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View Full Version : Use of Maroger medium, drying


Mary Kathryn Massey
08-07-2002, 09:38 AM
I am using maroger painting medium for oil painting. i paint on both linen and board, each prepared so as not to absorb the paint. occasionally i have a painting that remains tacky and just seems not to dry. those of you who use the maroger, do you run into this problem? if so, how do you overcome it?

thanks for your suggestions.

mary

G.L. Hoff
08-07-2002, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by Mary Kathryn Massey
I am using maroger painting medium....occasionally i have a painting that remains tacky and just seems not to dry. those of you who use the maroger, do you run into this problem? if so, how do you overcome it?

thanks for your suggestions.

mary

Hi, Mary--

Welcome to WetCanvas. The first question I'd have is what brand of Maroger, or do you make your own? From my (relatively limited) experience with the medium, there's a great deal of variability in the commercial product. Some say that it should be made fresh every day (see http://studioproducts.com/forum/forum.html); others sell tubed medium. I've only used the Cennini brand from Studio Products. That Maroger dries to a solid finish in about 8 hours max. It is sold in two containers and you mix it fresh. Never had a drying problem.

I tend not to use it now, mostly because I've been exploring other mediums and somewhat because of the reports out there about significant darkening in relatively short periods of time. But there is a school of thought that says not all of these Marogers are created equal and some are higher in quality (hence, maybe darken less).

Regards

Leopoldo1
08-07-2002, 10:43 AM
Mary, I have used it for years without any problems of drying, tackiness, or darkening. Some of my paintings using maroger exclusively go back as far as 10 years. Wonderful medium to use. The smell is intoxicating, addictive and wonderful! Thixotropic. Studio Products makes a wonderful product that I have sampled I make my own mastic and black oil to produce maroger. Anybody interested in buying some Chios mastic tears? I am sitting on a bunch!...........L

Wayne Gaudon
08-07-2002, 11:40 AM
Leopoldo
Chios mastic tears? Excuse my lack of knowledge here but are they used to make the varnish that reacts with the black oil to make the gel medium?
I've read how the oil is boiled to make black oil and wouldn't attempt that at this point in time.

How about the varnish? Is it a simple adding of items to the tears or more complicated and does the varnish have any use other than to make the maroger medium?

Mary Kathryn Massey
08-07-2002, 11:49 AM
thanks to you all for your terric comments. i wanted to clarify that i am using the maroger packaged in a tube which needs to be used up within a six month period. i also had this same problem when i used Liquin as the beginning layer and then, used this maroger to finish the painting.

i am not familiar with the kind you mention but it certainly sounds similar. i appreciate the link to learn more about it.

i have not seen any darkening or yellowing with the maroger i currently use. the issue has been the lack of drying.

thanks so much for your time and help with this. by the way, i too had not heard about the mastic tears. how interesting!

mary

Wayne Gaudon
08-07-2002, 12:16 PM
Mary
.. I have read that the maroger chemical reaction which constitutes the substance of the medium is good for 3 days from mixing and after that you are using the ghost of maronger and not maroger as the chemicals have finished doing their thing .. meaning that maronger in a tube if not used within 3 days of mixing, is not maronger medium anymore and I could only deduct from this that butter substitute is not butter!

Leopoldo1
08-07-2002, 01:47 PM
Chios mastic tears? Excuse my lack of knowledge here but are they used to make the varnish that reacts with the black oil to make the gel medium?
Wayne, Yes that is true!
As far I am aware, mastic tears are produced only in Greece and the majority are harvested on the Greek island of Chios.


I've read how the oil is boiled to make black oil and wouldn't attempt that at this point in time.

Black oil is far less hazardous to make than the mastic varnish due to the low flash point of turpentine that is needed to dissolve with the tears.

How about the varnish? Is it a simple adding of items to the tears or more complicated and does the varnish have any use other than to make the maroger medium?

Mastic tears will not dissolve with turpentine at room temperature as does damar crystals. The turpentine needs to be heated but kept right at or below it's flash point, otherwise FIRE!. This presented me with a problem which I solved by grinding the mastic tears into a powder form in a coffee grinder. Much easier to dissolve.

Mastic varnish makes a superior picture varnish as well.....L

Leopoldo1
08-07-2002, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by Wayne Gaudon
Mary
.. I have read that the maroger chemical reaction which constitutes the substance of the medium is good for 3 days from mixing and after that you are using the ghost of maronger and not maroger as the chemicals have finished doing their thing .. meaning that maronger in a tube if not used within 3 days of mixing, is not maronger medium anymore and I could only deduct from this that butter substitute is not butter!

Wayne, I found this not to be true! I started making maroger which I tubed up from David Leffel's recipe years ago. Tubes I didn't use I refrigerated per Mr Lefell's instructions. I delved into the referigerator for these tubes for a few years before I ran out and never saw any change in my paint film! Worked great.

I know Rob at studio products has a contrary view, but he sells his product in two parts for his reasons. The only advantage I found in Rob's way by keeping the two separated before mixing, is, one could more easily filter out any debris from the mastic varnish by decanting the purer product from the top and leaving the settled debris on the bottom. In the old way, (Lefell's) we cooked everything together including any dirt, insects, etc. from the mastic (impossible to remove later) since it gels. Today I use Rob's method in adding the mastic varnish to the black oil when needed. I much cleaner maroger!.........L

Mary Kathryn Massey
08-07-2002, 04:51 PM
leopoldo,

yes, i believe the tubed maroger lasts longer than three days as well. what i am experiencing with the tackiness of the surface may be a result of the humidity. ( i am in indianapolis) as i mentioned i have also experienced this problem with an underpainting film of Liquin with a final paint surface of oil paints and maroger. do you notice any tardiness in drying if you are in a moist or humid place? the other thing is that the first layer dries bone dry over night. it's the second or third painting session that takes longer to dry.

also, do you have the recipe for making leffel's maroger and is it worth trying? i know breathing the lead materials is very bad, but how explosive is the cooking of it? should i even bother?

mary
:)

Wayne Gaudon
08-07-2002, 05:49 PM
Leopoldo
.. thank you very much .. as always you have the answers. Glad you cleared that up for me. As I'm in an apartment I really can't go goofing around with flash points but maybe one day I'll get lucky and get a house that I can insure and then play around.
:D

PS... I am beginning to see that usually if a person sells an item their views and visons are rather pointed. Love this site and the knowledge that is so easily obtained.

Thanks again ..

Leopoldo1
08-07-2002, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by Mary Kathryn Massey
do you notice any tardiness in drying if you are in a moist or humid place? the other thing is that the first layer dries bone dry over night. it's the second or third painting session that takes longer to dry.

also, do you have the recipe for making leffel's maroger and is it worth trying? i know breathing the lead materials is very bad, but how explosive is the cooking of it? should i even bother?

Mary, I never experienced those problems that your describe. I live in the northwest where the climate is temperate and not humid. Don't use more 20% to your paint nuts. If you mix a lot of it, it will slow down, where smaller amounts speeds up drying. If you add other resins or mineral spirits to maroger it will behave in erratic ways. Stay with this medium throughout your painting session. I generally add maroger to each paint nut on my palette to a sour cream consistancy and paint away. Usually don't have to varnish a painting afterwards because this medium leaves very little if not any, sunken areas! The painting is more unified

I am leaving for the week and when I return I will send you a sample of my stuff and recipe. E-mail me with your address. If you look and do a search on Maroger on the Net, there are recipes, all very similiar to Lefell's. It is less dangerous cooking everything together, versus cooking mastic varnish and black oil separately, even though like I said earlier, that is how I make it today. ..L

impressionist2
08-08-2002, 06:32 AM
Leopoldo wrote, "I generally add maroger to each paint nut on my palette to a sour cream consistancy and paint away. Usually don't have to varnish a painting afterwards because this medium leaves very little if not any, sunken areas! The painting is more unified"

Leopoldo, This is exactly the way my stand oil/turp mixture works and it's a joy to have it dry naturally to a high sheen without the need to varnish.

However, it's pretty messy-could be me! :p - and I am looking forward to receiving the Lukas painting butter ( Jerrys ships immediately, btw) anytime now. However, I forgot to ask Luis about the finish and whether I will still have the high gloss effect. That will be a problem if does not, as I am used to it now.

You will be getting a pm soon from me as I always read Leffel's book and wanted to try that medium. In fact, I'll buy a whole tube as there's no way I will be cooking up that mix! :D

Renee

Noble
08-08-2002, 10:18 AM
The reason for varnishing paintings isn't just to equalize the surface sheen. Varnishing will add a layer of protection so that the envioronment doesn't *react* with your painting surface and the years of pollutants attack the varnish and not your paint.

The idea is that it be removable without hurting the underlying film. Of course, varnish gets progressively harder to remove (cross linking) over time, but that's up to the owner of the piece to deal with. Most won't change varnishes as often as they should and so stronger solvents will be needed to take it off and the paint film might suffer a little.

Mary Kathryn Massey
08-08-2002, 11:08 AM
thanks for the tip on varnishes/ing. who knew??

mary

paintfool
08-08-2002, 12:43 PM
MAROGER. Can someone please give me the correct pronunciation of this word?

Noble
08-08-2002, 04:50 PM
Mare-Oh-zhay (french sounds)