Oil and cold wax medium

Some time back I was in the shop picking up canvas and wood panels when I saw some small 8 x 10 x 1.5 inch stretched canvases laying out on a table for a very good price. I decided they would be great for trying out oil and cold wax medium paintings so I took them home and promptly added some light weight modeling paste on them. Set aside, I got busy with other things and did not get back to them until yesterday.

I got them out for working today. It took me forever to look for all the things I would need to work with oil……..turpenoid, the wax medium along with some alkyd medium I’d heard was good to mix with the wax medium if you are working on canvas. All those oil paints I had that dated to way back when. I am not joking when I say that some of these paints actually were purchased in the mid 60’s…..Permanent Pigments, remember them! Of course I have many others of various brands. I even have some that had never been taken out of their boxes. Talk about a supply hoarder.

I had a difficult time opening some of the tubes. A few were tossed due to no longer being viable……..by that I mean they would not come out of the tube :>/ Of course if they had been some weird consistency I would have had to toss them as well. I laid out pretty much all the colors or their close relatives on the palette………got out all the spreaders and knives I could find along with any other kind of marking/scraping tools. As if I am going to do much with this little bitty canvases. I put blue tape all around the sides to protect them from messy paint. Yeah, it’s messy and I had forgotten. More due to not drying fast so you get sticky hands and brush/knife handles. I don’t know what I will do with plain white sides. However, that is putting the cart before the horse isn’t it?  First I have to make something.

So… I set off putting some orange and the medium mixture on with a big palette knife… hum, with all that texture I had to end up putting in a little brush work to get it in the texture. SO… then I had three orange tones and three of various purples. Oops, still kind of wet but this mixture does get set up fairly fast. I’m not really liking these small panels … I’m used to moving my whole arm on large paintings. I got to diddling around and ended up with the first one looking like a little impressionist landscape with not a lot going for it in the value department. Of course, impressionism is not known for values…….dark ones that is.

I don’t know how I got the little landscape one in the images twice….anyway, it is now long gone and turned into that red one in the next layer.

Oh my… the studio smells like a studio with that faint whiff of oil paint in the air.


Interstices and Intervals

For a long time now I’ve realized that my most successful (to me) paintings are those that address the painting of the negative or spaces between. Today, I got up to the studio for two things………to address the interstices in my paintings more consciously and to work with some new paint that had been sent to me to try.

Maybe I bit off more than I needed to with working with new paint AND trying to ‘think’ more :>). BUT maybe not. It is exhilarating and not a little scary when you venture out of your comfort zone. I didn’t go too far but maybe there is a slight difference.

The paint is Chroma Atelier Interactive acrylic. It was their largest jars and a good selection although I had some substitutions from my usual set up of a palette. I’m used to all the Cadmiums and Alizarin Crimson in the Historical dark hue. I will say the orange I made from the colors sent is beautiful though and I can get by for some paintings with a mixture of crimson, magenta and a mixture for my violet. I didn’t even open the Thalo blue though…although maybe for some other paintings I could give it a go.

The first thing is that this paint can be let dry like ordinary acrylic or misted with water or mixed with a medium that can slow down the drying process considerably. When I read about the slowness of just misting water, I figured…oops this not going to be my thing. I love drying fast, working fast and then being able to cover up or layer over…scumble is my middle name. But I promised so I had to get going. I had two 36 x 24 canvases left with a purple ground on them left from colony. I covered over the purple with some ochre and then started with the Chroma colors.

Oops, again…………this stuff is not creamy, it’s a little hard to move around. The viscosity is really different. If you spray water on a color on the palette is is more fluid but not like my other paints. It didn’t flow from my brush when I started covering over a lot of lines I made on the canvas with charcoal. Hummm..I had not intended to use the medium if it slowed down the drying but I poured some out on the palette and it works much better with the paint than just water. I just used the medium clear mid viscosity medium. I would compare it to fluid medium in other acrylics. I will have to investigate the thicker medium that is supposed to make the paint ‘buttery’ as I like buttery but I don’t want to slow down the drying.

I finally got into the hang of working with it but without a lot of color mixing. To really get more paint down on the canvases this size I had to start mixing in some of my other paints as large amounts of neutrals to go with the stronger Chroma colors I had laid down.

During all this time I was thinking of those intervals I mentioned before. There will be more of these paintings with various interstices that I see everywhere… in the fences, in the trees, plants, hills and planes of my paintings.

SO… these paints will take some getting used to… but they can work for you especially if you want a longer drying time if you are switching from oil to acrylic or if you suddenly decide you need to go back in and try to re-open some areas for more blending.

Here is the diptych…….Interstices..……… 36 x 48………acrylic on 2 canvases.
caption id=”attachment_936″ align=”alignright” width=”700″ caption=”Interstices”]Interstices Diptych In Progress[/caption]

Counting down to THE Encaustic Conference

Counting down the days until the 5th Annual Encaustic Conference………..only about 16 to go before heading off to Dallas to be prepared for the flight out to Boston and then on to Provincetown. I’ve never been so this will be especially fun this time.

I painted a special painting hoping it would be included in the beeline show…..regretfully, not. The other two are works that I can show in galleries or exhibition venues. This one is only for that show so I suppose it will end up being changed at some point or just hung in my studio until such time as I run out of space to hang things. I’m sorry it is too large for my suitcase or I would take it for the Hotel Fair.

I impulsively made this painting. This is not usual for me to be so impulsive with an actual plan in mind. I had to work really hard to fasten the ‘letter/envelope’ to the board as it was so impregnated with wax I was figuring it wouldn’t stay stuck down. So I found some little brass hinges to attach it so it could open and close. It also hangs loose from the backing panel except for the hinges.

The painting is a 20 x 20 x 2 inch panel with encaustic wax, and a waxed ‘envelope’ made of Stonehenge paper coated with encaustic medium. Before I ‘waxed’ the paper, I addressed it……..
FROM: TX to MA…… TO: Encaustic Conference… P-town, MA.

Inside the flap, I wrote: Dear other artists working in wax. Just to let you know______you are the ‘best’. I am so happy to ‘bee’ joining you for our conference 2011____P-town here I come. Warmly yours, CMcClure

It was a fun to make painting…….It brought to mind a long conversation so many of us working in wax had been discussing on FB. Are we ‘encaustic artists’, or just artists who happened to be working in wax.

Back to the ranch

Watery 40 x 40 inches acrylic on canvas

Whew… what a whirlwind of a couple of weeks. Colony and lots of painting time…then home to develop some kind of chest cold that laid me out for a week. Then down to Houston to the Hunting Art Prize Gala. It was a great experience. The time was far too short for all the artists to really get around to see all the work as you should have. It was nice meeting so many people who love to look and talk about art and to do a little networking with other artists.

This week, it was back to Houston to pick up my painting that was featured at the Prize Gala…………and to meet with a gallery owner to leave the painting and five others in the gallery. I am very pleased to announce my association with the Jack Meier Gallery, 2310 Bissonnet. The gallery is a long time Houston gallery representing many very fine figurative and a few abstract artists. I’m looking forward to getting to know Houston a little better.

This is one of the acrylic paintings I left with the gallery…………. Watery, 40 x 40, acrylic on canvas. Also a good sized (30 x 30) encaustic on wood panel painting titled Pink Sky.