Turpentine diaries 9/24/17

The unfinished painting The Press is 40″ x 50.”  I’ve used RGH’s walnut-ground flake white for a couple of weeks and I like it more and more.  It keeps its body even when thinned to the constancy of gouache, such as the white shirts in the painting. I plan to write about preparing canvases soon.…

Some watercolors

Odds and ends.  Today, I finished the landscape (somewhere around Monterey) and worked on the figure with the striped shirt (my wife Kathleen).  It still needs work.  Both are watercolors.  The pen and ink drawing of the figure behind the landscape is on bristle board.  My watercolor kit.  The bottom drawer contains watercolor tubes.  I…

Turpentine diaries 9/16/17

Along 4th Street is 40″ x 50.”  The surface is very good and the painting is moving well.  When the surface is solid, I do less re-painting and things go faster. I’ve written about how much I like RGH’s Extra-fine Flake white.  That white is ground with safflower oil.  I’ve also been using walnut oil…

Turpentine diaries 9/9/17

The studio is busy just now.  The drawing is a study for a large painting I’m preparing to launch.  The figures, except for the right-hand two, are prominent in the new painting’s design.  I plan 2-3 more figures in the large painting.  ‘Large’ in this case means 4.5′ by 5.5′,  The drawing is pen &…

Two paintings today

I used to think speed is important in art making.  Speed relates to spontaneity–some say–and spontaneity guarantees authenticity, if not creativity.  While spontaneity is important in art making, it’s not fundamental.  Even if you insist that spontaneity is essential, you can’t make the same claim for speed.  Speed is simply irrelevant. Another important idea for…

Turpentine diaries 9/4/17

I started working on the painting on the easel, Along 4th Street, yesterday.  I’ve had two long sessions on it, but it still needs a lot of work.   I’m  careful about cutting off figures by the canvas edge.  One of my teachers, Pearlstein, is well known for cutting figures.  He used the device to…

Turpentine diaries 8/27/17

The finished painting on the floor in this photo, Dare, is another painting of my son Keith standing in front of an earlier painting with him as the subject.  Dare is 24″ x 30.” The large, unfinished painting on the easel, Picnic, is the last painting from my batch of poor-surface paintings.  And it’s the…

Turpentine diaries 8/20/17

I finished drawing the cartoon for this painting yesterday and spent the morning transferring it to the canvas.  You can see the transferred cartoon in this photo. I spent the remainder of yesterday and all of today working on the new painting.  In this photo, the gray ground is still visible throughout the painting. Booth at…

Best deal in flake white

RGH has the best deal for the all-important flake white.  Their cremnitz white extra fine is $46.25 for a 250 ml jar.  By comparison, a 237 ml jar of Williamsburg’s flake white is $57.  Old Holland, which I don’t buy because of their lurid prices, costs $172 for 225 ml tube.  That’s after heavy discounts.    The…

Turpentine diaries 8/13/17

I finished the small painting sitting on the floor this morning. I thought I’d finished it last week but something about it bugged me this morning, so I couldn’t resist taking-up the brush. Sometimes when I look at one of my old paintings, I’m transferred back to when I worked on it–like a time machine.…

Turpentine diaries 8/6/17

The Delegate is 36″ x 48″.  It still has a way to go.  It’s another painting with an annoying surface. I’ve written a lot recently about painting surfaces, I know.  I bought a large roll of canvas two years ago, which enables me to monitor how changes to the painting surface can affect performance.  All the…

Turpentine diaries 7/30/17

Sub Rosa, on the easel, is part of the Main Street series.  I’ve been using RGH’s ultra-fine flake white regularly, which can be seen in the middle of the palette.  I like it.  Last week, I used the last of a tube of flake white from Blue Ridge, which is also excellent paint.  I was…

Turpentine diaries 7/23/17

Break is finally done. I struggled with the surface from the beginning which resulted in more sessions than usual.  I won’t bore you with the details; the surface isn’t awful–it’s perfectly sound–but it’s not to my liking.  Not nearly smooth enough and like any rough-surfaced canvas, it eats brushes.  I like surfaces that are smooth and…

Turpentine diaries 7/16/17

I decided to work on my backlog of unfinished studies and small paintings. I worked on all of the paintings in the photo today, the bottom-left one last. One small study, not shown, has a problem and I’m trying to decide how to resolve it.  Before I work on a painting, I always wipe it with…

Turpentine diaries 7/9/17

Grand Army of the Republic Highway is part of a series called Main Street, which is about, well, Main Street in out town.  The town is a vacation destination and things happen downtown all of the time–festivals, street parties, concerts. I am adding pages to the site about my current series, Playhouse Square, and Main…

Turpentine diaries 7/8/17

I finished the small study at the top of this photo this morning.  Keith in Profile is on a 20″ x 24″ canvas board.  I sometimes use canvas board for studies and sketches.  Keith in Profile has been in-hand for awhile but today’s session was the fourth or fifth; fast for me. I put a fast-drying…

Turpentine diaries 7/6/17

My wife and youngest son are visiting the Jersey Shore and I miss them, so yesterday I took up Millie Talking to Her Friends.  The Millie in the painting is my wife’s grandmother.  Millie has been in-hand for some time but I’ve had just 3-4 sessions with it.  After working on Millie and several other…

Turpentine diaries 6/25/17

The Girl in the Lavender Dress, another painting in the Playhouse Square series, is nearly finished and today’s was only the sixth session, which is fast for me.  You can see in the right background two canvases that I recently prepared.  Both are 36″ x 48,” which is the same size as Girl in the Lavender…

Studio journal 6/18/17

I used RGH’s extra-fine flake white and viridian green in today’s sessions.  RGH sells both paints in jars, which I don’t like.  But both jars have remained fresh. I’ve had the viridian for some time and it’s still fresh. The pile of paint on the paper palette is a mixture of viridian and blue-gray.  I used it…

Studio journal 6/11/17

Good day after a bad day. I was so excited to get into the studio yesterday, I was mixing my medium at 5:30 AM. I make my medium fresh every day.  It’s very drying and if I prepare it beforehand, it’s too firm. But I do prepare one of the ingredients in advance–the varnish.  I…

Studio journal 6/4/17

I finished Euclid Avenue #1 (in the photo’s background) this morning and then worked on On the Square for the remainder of the day.  Both paintings are part of the Playhouse Square series. Both paintings are 48″ x 60″ and were prepared the same way.  However, On the Square’s surface is much poorer than Euclid’s…