Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Returning Soon

Finally, I've begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've done all the geeky things that make me feel better when I've had a disappointment. I've hung out in book stores, Hobby Lobby, Office Depot, Best Buy. I've indulged in my favorite evening beverages, cheap wine and fruity rum drinks whipped up in the blender. I've thrown myself into work day and night to distract myself from the harsh reality of my situation. And now, I'm coming out of it.

I was standing in Hobby Lobby watching all the scrapbookers flutter around (how annoying). I always gravitate to the art/painting books. I think I've purchased almost every book on the subject of acrylic painting. So, I've begun reading some of the books about oil painting. I've always avoided that medium for several reasons:
1) I've heard its a terribly messy medium that requires a lot of specialized equipment to work with.
2) I've read that the noxious odors are unbearable to live with if you have a studio in your home.
3) I'm intimidated by the fact that oil painting is the medium of the great masters. I'm afraid that if your not an "expert", or "professional" artist you can't deal with this medium.

However, while I was reading the introduction to an oil painting method book I cam across an author that had a similar experience. She said she had been an acrylic painter who had been striving to get the look of oil paints but was afraid of the medium. She had developed a method of oil painting that was complementary with her technique in acrylics. She wrote at length about painting in oils using alkyd mediums to accelerate drying times. She definitely caught my attention. I'm just slightly impatient (an exaggeration) and I don't like the idea of having to wait for days while a painting dries when I'm inspired and in the mood to paint. She may have encouraged me to try this.

The real clincher for me was that her paintings were the most luminous, glowing still lifes I had seen. She captured a realism and sense of light that was breathtaking. It reminded me of the chiaroscuro effects of some great Renaissance and Counter-Reformation era painters. There is such drama in her works that I have to learn how to do that. So, I immediately bought the book. That's an unusual step for me since I usually focus on figures and portraits. I've decided that if I can learn to capture those same effects I'll gladly take a detour into still life painting. I'm going to experiment (again) with her transparent techniques using acyclic media and varnish as well as slow drying agents for increased blending. But, I'm afraid I won't get it to work. The next time you read me you'll probably see that I've gone out and invested in a few hundred dollars worth of new equipment and supplies to work in oil. Wish me luck.

I'm back!

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