Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Sunset, Hogback Mountain

Sunset, Hogback Mountain. oil on panel, 6.75 x 11 in.

I haven't posted to this blog as frequently as in the past. I feel that I've made some significant progress in certain areas of my work, while being drawn back to older past techniques I still value.

To elaborate, after many years of research and experimentation, I don't mix as much of my paints as I did in the past. When it came to tubing my hand mixed colors, many would separate in the tubes, especially heavy colors such as the cadmiums. This was too wasteful to tolerate. While I knew I could use additives to fix this problem, I felt that defeated the purpose of making my own paint. Why not just buy paint from skilled paintmakers if I could not guarantee the quality I wanted? 

I still mix some paint, but I've scaled the practice back a lot, and I buy a lot more paint now. I think its better for my final product and creativity. At this point, there are more options to purchase "natural" paint than even ten years ago, and the quicker looser style I'm moving towards is sometimes better suited to commercial paint. I would not have come to understand what I value from paint if I had not done so much study and investigation into materials, and that's valuable.

Over one particularly miserably hot summer, I chose to free myself from the sweltering confines of the studio, and headed out to Long Island. This became a regular destination for many months as I wanted a change of pace from the city. Eschewing the studio, I started doing plein air work again. The practice of plein air work has been both liberating and taken a lot of practice and adjustment. I hope to post more on this in the future, as I've found the challenge very rewarding. 

My focus going forward is going to be this work, rotating between several regular destinations, Virginia, NYC, Long Island, as well as other locales that I visit in my travels.