Grounded

I don’t mind being grounded by the pandemic. After all, I already spend most of my time isolated in my studio working. But I’m not alone; I’m in constant contact with the world–the current one the past one. It’s not work either. Working on art nourishes and refreshes me.

I do miss my weekly trip to the museum, however. I miss talking to my friends–Rodin, Rubens and the rest.

I wrote before about some technical issues I experienced with this painting, Crossing. I originally blamed a medium that I was testing, but that was wrong and I’ve since identified the culprit.

I’ discovered that the problem is the Williamsburg Titanium Oil Ground that I used. I’d used Williamsburg Lead Oil Ground in the past with good results and, trying to save a buck, thought, “why not?” How many times have I regretted the results of ‘trying to save a buck’?

This ground has solid body, like its lead-based cousin. Its paste-like consistency makes it easy to apply with a scrapper. But looks aren’t everything. The canvas surface was too slick, which should have alerted me to the problem. Unfortunately, I didn’t know there was an issue until some already-dried paint lifted from the surface. On a properly prepared canvas, this will NEVER happen.

I don’t want to pick on Williamsburg. To be fair, I use a lot of their stuff and will continue to buy materials from them. But not their titanium oil ground. My takeaway is to never use titanium oil grounds; not from Williamsburg, not from anyone.

Anyway, I was able to fix things and finish the painting.

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