil, especially because I put a bit of impasto into it.
Finally it dried, and I took it out this morning to work on it. Funny how turning things on their side can show you completely different possibilities for a painting. Began to apply some WN Winsor Yellow (PY74) into the center folds of the painting because the yellow + purple made me think of irises and therefore spring, and it's spring, but also I had just seen a call for a watercolor (NOT oil) competition having to do with spring.
But I also had some lithopone (Williamsburg's Porcelain White) lying on my palette from a previous painting and thought what the hey, might as well use this. And it just growed. I added highlights with titanium.
Right now this is tentatively titled "Between the Waves." It's 16 x 20" oil on canvas with a traditional 7/8" profile. I was a little concerned about this batch of canvases, because in the past I have sometimes found that the thinner profiles on cheaper canvases can be warped, but so far I've had luck with these Blick Premier traditional profile canvases. I do love the Fredrix Pro-Dixie canvases (which I think only come in the traditional profile), but they are almost twice as much as these. I know I want to do a LOT of painting right now, so I am going to use these.
I really like painting watery or cloudlike images. I'm thinking of doing some series along those lines, which someone on Instagram recommended to me. Thanks!
Avoiding the trap of reference photos June 23, 2018 15:44Some people use reference photos as a sort of sacred text for their painting. They will even project it onto their support and trace over it. For me, a reference photo can be a valuable aid for getting some interesting shapes, but if I start trying to copy the colors, it can easily turn into a trap and the resulting painting just looks dead somehow. So usually I morph my reference photos in some major way.
Vessels Series: Moon Vessel Finished December 6, 2016 18:46
I like the vibe of this painting as somewhat like a tarot card. I'm really glad that I started this series. It is much more to my taste than anything else I've done recently. It gets my imagination going and I feel like I am producing much more interesting images. Read more...
Vessels: Moon Vessel November 20, 2016 19:35
Whistler and Lautrec April 8, 2016 20:40
Whistler would work on a painting for hours and be all happy about it for 15 minutes, "It's GREAT!", bragging all over about it, and then an hour later he'd go and scrape it off the canvas, terrified that someone would see it and think what a crap artist he was. Read more...
Water March 6, 2016 18:35
I finished a painting I've been working on for a week, Morning Star, but I was not pleased with the way it turned out for a number of reasons. One of them was the water. Read more...