Oil Isn't Just What's in The Ground


In a world that looks at oil prices as something related to cars, I thought I'd start talking about oil Paint. (grin.) You see, oil isn't just for cars, what's in your skin, or what you use to cook.

Righhhhttt. I can just hear you... Oil paint is (in my opinion) the standard for art and paint. It's been the primary medium for centuries, and actually hasn't changed a great deal in all these years.

Many of the great masters from the 1500's used oil paints for their work, and it's proven itself to be a medium that lasts, with proper care, for ages. Rembrandt is probably one of the most famous, and I'm always amazed at how he was able to use oil to create depth and feeling in a flat canvas. His painting of the Musketeers (the one pictured above -- sorry it's so small) is one of my favorites.

I haven't talked much about oil painting, because it's a medium that is difficult for me. It's one that takes a lot of patience. If you've worked with paint at all, however, you know that oil paint is a texture all it's own. It has a smooth, creamy feel -- almost sensual. It's difficult to keep from smearing it all over your fingers and remembering what it was like as a kid when finger painting was the favorite pastime.

No wonder kids liked to do it...I even discovered there was an artist that actually painted that way for show -- interesting. But anyway, I digress. Oil painting is something that I think takes a lot of talent. It's also difficult when the painting takes a very long time to dry (think 3 days) and you have children that are curious and want to touch it!! That's one of the reasons I don't use it...

We are blessed to have some really wonderful artists that are members of the church who paint with oil. Many of the names will sound familiar: Arnold Friberg, Mark Gudmundsen (who does amazing paintings of Yosemite), Simon Dewey (who everyone will recognize from his paintings of Christ -- so beautiful!), and of course, Greg Olsen! Unfortunately the list goes on, but I can only talk about so many at a time.


What really gets me excited, is the creation of water soluble oil paint. When using traditional oil paint, you have to clean everything with turpentine, and things really smell. The oil paint itself smells, and it's very messy. Since I'm not into smells (since my studio is my home, and everyone else has to deal with it too) nor am I into hard to clean stuff, I stayed away from oils. (Did I mention it's also more expensive?)

But this last Christmas my hubby chanced on a beginner kit of water soluble oil paints. I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself. Finally! The option to use a historical medium with lower mess and smell. I had forgotten the time thing though...and yes, it still takes three days to dry. (Reference my blog on my mailbox -- that's what I painted with it.)

So...I guess if I'm really going to get into the oils, I'll have to invest in more paints and the additives that help the paint dry faster. Hmmm. I guess it will take some thought. But, in the meantime, I'll get to play around with it and see what I can do.

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