View Full Version : The Oil Gusher July 23 - July 29

Pat Isaac
07-23-2007, 07:43 AM
Good morning everyone,

A rainy day here, but the garden and plants will love it. A quiet weekend working around the yard and house. We are now picking summer squashes and they are coming in fast and furious.
I will be getting the keys to our new studio space today so we can slowly start moving.
So come in and share your joys, concerns...or just the day to day routine and lets get aquainted.

Have a great day:) :) :)


07-23-2007, 09:18 AM
Glad to hear you have finally found a new studio space and can begin to move in. It's nice and sunny here today, for a change. Our vegetable garden isn't flourishing this year due to the rain. We're waiting on our plumber to arrive to install our new dishwasher; soon I hope, so I can soak up some sunshine. Jane

07-23-2007, 10:46 AM
Hello all!
Pat, we've had rain here for almost two weeks! And yesterday, with sunny skies predicted, we still had rain all morning! But the cooler temps are super nice in the afternoons and evenings!!

Post some pics of your new studio space! I know moving will be a big job if your studio is like mine....with a bed, I could probably live in mine!

I had a great day on Saturday!! Sold a 36x36 oil painting - one of my more abstract pieces. When I paint them, I'm always wondering if there will be a market for them!! LOL.

Pat Isaac
07-23-2007, 03:14 PM
Congratulations, Carly!!! Always nice to sell a piece. I will be sharing space with 2 other artists from my floor at the old building. I'll take pics when we get settled. The developer is starting to seal up the windows from the outside in preparation for remaval of the asbestos shingles. He is moving right along and most of us will be out by Sept. 1.
Hope you managed to soak up some sun, Jane. Is the new dishwasher in?


07-23-2007, 06:34 PM
Hi everybody! It's dreary and rainy here too, and has been for quite a while now. Ugh. I hate the humidity in weather like this; it just wrings me out. But it should get sunny again soon, and it's been good for my plants.

Pat: Oh, summer squashes - I love them. Lucky you. I once tried a piece of quiche made of baby summer squashes at a local cafe. It was yummy and really beautiful too, as the slices revealed the little rounds of squash inside the quiche. I'm happy to hear about you finally knowing where your new studio will be, Pat. You decided on the second building, instead of the former nursing home, didn't you? It's nice that your group isn't getting broken up and I hope that the move goes easily for you.

Jane: I hope your dishwasher gets installed with a minimum of hassle. Have your guests already gone, or are you still preparing for them?

Carly: You're lucky your summer rain has come with cooler temps, instead of heat and humidity! Congrats on that sale!

I just wanted to let people know that I'm planning to try oil painting. There are things I just can't do with OPs. Correction: I probably could do some of those things if I took the time to make some of my own OPs, melted from other colors, but I really have been wanting to give oils a try anyway. At any rate, I'll still continue to work in OPs - they're just so easy to work with generally (easy clean up, the ability to walk away from a piece in the middle and then start again at any time, etc.) that I suspect that they'll always remain my favorite medium. It's funny, I somehow have a slightly guilty sense about my plan to try oils, like I'm being "unfaithful" to OPs and all of you here. :lol:

Pat Isaac
07-23-2007, 06:46 PM
I certainly hope you stay with the OPs, Annie. You have dome some very nice work with them. I an also an oil painter, at least I worked in that medium for years and then found OPs. I now am starting to use oil glazes for an underpainting.
I did NOT go to the jursing home, prices were prohibitive. No one did, and the new owner is not going to guy the building as no one is going there. The building that I am going to was not one that we looked at, as the info from the artist looking at buildings didn't think this was feasible. However, it is, obviously. Too bad we didn't have the info sooner. I'll send pics when we are settled.
I have a recipe called zucchini quiche bread that we love. It uses a lot of zucchini so that is good.


07-23-2007, 08:22 PM
Congratulations, Carly, on the sale. Have fun trying oils, Annie. I doubt that you will abandon OPs; there are always times when it's just too much trouble to mix oil paint and to clean up afterward. Pat, our new dishwasher is installed, yeah! It seems much quieter than are old one and will accommodate much bigger pots. Jane

07-24-2007, 12:29 AM
Hi all. Read Harry Potter this weekend :thumbsup: Fortunately Mom understands and even suggested we cool off in the bookstore Saturday afternoon.

Lucky you with the summer squashes. My zucchinis & strawberries suffered alot while I was traveling. Combination of going too long without water and heatwave while I was gone. They're still green but not doing well, stunted growth too.

Annie, have fun with the oil painting. I keep starting paintings but it takes so long to dry before it's ready the next layer I lose interest again and again. I've actually always known oils aren't a match for my personality--I don't have the patience for it. But I inherited all Mom's stuff, so it doesn't cost me anything to keep trying whenever the mood hits me. When I want to finish something I use acrylic or OP's.

07-24-2007, 07:16 AM
Congratulations on the new new building, Pat!!!!!!!!! I assume, (hope) you got your deposit back from the one you are now not going to go to. The one you chose sounds so fabulous, thanks for the detailed description, I, too, will look forward to see photos of it. How long a drive is it from your house? How much further than your old studio? Glad you had a relaxing weekend.

I went to mom's Friday and came back Saturday. Even though there is more than enough to do here and the living room is in a shambles with packed boxes and no help yet moving furniture. I played the rest of the weekend. Rented a movie, played video games with a friend and went to a polo match in a nearby town Sunday. Had never gone to a polo match before -- it was fun. Took alot of pictures -- should be something(s) in there for future paintings.

Getting studio flooring in two weeks and then great room about two weeks after that. Still packing stuff up in great room -- if can just get some help, will work on that today, with moving furniture -- I can start painting the walls in earnest. Have a parrot to move into the studio room when it is done, it also impedes some work because of potential fumes. The saga continues, but is seems I will have to get it done for the floor. Handy man still missing -- will call him today or tomorrow, then will have to give up on him if he can't come again.

I photographed the dog painting I was working on, but see something else I want to fiddle with, so may do that and get it reposted today. I saw a websit called "The One Million Masterpiece", it supplies software for people to make a painting and contribute to composite painting by a million artists. I worked on that Sunday night and off and on while working on packing here yesterday. The software was difficult at first, but started to get a handle on it later. Some very young artists (15-22) doing some very fantastic work there.

Hope you enjoy trying the oil painting, Annie. Let us know if you post on the oil painting forum here at WC.

Did you get all of your projects done before company, Jane?

Hi, Julie, sounds like you had a relaxing weekend, too.

The lack or rain is impacting our ability to get hay, too. We usually buy second cutting now for the winter, but the two fellows I usually buy from are scuttling baling the second cutting -- because it just isn't tall enough due to lack of rain. There could be a third cutting, if it we get more rain, but the supply and demand thing will probably drive up the price. It is kinda of scary not being sure if you can get the winter supply in. They will not commit now to how much they might have to sell.

Fondly, Angela

Pat Isaac
07-24-2007, 07:56 AM
I did get the deposit back from the first building. My new studio space is about 2 blocks away from my old space in the same town. The shoe industry was started in this area and their are shoe mills in several of the surrounding towns. My town has 4 mills....one is crumbling into the ground, one has been taken over by a developer,(where I am now), another is family owned and a mess (where I put a deposit) and the other houses a lot of business and now a lot of artists.
Glad you took the weekend off Angela, sounds like you enjoyed yourself and we all certainly need down time. Once your floors are in the renovations should go faster.
Welocme back, Julie. Hope your trip was fun.


07-24-2007, 10:56 AM
Pat, I'm happy to hear that you got your deposit back. Finally, a good solution has emerged. It's too bad that the person who first evaluated the building was negative about it. Annie and Angela, the visitors are gone; we still have some work to do on the floor in the dining room area, where our chairs have worn down the surface. Angela, glad you took time to have some fun and I hope you get a positive reply from the handyman. Will be looking forward to your dog posting. Julie, I hope you had a good time on your holiday. We did our first load of dishes with our new dishwasher last night and it worked very well. It has a lot of advantages over our old one (which was nearly 9 years old). Jane

07-26-2007, 03:25 PM
Pat, Jane, Julie and Angela: Thanks for the good wishes about oil painting. There's not a chance in the world that this means I'll abandon my OPs - mostly for the reasons you mentioned, Jane. Julie, I've thought the same thing about oils in the past (don't have the patience to wait for paint to dry), but what I'm going to be trying is to paint alla prima - no waiting. (At least I think there's no waiting...I still have a lot to learn.)

Pat, the zucchini bread sounds yummy. I make a Mexican-style soup with lots of zucchini too, and often put them chopped up raw in pasta salads - there are all sorts of recipes out there, probably because the plants are so prolific at this time of year - and besides they're really good. I'll be looking forward to seeing the pics of your new space - it sounds like it's perfectly situated.

Congrats on the dishwasher, Jane.

Julie: Sometimes even very stressed plants will recover with a little TLC - I hope yours do.

Angela: I'm glad to hear your remodeling is moving along - it sounds like there's just one more big push and then you're done. Good! I hope the situation improves regarding the hay - that would be a worry.

Pat Isaac
07-26-2007, 07:09 PM
Very hot and humid today and that is okay as it is summer. However, they started taking off the asbestos shingles at my studio building today and last week they had sealed the windows on the outside on the wing that my studio is on. That meant that today I could not open windows. Actually, I could have on the front side, but was nervous about it.(so the studio was a lilttle llike a sauna). I went through stuff and packed today. It is getting there and the one good thing about moving is that you get rid of a lot of stuff that you don't need. I had a lot of books that I had purchased when I was teaching and used for reference in my photo and painting classes. I did give some to a new teacher who was starting out, but the photo books were hard to find a home for as many of the photo programs are now digital. My artist friend next door said put them in the hall and what is left when we move, take and find a place. Most of the books are gone now, as other artists or interested people have taken them. Wonderful.The studio is starting to look very bare. Sad, but we are starting a new beginning that I hope is even better.
I had one of my pieces accepted into the 2009 North River Arts calendar exhibit and competition. I won't know if I won a month, but it was exciting to be one of the finalists. I did get a month in the 2008 calendar.

Stay cool.


07-26-2007, 08:02 PM
Pretty hot here too, so I just took it easy today sitting on the back porch. Pat, congratulations on your calendar competition placing in 2009 and month for 2008. Jane

07-26-2007, 09:13 PM
It's chilly enough here today that even though it's sunny, it's really just a little too cold to sit outside (which I'm doing anyway, since the weather is so much better than rain or overcast). Sheesh, what happened to global warming? This summer has been really cold so far and it's almost August!

Congrats, Pat, on the acceptance in the calendar competition. I think you're gonna be really happy with your move.

07-26-2007, 11:22 PM
Congrats on the calendar Pat.

Wow, Angela, you're really busy! Whew!

I haven't used my dishwasher in over 7 years. I don't think it works anymore, something may have frozen or clogged but I don't miss it. It was too noisy anyway.

In case anyone's interested, I've posted my Bermuda sketches in the Artwork for life forum, here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=434946).

Pat Isaac
07-27-2007, 08:10 AM
Those are great little sketches, Julie. It's so nice to do journaling of your trips and keep an artistic record.


07-27-2007, 10:56 PM
I just wanted to let people know that I'm planning to try oil painting. There are things I just can't do with OPs. Correction: I probably could do some of those things if I took the time to make some of my own OPs, melted from other colors, but I really have been wanting to give oils a try anyway. At any rate, I'll still continue to work in OPs - they're just so easy to work with generally (easy clean up, the ability to walk away from a piece in the middle and then start again at any time, etc.) that I suspect that they'll always remain my favorite medium. It's funny, I somehow have a slightly guilty sense about my plan to try oils, like I'm being "unfaithful" to OPs and all of you here. :lol:
Annie, I feel the same way you do too! I'm bringing my oils and ops to the Smoky Mountains next week. Have to see. I do love ops very much but long to paint in oils also. You have to let me know where you are hanging out.

Pat, congrats on the new building. It really did not take toooooo long but it must have been an anxious time . Congrats too on your calender acceptance.
Congrats to Carley too on your painting sale!!!

Pat Isaac
07-28-2007, 08:41 AM
Thanks, Lindsay. Have a great trip and be sure to post some of your paintings from the trip. Next week when we get the keys to our new space we will slowly start moving over the month of August.
I also just heard that I received and honorable mention in the Oil Pastel Society of Maine's national juried show.


07-28-2007, 08:50 AM
Pat, great news on your Honourable Mention :clap: Which painting was it? Have fun on your family trip, Lindsay. Don't feel guilty using oils - I do every now and then, but I keep coming back to OPs as much easier for me to deal with. Jane

Pat Isaac
07-28-2007, 09:04 AM
Thanks, Jane. It was the painting of the blue bowl. You can see it in this link.


07-28-2007, 09:08 AM
Oh, Pat, that's beautiful. I love the unusual viewpoint and the colours are wonderful, especially the reflections of the fruit on the bowl. Jane

07-28-2007, 10:04 AM
Pat, congrats! YOu have such amazing control of the media!!! Love seeing your work.
Jane, thanks. I'm sure I'll come to this conclusion also....oils are a pain...but buttery and I can mix the colors I want. I'm thinking that my acrylic experiments will give me what I'm looking for too.....A bit more flexibility with color.

07-28-2007, 10:13 PM
Julie: I love those sketches! Tell us more about your trip!

Lindsay: Interesting that you would come to the same conclusion about oils as I did at about the same time. Have you had experience with them before? I've taken a couple of classes - years ago - but didn't really ever progress very far. But I've learned a lot here at WC that I think (I hope) will transfer to oils - color, value, etc. are really more or less the same in any medium. I still haven't managed to actually do the deed yet though. :lol: Who knows, maybe I won't even like oil painting, but I just want to try it. Where I'm mostly hanging out right now is art supply stores and oil painting websites and books. It's fascinating. Have fun on your trip. I'll be looking forward to seeing those plein aires.

Pat: Congrats on the Honorable Mention! It's a beautiful painting - terrific reflections!

07-29-2007, 10:22 AM
Lindsay and Annie, I'll be very interested to hear how you find working with oils. For me, the possibility of mixing any colour you want is very appealing, but achieving the required mix is sometimes tedious (and wasteful, as I discard the wrong colour mixes). I've tried working with a primary palette plus white (and sometimes black to mix greys like Christensen) to simplify the process, but then I can't get all the colours I want, particularly some greens and sky blue. So I expand my palette by adding sap green, yellow ochre, burnt sienna and cerulean blue and then I can mix too many colours. So I get frustrated and use colours I'm not really happy with, and berate myself for my ineptitude. With OPs, I have to choose from my collection, and if I can only approximate a colour, I know that it's not my fault. :lol: And it gives me a reason to shop for more art supplies. :) I hope you both have more success, as I'm sure you will with your good colour sense. Jane

Pat Isaac
07-29-2007, 11:19 AM
I did oils for years and always loved working with them. I even started some oils this past spring, but had to put them aside because of other committments. After I get moved, I hope to pick them up again. I really do like adding OPs to an oil underpainting. I think my oil background is one of the reasons I like OPs so much.
Good luck with the oils.


07-29-2007, 11:37 AM
Pat, when you paint in oils do you paint alla prima or do you use glazes? Can you post some examples here for us - I'd love to see some of your oils. Jane

Pat Isaac
07-29-2007, 12:57 PM
Probably a combination of both. I'll have to take a couple of pics and then I'll post. I don't have many left and I often painted with a palette knife.


07-29-2007, 01:49 PM
Thanks for looking, Pat & Annie. There's not alot to tell. It was the most relaxing vacation I've had in a long time. Usually the vacation is so busy that I need to get back to work to get some rest.

I'm listening to all you guys are saying about oil painting. Whether alla prima or layers, I've never been able to paint anything in oils but mud. In acrylics class I had my best successes by starting with a full tonal grisalle then glazing my colors on.

07-29-2007, 02:31 PM
Julie, that's the best kind of vacation. I'm interested to hear you use the grisaille method with acrylics. I'd like to experiment with that in acrylics, since they dry quickly, and I'm not patient enough to wait for oils to dry between layers. Do you use a medium to achieve the glazes? Jane

07-29-2007, 02:35 PM
I'd really appreciate getting some feedback regarding my thoughts on switching over to oils. The questions aren't specifically oil painting questions (or OP questions either), really, but have more to do with overall direction. Since the people in this forum are probably most familiar with the work I've done here at WC, I'm asking it here. This didn't seem like it should be posted as it's own thread; it isn't really about OPs. This isn't the sort of thing that's normally posted here, but I don't know where else to ask it.

After obsessing about oil painting for over a week now, I'm beginning to have second thoughts. Reviewing the work I've done over the last several months, it's clear that one of the problems I've been having is paying too little attention to drawing. This may be because of a bad habit of trying to do everything really fast in order to meet the one hour time limit in the Sketch Thread, but also has to do with an impatience with drawing, in my eagerness to get to the color part.

The Sargent copy I recently did is a good example of this problem of mine. There were errors in the initial drawing that threw the whole thing off. Because I started out planning to only sketch one eye, only later deciding to expand it to more of the face, and because I had already started with color, I rushed to knock out the rest of the drawing super quickly. I can draw quite accurately (although I tend to be a reviser, rather than someone who gets it perfect from the first line) but lately just haven't been bothering. The need to do a painting all in one sitting doesn't provide the time to let the work sort of percolate for a while; I get emotional while painting and so need time for that response to wear off before I can really "see" what I've done.

So this leads to the idea of trying oil painting, where I'm planning on using the alla prima technique, partly because by doing so solvent use can be reduced, but also because I like the look of texture and expressive brushwork. But what will happen when my increasingly lazy drawing techniques are applied to oil? Will the problems I really need to work on solving right now will only be exacerbated by the need to work quickly in one layer in oil? (At least I imagine I would need to work quickly - perhaps using paints with long open times would mean I have more time - I guess this part is an oil painting forum question.) I also wonder if the need to set my paintings aside for a while, in order to regain my objectivity about what I've done is compatible with an alla prima painting style.

I think that I could easily become a photorealist if I decided that's what I wanted to do, but I have no interest in that direction. But am I setting myself up for failure by chosing a medium/style that may be likely to expand on the errors I'm already making?

I guess I feel I'm at some sort of a crossroads right now, but am not certain that oil painting is really the right direction for me. I realize this may be quite OT for those who don't deal with oils at all, but your thoughts would be appreciated.

Now returning you to the regular programming...

07-29-2007, 03:10 PM
I'm not patient enough to wait for oils to dry between layers. Do you use a medium to achieve the glazes?

That's me, too When I've got an idea, I want to execute NOW. Yep, mix up the color you want and add acrylic medium to get the transparency. How much depends on how strong the color is. Might still need several layers of a more transparent color if you want stronger tint. I had a couple trouble spots and teacher suggested I glaze in white in one area, black in another. It never crossed my mind I could glaze with black or white, too. Just remember how opaque titanium white is and use a little bit.

I haven't gotten to the point yet where I've been ready to glaze in oils. I bought Liquin after my first mud disaster but supposedly Liquin's tendancy to yellow makes it a bad choice for glazing medium. Recently Mom found copal medium in her closet. If I ever get to that point, that's what I'll try next.

07-29-2007, 03:18 PM
Julie, thanks for your reply. I hope to try this with acrylics soon. I gather that copal medium (if it actually is copal - some manufacturers label other stuff that, so check the ingredients) is good - Larry Seiler uses it a lot.

Annie, I may not be understanding your worries correctly, and what I'm saying may be completely off the mark (and/or too simplistic). As an aside, I avoided the quick sketch challenge because I knew that I would fall into sloppy drawing habits if I tried to draw quickly. I know that being able to draw quickly has some advantages (plein air for example), but I think it depends on the individual as to how well this works.

You can do as careful a drawing on your canvas as you want before you begin to paint. Perhaps you should think of that as a separate step, which you could then study as long as you want with regard to composition and correctness. Then you can paint it precisely or loosely - that's up to you. You don't have to complete an oil painting in one sitting for it to be painted in the "alla prima" method, if by that you mean using opaque paint mixes, rather than a grisalle followed by thin glazes. The paint stays wet long enough to paint into for at least 24 hours, and usually longer, depending on the pigments involved. If you get a colour chart, it will tell you the relative drying times of the pigments. I often paint a first approximation on one day and then refine that for a couple of days. I find my oil paintings are naturally looser than my OPs because, in my hand, a brush loaded with oil paint isn't capable of that much precision. I marvel at the precision classical still life artists achieve, but I gather that they use the grisaille method with suitably thinned paint and glazes. I tend to use my paint straight out of the tube with no added medium. That avoids issues with regard to fat over lean, and keeps the paint workable. It is true that if you paint over several days, you will have to clean your brushes more often, but if you follow the solvent-free cleaning suggestions, you don't need to use solvents at all. I think that the only way you'll know if oil paint can do what you want is to try it. Buy a small selection of colours and a few brushes and see what happens. Good luck. Jane

07-29-2007, 04:38 PM
Jane: That was really helpful. Thanks. I have some ancient oil paints already. They're mostly Permanent Pigments brand, which are no longer made, but I understand were a reasonably good artist quality brand (I may have gotten them back in the '60s, when I first went to the university!), so really, I should be ready to go. Perhaps I'm simply getting cold feet about trying a new medium.

Your comments about looking at the drawing as a separate step were especially useful. I had imagined "drawing" with oil and brush, but there's really no reason I have to approach it that way. Thanks again, Jane!

I should add that as far as the Weekly Sketch thread is concerned my problem probably has more to do with my seeming inability to choose appropriate subjects, or to know when to stop. I've had a tendency to pick subjects that are more appropriate as paintings vs. quick sketches. I still think it's been a great learning tool to participate.

Julie: I would think that a grisaille is least suited to someone who wants to "execute NOW" - don't you have to fuss around with all those layers? (Or maybe I misunderstand and you meant that you just want to keep working without the interruption of waiting for drying.)

Pat Isaac
07-29-2007, 04:54 PM
I'm probably not the person to comment on this as I LOVE to draw and I always feel that the drawing is most important to the final painting whatever it is. Jane has a good point of thinking of it as a separate step. Quick sketches are another animal and often the drawing is not accurate, but that is the nature of the animal. It also depends on what you are painting. Some subjects do not require the drawing accuracy that others do. I often did the drawing with a brush when I did oil painting. It can be easily corrected. Looking at some of your OPs, Annie, I think you could easily get into alla prima oil painting. You have a nice painterly feel to some of your work.
Don't know if this helps at all.


07-29-2007, 09:20 PM
Pat: It's funny, because I love to draw too, but have begun to rush through it, probably because I find color so exciting that I can't wait to get to that part. Maybe it's just a temporary phase as I push myself to paint faster.

I think I'm just nervous about venturing into the unknown with oils. I'll get over it. :lol: Thanks for your reassuring comments about how I might move easily to alla prima painting. They have helped (and I hope you're right)!

07-30-2007, 12:51 AM
Annie, for me it means I see a complete picture right away, so I know my foundation is solid. Then I hit the ugly stage, dang it ;)