anecdotes

Robert Doak

I was marveling about how good the sun-thickened oil is that I got from Robert Doak. Like everything I’ve ever purchased from him, the quality is excellent. I’m not out of the sun-thickened oil yet but I only have a half-bottle left. I hate to run out of supplies and I tend to stockpile them,…

I think no, I mean yes

…but it’s all wrong… So the song goes. This is a painting that I turned to the wall for a long time as I tried to work out what was bothering me about it. I do this frequently when I hit a wall. I put the painting aside and think about it. Sometimes solutions come…

Turpentine diaries 4/28/19

I planned on starting a podcast for a long time and today I finally got around to doing it. In the initial Turpentine diaries podcast, I talk about recovering a painting that failed, materially failed, as well as other art-related things. The podcast is about 14 minutes long. I understand that a successful podcast requires…

Baseline yourself

Regardless of where you are in your career, you will do well to establish a baseline for your oil-painting toolkit. The baseline provides a powerful framework that you can use to analyze materials and techniques. At some point in your journey, you begin to question the received wisdom that guided you at the outset. This…

Turpentine diaries 2/3/19

I finished these three paintings today. Yeah, that’s a lot for me. But all of them have been ‘almost’ done for some time. Paintings can represent problems to solve and after I solve them, if that doesn’t finish the painting, I set the painting aside. Either the solution didn’t solve the painting, or other paintings…

Venice turpentine

David Davis was an art supply dealer in New York. He closed before the turn of the century–well before, so I have no idea how old this Venice turpentine I found this morning is. At least 20 years old. At one time, Peal Paint and David Davis were art supplier royalty in NYC. I spent…

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…

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…