Random Thoughts of Late

My brain. It goes where it wants at times, dwelling where I wish it wouldn’t and flitting past other places much too soon, sometimes without a trace of ever having visited. Ugh. Perhaps you can relate.

My memory might not be as good as it once was, but I still have thoughts and ideas. Here are some of late.

Paint and toxicity

I have used safflower oil as a medium for several years because of its non-toxicity. Recently I have been experimenting with Liquin as it was recommended as a good medium to use with transparent paint for glazing purposes. I’ll have to admit, I do like it quite a bit more than safflower oil because it’s silky smooth and makes my paint spread like butter. But. (Always something, eh?) I don’t like the smell. At. All. Which leads me to something else I have been thinking about. Air filters.

To Filter or Not

Do you use an air filter in your art studio? I’m curious about this. I work in a fairly large room in our basement, but it is not such that I could open the windows for ventilation purposes. I haven’t used a fan or a filter or any such thing, but I am seriously contemplating it because of the aforementioned Liquin and the Gamsol I use to clean my brushes. I have also wondered what it would be like to not have to consider an air filter or ventilation by using water mixable oils.

Water Mixable Oils

So, if I were to make a switch to a more health friendly painting environment, I could certainly give water mixable oils a spin. Have you tried them? When I first made the transition from acrylic to oil, I bought a few water mixable paints to experiment. I didn’t know enough about oil paint at the time to judge whether I liked them or not. I may circle around and give them a whirl again. If you’ve tried them, please pipe up, I’m always interested.

Light Effects and Pigment

One last thing that has been on my mind. I have always feared using too much chroma in my paintings as I don’t want to be that girl – the one who uses every color with abandon and straight out of the tube. For that reason, I have been quite a fan of a limited palette and graying down my paint mixtures. I just love beautiful grays.

Fast Friends | Oil on Canvas | 11 x 14 | © Beth Cole

Fast Friends | Oil on Canvas | 11 x 14 | © Beth Cole

But lately, as I have been painting a dawn/twilight series, I have come to realize the effect of light comes not from lightening the value with white, but with using the right amount of the right color of pigment in just the right place and using layers to calm things down if need be. It has really been a revelation and one that has transformed my thinking about color.

Rooted | OIl on Linen | 11 x 14 | © Beth Cole | SOLD

Rooted | OIl on Linen | 11 x 14 | © Beth Cole | SOLD

Now my process oriented brain is concerned with putting too MUCH pigment and color into my work, going completely off the other side of the horse. Sigh. Time will tell.

Another thing I have realized is it’s okay to paint the lovely. I quite enjoy dawn and twilight and I have made a point almost daily to observe and take in the landscape at these hours. It is so beautiful.

The painting of such times is quite a challenge, due to the aforementioned chroma dilemma. I need some but not too much you see. I’m slowly learning what works and doesn’t work for these times of day. Our Maker is so generous in the light show He gives every day. I am so thankful I live in a place where I can actually see the horizon. It is a privilege and one I don’t want to take lightly.

And here I am, nearing the end of my ramblings, and if you are still reading, well, you’re a star, and I owe you a debt of gratitude. Until next time, keep those brushes wet.

--Beth Cole
Soli Deo Gloria

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