Posted tagged ‘oil painting’

Oils Again

January 11, 2019

oilsBack in November of 2017 in Linseed Oil Memories, a post on my art blog, Artsy, about my Mom teaching me to oil paint while I was in high school, I wrote this: If I were asked, “What’s your favorite art medium?” I’d answer, “Oils.” Yet, I haven’t done it for years. Hoping to encourage my Inner Artist to try it again, I asked Santa for oil painting supplies and, with the help of my wife, Muri, I received a wooden artist’s box and easel, along with an assortment of paints and brushes. Yes even a bottle of linseed oil and a can of turpentine. But as November 2018 rolled around, my art supplies were still sitting unused in my office. I needed … if you’ll pardon the expression … a kick in the ass which came from my daughter, Amy. One November afternoonKittens when we were talking on the phone, she asked, Would you want to paint watercolors of my dogs for me for Christmas? Although I paint quite a lot in watercolors, my work tends to be on the impressionistic side in part because I don’t have the patience to do a lot of details in watercolors. So, before I could think, I said, How about if I do them in oils? After all, I’d painted two kittens sixty years ago. It’s like riding a bike, right? (more…)

Art History

June 3, 2018


Recently, I posted an photo of me, my parents, Florence and Frank, and my siblings, Glenn and Pat in the living room of the house I grew up in. That room was the center of my universe from the time we moved there in 1952 until I went off to college. When family … grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins … visited, we sat in the living room. Dad would often move the table from our smallish kitchen to the living room to give us more room for Thanksgiving. Christmas trees were decorated and presents opened there. I told my parents that I had proposed to my college sweetheart there. Dad took countless naps while reading the paper in the chair by the door and I learned my love of classical music listening to Mom’s records on the stereo under the picture window. In my college years, Mom and I would sit up watching Johnny Carson and talking on the sofa under “Dad’s mirror” (he never walked by it without a little gavotte). More than once, he’d call from their bedroom at the end of the hall, Would you two keep it down out there?


Friday Favorites 5/23/2014

May 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.