Fourth of the four paintings

Today, I finally got the chance to go up and work on the last of the four oil/cold wax medium paintings I started in Dallas at the first of the month. I really liked this combination of colors… magenta, red, orange,gold-ochre, etc. But the painting was not finished.

I didn’t know whether or not I would do what I did with the last one and almost totally re-paint it or not. I slathered a little cold wax medium on the top of the fairly dried paint and used a few oil paint sticks……opened up my palette to look at the colors I had there that might work with this one. I did use some sticks but also brayered them down a little softening the edges that I made with the sticks and an occasional brush mark or two.

I kept looking at it as I tried to keep layering some more paint on the other paintings wooden panel edges………finally, I decided this is where I am leaving it, at least for now. It is a blessing and a curse like pastels that you can keep coming back and painting more later if you wish without much difficulty as long as you don’t put a final varnish on top. AND cold wax medium and oil paintings generally do not have one unless you want a glossier finish.

I even started thinking of titles………. This one… Out of the Clearing 2.

This is the way I left it in the studio today.

Out of the Clearing 2, oil on 20 x 20 x 2 inch wood panel

The painting below is where I started……..

What a mess but what a joy!

All I can say short and sweet is……..I ‘really’ messed up this other 20 x 20 inch panel oil painting when I got around to going to work on it again. I don’t know about you but when I work and then set something aside, most times I cannot go back in with the same feeling, gesture, mark, etc. the start had. SO I always (almost always) end up re-working the whole thing……especially something as small as a 20 x 20.
The image below is the beginning of this studio session….or I might say, the end of the previous one back at the first of the month.

3rd start panel

Third start oil on panel

It had some things going for it… a soft, muted, simple quality that had some marks in it I really liked. But, also, dull. That’s the problem as we all know… if you like them, then you protect them. A real no-no and I know it well. What the heck, I had to do something so I just got out lighter paint and just spread it all over the place…….OH NO. Didn’t look good at all. I really screwed up. Of course, I rely on the old ‘fly by the seat of my pants and wish hard mode”…..and figure this is all for the best. It didn’t look like me anyway so I can now be free to do anything else I want and it can’t be worse.

The joy……I got out those wonderful R & F pigment/paint sticks I have been buying. I really don’t have a clue how to really use them. I have watched a video or two and used them to make some good, big marks that I then painted back into. Other than that!
However, if there is something more luscious and sensuous to apply to a painting, I have not found it before this. OMG, I need to buy stock and I will need money to buy more of these. Whether or not the painting is successful or not, I love the process of using these sticks.

End of the day, I have this painting………much more the way my paintings look gesture-wise than brayered and squeegeed although that makes a wonderful start and background for the paint sticks to work into. Now to see how long they take to dry………..and IF I will still like this when I get to the studio next time.

Oil Stick-cold wax 3 next stage

Looks like there is a little glare on the lower left areas……..end of day, i-phone photo but will do for the blog.

Anyone have lots of tips on pigment sticks, let me know.

Working with different mediums

As some of you know, I went to a workshop with a wonderful artist… Rebecca Crowell in Dallas earlier in the month. Before I left I started the last painting……..very large one, too, so I had to complete it before I got back to working with the panels and oil paintings that I started at that workshop.

Today I have finally been back at work on these ‘starts’…. or I call them that. Who knows, the starts may look better by the time I get through than the finished paintings. One thing about working with oil and cold wax medium is that it is very easy to just keep getting a whole different painting each and every time you work on it. That is if you are not using brushes but are using squeegees and brayers. Not that you cannot use a brush, but I am trying to use the paint in a thinner application to build up layers and also hopefully dry a little faster. In fact, over time I probably will use a brush as I was itching to get one out to do some negative painting on these two that I worked on today. BUT, I think I will still do the preliminary work with the squeegees and brayers to keep it drying faster until I know where I am going with the painting.

These pieces are 20 x 20 x 2 inch wood panels I bought from a local canvas shop…..great people, making a wonderful product, at a good price as well as made in the USA….. Sunbelt Manufacturing in Longview, TX.

One piece…….when I left the workshop looked like this.

early stages

early stage when I left the workshop

This is what it looked like after I worked on it a little more today. I kept turning it around…and it looks possibly more contemporary turned in the opposite direction but for some reason I like it this way, at least at this stage. This could be an intermediate stage or the final one. Who knows right now? I need to keep looking more.

Intermediate or final version

Here is the second one that I worked on today.

early version of painting 2 (also labeled 4 on the image file)

This painting was just TOO brightly a permanent green. My idea was to break up some of that with some softer, warmer greens and then go from there. WELL… you know how I said you can get a new painting…not quite but also a different look. It could have been drastically different but I softened and changed and it started taking on a better look. These photos are just I-phone pictures so sometimes the glare even without a flash makes for bad color. They are not what I call true to color. Sometimes I get good ones, sometimes not. This second painting photo is more intense and has more contrast..especially the too light violet in the bottom right.

2nd painting intermediate stage

Like the first one, I will keep looking to see if I like this new version or if I need to work more on both.

I, also, determined before I went that I am going to gesso the sides of these panels and paint the sides like I do my acrylic paintings. I just have not been liking MY work with the bare wood sides. You can only imagine how much paint ended up on me as I would forget and pick them up. Next time, I will add paint on the sides as I start like I do with acrylic paintings.

I will work on the other two next session…. put them all there on the side of the room to just evaluate for a time.

All this is a little out of my comfort zone working with a medium I haven’t used since the 60’s BUT it’s good to shake things up now and then.


Oh yeah…. really got back into painting on this diptych. So cool to be back to work and getting something done. I have been bogged down for months.
I THINK this painting is done ….I will make sure before hauling it down for photos though by looking at it over and over for a short while. The title reflects the way I feel. Good days in the studio make up for all the bad ones.

The title………..RENEWAL, 48 x 96 inches, acrylic on canvas. this is only an I-phone photo but it looks pretty good on my computer. I am amazed sometimes at the I-phone photos.

Renewal… 48 x 96, acrylic on 2 canvases

Back in the studio- Green diptych

WoW…… has been a long time. I didn’t end up blogging from Italy much this time due to posting on Face Book.

Now I hope I am recuperated……so I started a new diptych. Both canvases are 48 x 48 inches. They will probably go together as a diptych but most of the times the two canvases can also stand alone. I started this work just before I left for an oil painting workshop in Dallas which I will report on in a later post. So much fun using cold wax medium.

This work has a toned and textured canvas……, of course. No..not of course, as many times the work will take on an entirely different color by the time I get through. This one, I think will remain dominated by green.

The first toning, etc along with some mark making with chalk pastel is shown below.

In progress 48 x 96 inches….2 panels, acrylic on 2 canvases

It wasn’t my intent to make a forest or green underwater world……..but with the slopping on of the acrylic paint, it could certainly be developed that way. Nothing is delineated to makes any subject. The painting will just progress as it will direct. I try to listen.

The next work session, I set up my usual palette of colors but also make up one just for larger amounts of paint. You can tell I will need a lot. SO, with varying shades and tints of green with some bits of the other colors from the basic palette to vary the color, I just started in on the left panel. One color and brush stroke influences the next. Now and then I wipe my brush or knife off on the other canvas just to keep bits of those colors integrated into the whole of the two canvases.

I finally reach a time when I think it is time to stop for the day. I didn’t work for hours on end. That is not my usual way to work. I like to sit back, look and then come back later and let the painting surprise me. Some times it’s more of a shock…good or bad.

Here is a picture of what is happening with the third layer……but as I said, mostly on the left side. I’ll post the finished work next post.

Here is a close-up of a small area.