Friday Favorites 5/23/2014

oilsI love the smell of linseed oil.  Like many smells, it is linked closely to memories like the smell of my mother’s oil paints when she enrolled in painting classes while I was in high school.  Linseed oil is made from flax seeds and because it is a drying oil, it is used as a base for most oil colors.   No, the smell of linseed oil is not my Friday Favorite but it certainly leads there.  As my Mom was learning to paint, she took the time to show me what she was learning … I learned to scumble a blank canvas, how to mix colors both on the palette and canvas, and to apply paint with both a brush and knife.  And for about twenty years, I painted intermittently.   I loved oil painting for more than the smell of the paints.  I liked it that the medium was forgiving of mistakes … I could paint over them or just scrape them off with a palette knife.   I loved the texture of the paint on the canvas, particularly when applied with a knife, and the richness of the colors.   And, of course, I liked it that it seemed to come naturally to me.  If I were asked, What’s your best art medium? I’d answer, Oils.   Yet, I haven’t done it for years.  For me, an oil painting is a long term project, one that requires a space where canvases can be left up while they dry or while I decide what’s next.  I can do a watercolor in a day or two, although there are certainly more paintings that turn out poorly in watercolors than in oils.  There’s just more space in my busy schedule for watercolors, although these days, writing seems to take precedence.

Over the weekend Muri asked me to get down the kitchen table leaf for the visit of my daughter’s family and there, on the top of the cabinets with the leaf was another memory, an oil painting that I thought we had lost in our move to Anaheim Hills. On the back of the canvas Finished December 24, 1965 is written in my collegiate scrawl. I painted it during winter break my senior year at the University of Connecticut after Muri and I had broken up for what would turn out to be the last time. When I gave it to her (obviously, we got back together), I told her there were probably tears mixed in with the paint. Yes, I could be a bit melodramatic but it was also true. I’ve done other oil paintings I like better artistically but this winter sunset has a special place in my heart.


It’s this week’s Friday Favorite.



Explore posts in the same categories: Friday Favorites

Tags: , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: