I enjoy taking risks when I paint as long as the risks I am taking have the potential of making something wonderful happen. When painting with watercolor, when less than wonderful things happen there are multiple options to take while still moving forward. Even after the layers of splats, splatters, flicks and careful brush strokes result in absolutely no life emerging from the paper, I can wash the whole thing off and start again with a beautifully patterned paper rather than a stark white piece of paper.

Oil paints also allow me to venture into the unexplored territory of techniques. The only limitation I am forced to accept is that I can’t pour and splatter them the way I can watercolor and acrylic. Acrylic paint has never been a favorite of mine. It dries too fast. I thought, after having discovered that I can mix my own fluid acrylics and splatter/splash them the way I do watercolor, that acrylic might join the ranks of mediums I adore. It has its place in my work, but I don’t adore it. After yesterday’s painting session, glazing over both oil underpaintings and acrylic underpaintings, I decided to continue all of the glazes in oil and not shift over to acrylic in July.

Several months ago I attended an acrylic workshop. I was the only artist in attendance who still painted in oils. I was asked why in the world I would do such a thing. Why? Because I love the smell, the feel, the way color can be mixed on the palette and on the canvas, blending (or not) to my heart’s content. I don’t care about all the nifty things you can do with the acrylic mediums that turn a painting into a stained glass decal that will stick to my window or turn my canvas into a three dimensional topographical map. In spite of the negative attitude I have toward acrylic paints, I have found ways to use them that have inspired new directions that I will follow. My mind and heart are open to a better relationship with these speedy dry paints. However, no matter how much retarder I use, they do not please me the way oil paints do.

The “Between Here and There” series will be part of my solo exhibition Unveiled – The Anatomy of a Painting at Monsoon Gallery in October, 2008. If I were to follow my original plan of switching to acrylics for the glazes I would find myself manufacturing paintings rather than creating them and I would not be able to smile or carry on an honest conversation about the paintings at the opening. Instead of dreading the hours of struggling with quick drying acrylics I look forward to applying each and every layer in oils.

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