Still Making Art

Life Gets Better as I Get Older


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New Day 22 – Back to Oil Painting – YAY!

I can barely believe it has been eight – that’s right, EIGHT months, since I painted in oils. I’ve been making art of one kind and another, so at least I’ve been doing creative things. BUT…I had no idea what a void there was until I finally cleaned up from my last project, put up the canvas I had prepared months ago, sat down and began mixing colors. WOW! I felt this enormous peaceful wave much like the joy I feel when I return home after being away. This certainly makes me feel that this is what I should be doing – even though I have enjoyed the other activities.

Making a start

Making a Start

I took the photo (actually 4 prints put together) months ago. It’s been pinned to the board collecting dust. The fact that I had already prepared my canvas and made my sketch made it very easy to get stuck in again.

I’m starting with the most difficult (for me) section – the greenery. I am trying to paint at a distance and to be more suggestive than exact. I’m hoping I don’t have to wipe it all off and start again. We will see.

My set up

My setup

This is my small studio. That black cloth gets lowered across the window when the sun is pouring in (south facing), otherwise it’s half open for the plants.

I perch on that child’s wooden high chair while I paint which makes it easy to stand and move away to asses what I’ve done.

On the right I have all my tools. That black thing is my color checker built using the drawmixpaint design video. If you’ve followed this blog you’ll know that I now use laminate to check most of my colors. But every once in a while I find I need to use the old checker.

 

Tools of the trade

See – when I start out my palette isn’t to bad. It will only take a few days for it to become a mess.

Those small round jars contain my brush dip (see genevafineart). The dip comes in a large bottle from which I dispense a small amount into these little artichoke jars. If you have not yet discovered drawmixpaint and their products at genevafineart, I very heartily recommend them. The brush dip allows you to walk away from painting without having to clean the brushes. I’m not sure if it works for all oil paints, but it does with the Geneva oils which I use, and for which the dip was designed.

Today when I was putting dabs of my Geneva paints on my palette, I made a discovery.  I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out. The paint tubes have two ways of opening them, one using the flip top, and the other unscrewing the whole top to reveal a tiny hole through which the paint is squeezed. I will confess that I had not been really happy with the tubes because the caps and my fingers were always getting paint covered when squeezing the paint out. BUT today I was using a new tube, and had to unscrew the top to peel off the seal. DUH…I said to myself, I should be unscrewing the whole top to squeeze out the paint rather than using the flip open method. Instant clean process! I pass this on just in case there are others a little slow to make this discovery!

My palette is a Masterson palette box. I originally purchased one for acrylic painting which was fabulous – for those of you using acrylics.  It keeps your paints moist for days! Then I purchased one for oils. What I then did was have a piece of glass cut to fit the box, and under the glass I placed brown paper from a paper bag. I now use both boxes for oils. One is too small for most paintings. The glass, naturally, makes cleanup with a razor blade extremely easy. I just put the air tight lid on after painting, dip my brushes, and walk away. So easy!

One more note: I often recommend sites or products – NOT from any affiliation, personal relationship, or for financial gain. I do so simply to spread the word on places and things which I think are excellent.

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Day 8 – Hiatus and Paints

I’m back painting again after a forced hiatus due to food poisoning. A week or so ago I was just finishing off a tub of humus when I came upon a posting about a humus recall. “What!!” I said, as I scooped the last bit from the tub with my finger. Turns out the humus I’d just finished was on the recall list due to a possible listeria contamination.

I was consoled when I read the symptoms and found that the dizziness I’d been experiencing was a symptom of listeriosis and probably not a heart attack or a stoke, but I was dismayed that much of the next week that I had off from work was spent in bed – not really sick, but tired and unmotivated to do anything.

Today I emerged from my hazy condition and began painting again.

Here’s progress so far.

at-work-again

Back painting. See my disorganized palette?

Notes on Paints

If you look to the far right, on the shelf beside my palette, you can see several tubes of Geneva brand oil paints. As mentioned, I am a devotee of drawmixpaint. Several years ago they came out with a brand of oil paints which are not mixed with toxic chemicals. You can read all about them on their website. After having a cold for months which I could not seem to shake, I began to wonder if it was brought on by my painting during the winter in my tiny unventilated studio.

I invested in the Geneva paints, and have never gone back to my old paints, except for the rare occasions when I need a turquoise or a color that just can’t be mixed from the Geneva limited palette. I have not had any health issues attributable to painting since, and in winter I have no ventilation except for the open door to the rest of the house.

I also find that the paints suit the way I paint. I don’t add anything to them – just use them as they come out of the jar (earliest packaging) or tube.

You might think I have a vested interest in talking up the paints, but I don’t. I just want to share my experience in the off chance it will be useful to someone else.

Notice how messy my palette is? I didn’t learn that from drawmixpaint. It’s my self taught method. Hey – if it works, don’t fix it!

progress

Here’s a close up of progress so far. There’s still work to do on that basket – not quite right yet. This is a still life of one day’s harvest from my garden this summer.