Monday, December 1

Interest in Oil Painting

Today’s Image

I enjoyed a long Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the USA, which included travel to the mid-American city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. While there, we were shown around town, which included seeing several old buildings which date from the 1920s and 1930s. The main feature of many of these buildings is their Art Deco architecture and style. Art Deco is the style and form from that era that touched design elements from artwork to architecture to furnishings. Art Deco featured sleek, simple lines, many with squared (or rounded) prominent corners to imply movement, and sometimes shiny surfaces and obvious ornamental details for a modern (also called Moderne) look. It was somewhat surprising to see the number of Art Deco buildings in Tulsa, which is a medium-sized city (metro area population 840,000). In a tribute to urban preservation in Tulsa, most of these buildings are still in good-to-excellent condition. Today’s Image is a shot of the façade of a Native American arts and crafts trading center.

Renewed Interest in Oil Painting

If you are a regular viewer of Orbisplanis Art Blog, then you may recall I prefer acrylics over oil paints for very good and practical reasons. It’s not that I dislike oil paints or the beautiful results achieved from artists from the 17th century to the present. To the contrary, I am quite satisfied with my several oil paintings completed since renewing my interest in painting last year, and think they are some of my best.

No, I prefer acrylics over oils for these practical reasons: acrylic paint is odorless and acrylic paint is fast-drying.

My “studio” is in the house, not in a separate building or in a distant, out-of-the-way corner. My studio is in a room that has the largest window and best light, although the window faces west rather than north. It also happens to have a tile floor and is air-conditioned and central-heated.

Oil paint, and its friends turpentine and even “odorless” mineral spirits (OMS), can make a house smell like, well, an artist’s studio (see my blog on OMS). Nothing wrong with that except it can permeate the entire house. With acrylics I can paint away the day odor free.

In addition, oil paint takes an extraordinarily long, long time to dry in my climate, which is known for its abundant humidity three out of four seasons. Humidity and oil painting do not mix well, at least in my opinion. I know several of you would argue that great oil paintings have been rendered throughout the great art periods in all kinds of climatic conditions including humidity. Of course, that is true. However, I’m not aware of any great artists who lived and painted in a semi-tropical (not to mention un-air conditioned) climate. Many, if not most, of the greatest oil painters lived in temperate Europe, North America, or Asia, but not in the parts with extreme heat or humidity though.

But I digress. So, my oil painting period is relegated to the Winter season, which is fast approaching (in the northern hemisphere). During Winter I can set up a second “studio” part-time in my garage (car park), which is in a separate, although un-air conditioned and un-heated space. During this time I renew my interest and skill with oil paints. Many artists are of the opinion there is a superior and “certain look” with oil paintings, and others have a bias for acrylics--just link to the Oil Painting, Acrylic, or Café Guerbois channels on and you’ll see. However, I am glad to be able to enjoy both mediums if only one or the other during certain seasons, and I am looking forward to oil painting again.

In the Studio

Before moving part-time to the garage during Winter, I still have work to do on several acrylics I have planned in my indoor “studio.” I’ll keep you posted with updates.


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