Saturday, July 26, 2008

July 26, 2008

Today while I was painting some little pieces of furniture for my daughter who will be moving into her first apartment shortly I realized two things about my style of painting. First I'm a messy painter which is not very conducive to using oils and second I'm a messy painter which is not very conducive to smooth drip free surfaces.

Years ago, with encouragement from my departed painter friend Scott, I attempted to paint with oils. I bought small tubes of basic colors, new brushes and a few small canvases to try my oil painting skills. What a muddy brown mess! Because I tend to paint thick and fast the paint did not dry enough to prevent one color from mixing with another. With acrylics, which I use, the paint dries rather quickly. In fact unless the humidity is extremely high I can completely cover a canvas, throw in a load of laundry, hang up the previous load, return to my easel and the paint is completely dry and ready to be worked. This works for me best as I like to add layers of paint until the correct color appears which is only obtained by working the canvas. For example I may start an area with a cool red then proceed to paint orange, green, yellow, blue, etc on top then finding the original cool red color over all those other layers of paint now works. I feel the many layers of paint give the painting dimension which I often mourn the loss of when a piece of mine is photographed and the paint(ing) flattens out.