January 22, 2011

The Value of a Study

Patio Party (oil study on panel, 8 x 10)

While Great-Grandmother is resting in the studio, I am working on several other pieces and working with an entirely new process. Well, new for me. I've been at this oil painting thing for many years but I have never found my personal perfect setup. Whether oils or pastels (or any medium for that matter), the tallest hurdle for me seems to be the substrate. If that's not right, nothing is right. So that is what I have spent the past few years working on with my oils. You name it, I have probably painted on it. I think I have it now and as much as I resisted making my own panels, that's what it has taken for me to get to this next step.

My resistance to making my own panels was mostly about the time it would take away from my easel. That's pretty much how I measure everything but I admit that once I forced myself (out of desperation) to make my own panels, I actually treasure each one more than if I had just picked it off a shelf. I feel more bonded to the art piece as a whole, too, which is an added benefit I had not anticipated. I'm serious. After putting 8 coats of gesso on these puppies and sanding in between each one, I feel like I should name them. Each coat is applied in the opposite direction of the previous coat which, upon close inspection, gives a nice cross-grain affect to the final board. If you click on the image below, you should be able to see what I am referring to.

So, now I am thinking I can get on with the painting part. I have only gotten as far as the value studies because I enjoy them so much I don't really want to go further. But, I will...just not with this one. My next step will be to apply multiple glazes to well-developed value studies. I am equiped with an arsenal of options to try on this new surface; Neo Megilp, Galkyd, Galkyd Lite, Liquin Light and Stand oil and each seems to have its own advantages and disadvantages. Do you have a favorite? If so I would love to know which is your favorite and why.


January 16, 2011

Still working...

Biscuit and I are back from our caroling. Well, actually we got back quite a while ago and now are buried deep (really deep) in the studio. I am working on an oil painting of my great grandmother (24 x 30) that I am doing from a black and white photo from 1896. I'm sure you all can appreciate the challenge this has been and it has taken nearly all the focus I have to keep at it until it is complete. I fear if I stop, I won't have the gumption to start again and there is a timeline for this piece. My great grandmother was the first lady to graduate with a law degree (and science degree) from Ohio Northern University and so has the honorable title of being their "First Lady of the Law." This Spring the University will be doing a dedication in her honor and the painting will be part of that ceremony so I must be done soon to allow ample time for drying. No pressure, of course :). Admittedly, I am honored to do this but admit I would have found the task much easier if she had whiskers.

I am anxious to see what you (all) have been working on and apologize for being absent for so long. As soon as Miss Biscuit gives that approving look for the painting, I'll call her done and come visiting. I could use the break.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying the new year!
Sandy and my little sidekick