30 January 2009

Crabapple Tea

For a long time, I had wanted to paint reflective glass. Like the distorted patterns found in waves or other reflective surfaces, painting glass is like entering the world of abstract art within a realistic painting. I once saw a painting done depicting a jumble of copper pots, as if it were the subject matter of a very difficult jigsaw puzzle. Looking carefully, I could see the artist herself reflected in a multitude of bizarrely distorted ways, stranger even than in a carnival mirror.
I chose a simple enough subject, yet was surprised by how detailed and complex it was to paint. Not easy, but satisfying.

19 January 2009

Watersoluble Oil

About three years ago, I bought a set of 'water mixable' oil paints. Seemingly a contradiction since we all know that oil and water don't mix, these paints really do just that. Oil painters can now paint without harsh chemicals, and watermedia painters, such as myself, may cautiously dip their toe in the mixable water, so to speak. So even though this blog entry is technically an oil painting, it still qualifies as 'light painted with water'.

I knew I wanted to give these oil paints a try when I bought them, but I had no idea it would take so long to get around to it. Oils have intimidated me. That is what other painters do. The ones who went to art school and learned all the rules. So when I finished this painting, using my self taught transferable skills, I gained a new sense of confidence. I felt like saying: HA! I just did an oil painting, so there!

In some ways I liked the experience, and in other ways I did not. I soon realized that what I liked about it were the ways in which it was similar to watercolor painting, and what I disliked were the ways in which it was not like watercolor painting. It was a nice place to visit, but it just wasn't home. Transparent watercolor remains my media of choice.