Friday, June 20, 2008

Much Rambling About Nothing......

Not a whole lot new to report. The girls have had exams all week so I've had to put on my chauffeur's cap. When you have teenagers that thing is glued to your head. It seems every moment one of them "just has to go" somewhere. Since we are "country mice" as opposed to "city mice" driving is just a part of our life experience. Since most of girl's friends live nearby we are always looking for other parents to carpool with and I must say most of the time it does work out that way. With the price of gas and the impact on the environment it has to.

My sewing machine has been sent out for servicing which they tell me will take two weeks so I've been playing around with the oil paints I was given awhile ago. Now I truly don't know much at all about oil painting but because I work mostly in acrylic I do love the buttery strokes that are achievable in oils and the soft edges I'm able to produce. I've been using M. Graham paints which I highly recommend with the walnut oil medium which I like because it's non toxic. I do know the fat over lean rule but other than that I've just been experimenting. So I was fooling around with this little 6"x6" last week and quite liked the way it turned out. Unfortunately when oils dry they kind of dull out and there are some spots that are oilier than others. So I had to find a way in which to bring those colours back and at the same time protect the piece. I went online and read about varnishing but was surprised to find out you have to wait six months or so. What? How do oil painters sell their work if they have to wait six months for the piece to dry. So I went to an expert........I emailed Tracy Helgeson who gave me some good advice regarding varnishing. Thanks Tracy for your time.
Now I'm interested though in how other oil painters deal with this issue. If you have a moment please let me know.

Well, I'm yoga mat beckons and there are dishes waiting to be washed. Have yourself a great weekend.


Ellen said...

It amazes me when I see painters online selling oil paintings finished a week ago. I'm a bit fussy about doing the steps right and it's 6 months minium before varnishing, (more if your paint is heavy) I don't see any way around it.

I didn't varnish an oil painting I did 15 years ago and the skin is showing it with a greying and browning discolouration. The solution is professional cleaning (big $$$). Not being too fussy, since it's my own painting I don't intend to sell, I'm having to clean it myself with this intensly toxic oil painting cleaner very carefully with a Q-tip, centimetre by centimetre. (and it's a big painting).

It pays in the end to wait and varnish. I've never heard of any way to speed up the process without having any risk of cracking, but if anyone else knows...

Melody said...

Hey Ellen, what do you know about retouch varnish?

Tracy said...

Ellen, so do you wait for six months before sending a painting out? Or do you try to get it back in order to varnish it at that time?

Love your blog, by the way-I have been lurking.

Jean Levert Hood said...

Melody, I think you'll find retouch varnish useful for bringing those dull colors back up with the others. This is used when you want to go back into a dried or semi dried painting. Retouch will assure that your next layer adheres, and will bring all paints up to the same sheen.
I use Archival Lean Medium with my oils, and the paint dries very fast. However, with any thickness, I would not be comfortable shipping so fast. This under layers may still be wet.

Oils require patience!

cynthia said...

I guess I'm a city mouse with a country heart! :D

Good luck with your oil painting endeavors.

Ellen said...

I haven't actually used retouch varnish, so thanks Jean for the info.

Tracy - I just finished an oil painting that will be going out this week, the buyer lives close so she knows I'm going to take it back in 6 months to be varnished. Otherwise, yeah, I'd wait. Acrylics are so much easier.
(And thanks, your referring to my blog? I'll have to go check out your blog now, always love finding new art blogs!)

Thanks Mel for letting me blab on. I haven't fully gotten to the chauffeur role yet, I'm wondering if it's less stressful than when your teenagers actually get their licenses. Oy!