"Big Sur Bump"
Oil on Canvas Panel
12" x 16"
As you have all read in the previous post, I have returned
to painting oils. Yes, this is an old
‘love’ who is as passionate and as troublesome as any woman who decides that other
competitors need move aside and give her first rights to . . . uh . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . ..permanence.
Part of the allure for me is that I know nothing about it .
. . .or didn’t until a few years ago.
Technique, is, of course the chief concern as I plunge back in to
attempt to make art that is worthy of the name “Fine Art.” I already know, from my experience in
watercolor, that unless I muster a lot of painting experience with the medium
my work will be relegated to the category of “Just a hobby, nothing serious.”
A few years ago, I began this blog with the intention of
completing 100 oil paintings in 90 days.
If I didn’t hit the goal, I came very close to it. In that short time, I had quickly educated
myself by watching other painters, observing various technique strategies and
trying a lot of different things. That
entire experience awakened me to how beautiful oil paintings could be. That is when the siren really started to
call me and kept me dreaming about it at night.
For the last few days, the studio has been my refuge. I spend my morning there with a large
tankard of coffee and attempt to make a complete painting in a few hours. For me, this time is not spent just to make
another ‘pretty picture.’ There are
goals that I expect to accomplish.
These ‘goals’ or ‘objectives’ are not about the completed work
necessarily. They are more about the process
I shall follow and what I want the paint to look like when finished. That is to say NOT the image, but the paint.
In this painting I wanted fresh unsullied color. That means color that isn’t necessarily
saturated, but clean, crisp color.
Secondly, I wanted big brush strokes to show and I desired those strokes
to delineate planes of light and shadow.
One would think that these were worthy and fairly easily
accomplished objectives. It seems so,
but just wait until you try it! It
seems my biggest enemy in the color department has been the turp or the OMS
(odorless mineral spirits). An enemy
because, as a watercolor painter, I was rinsing out my brush in the OMS
continuously. I isn’t long before the
solvent takes on a greenish gray color that permeates every brush load of
paint. Not good for clean color !
So, today, I swore OFF the solvent. Just don’t use it at all, Mike! That requires using many clean brushes. What I ended up doing was using a single
brush for every color, including very
dark, near black, and white. I think,
by the time I had finished, I had used some
ten different flat brushes. I think this painting is an improvement
over my last one . . . .the colors are definetely clean. And the strokes are obvious, as
are the planes of light and shadow.
Of course there are a few areas that could be much better
(duh!). And the photography could
certainly be a heck of a lot better. But
still! . . . .I am happy enough with this outcome to take my gear out with an
oil painting friend and join him in the plain air tomorrow. It seems progress is being made!