In the studio 2/21/16

Several busy days in the studio.  I worked on 10-12 paintings over the past few days, including Sunday Parade.  Sunday Parade is finally locked into a good place (even though I still haven’t settled on its name). It felt like I was pushing it uphill for a long time.  I’m on the downward side now.

Artists and writers writing about art often talk such rot–almost more than any other field.  Much of what is written about art is thinly-disguised marketing.  For many, this isn’t a bug but a feature.  You won’t read about “totalizers totalizing the totality” here.

But sometimes I make little discoveries or understand some small aspect about art making.  One such is this:

The eye reads something painted over something else as closer to it.  This tiny discovery is extremely useful to know when you are painting areas with a lot of tones that are close to each other.  Ordering them by over-under adds significantly to the clarity of such passages.

The unfinished 'Sunday' or 'Sunday Parade' or 'Parade ' (I can't make up my mind) on the easel.

The unfinished ‘Sunday’ or ‘Sunday Parade’ or ‘Parade ‘ (I can’t make up my mind) on the easel.

To change the subject.  I have used Klean Strip OMS (odorless mineral spirits) for some time.  When I grabbed some the other day at the hardware store, I must not have been paying attention.  I poured the day’s portion and was shocked by how milky it was.  Unlike the usual water-clear OMS, this stuff is filmy like an acrylic medium.  I mistakenly purchased Klean Strips “green” version of OMS.

Hating to waste money and not having any of my usual OMS on-hand, I tried the stuff.  Yeech!  The paint spreads and loses all character. It’s useless for painting.   For my purposes, it’s expensive paint thinner.  The stuff does contain odorless mineral spirits (probably a minute portion) which is a petroleum distillate, and God know what else.  They claim it is “inflammable.”   But it’s poison.

The fumes of typical mineral spirits, or paint thinner, bother me. I only ever use it outside and then just to clean brushes or strip paint–house paint.  For painting on paintings I use turpentine (which does not bother me) and OMS. The trend continues that so-called ‘green’ things work less well than the things they replace.  I can’t think of a single art-related material where its green ‘upgrade’ wasn’t really a downgrade in terms of performance and usefulness.

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