Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Clean up

It's a lot less fun, and excrutiatingly painful at times, to go back and finish a second-rate painting after knocking out a first-rate one. But here is where I'm leaving 'Curtain,' at least for the moment:

It could be better. But at this point I don't think that fussing will make it so. The main point of the painting, as I conceived it, is the tension and the contrast between the crusty stuff and the glowy stuff:

Which is more or less what everything is about, really.

I know what the title of my next show will be. Fanfare please:

The Implicate Order
"In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the "explicate" or "unfolded" order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders..."

--David Bohm, 1980

"I don't know how you'd paint that."
--my brother, 2007

I could go on and on, at the moment, about how Bohm's theories of the implicate order integrate nicely with what Ken Wilber calls the 'perennial philosophy,' exemplified by Eastern mysticism--that space and time are illusory, the nature of mind is unbroken unity, and that the world as we see it is a projection of a filtered mind.

But since, in general, I despise artists who yammer incessantly instead of creating, I shall get back to work, painting the scarcely conceiveable.

I will say, however, that for me, the implicate order=God.


Chris Rywalt said...

She sez:
I despise artists who yammer incessantly instead of creating...

Aw, crap. I thought you liked me.

In my defense, I tried creating, but I'm out of blank canvases. Again. I checked on my panels and they're dry enough to paint on, but they're so lumpy and uneven, I find the idea of attempting to put paint on them painful. And I don't think they're dry enough to sand.

In desperation I figured, to hell with this, I'm going to buy a big pad of canvas paper. Screw it. So I ran out to the art supply store only to find that a big canvas pad costs about $25 and I can't swing that right now. $12 I could maybe have managed. $25 no.

So instead I'm yammering.

painterdog said...

Chris lumpy and uneven?
This does not sound like you did it right. If your making panels at least use fake gesso(acrylic) and paint it on in thin coats lightly saning in between.


You should try get your craft together, other wise you will waste more time.

This is interesting on traditional oil of turpintine:

Oil of turpentine (Oleum terebinthinae) is administered internally as an anthelmintic to kill tapeworm. Applied externally it possesses, in higher degree than any of its fellows, the properties of the volatile oils. It acts as a rubefacient, an irritant and a counter-irritant. It is also an antiseptic and, in small quantities, a feeble anaesthetic. It is absorbed by the unbroken skin. The drug is largely employed as a counterirritant, the pharmacopoeial liniments being very useful applications. Such conditions as myalgia, bronchitis, "chronic rheumatism" and pleurisy are often relieved by its use. It may also be employed as a parasiticide in ringworm and similar conditions.

In large doses oil of turpentine causes purging and may induce much haemorrhage from the bowel; it should be combined with some trustworthy aperient, such as castor oil, when given as an anthelmintic. It is readily absorbed unchanged and has a marked contractile action upon the blood vessels. This gives it the rare and valuable property of a remote haemostatic, erroneously supposed to be possessed by so many useless drugs. It must not be used to check haemorrhage from the kidneys (haematuria) owing to its irritant action on those organs, but in haemoptysis (haemorrhage from the lungs) it is often an invaluable remedy. In large doses it has a depressant action on the nervous system, leading even to coma and total abolition of reflex action. The drug is excreted partly by the bronchi - which it tends to disinfect - and partly in the urine, which it causes to smell of violets. Glycuronic acid also appears in the urine. A small portion of the drug is removed by the skin, in which it may give rise to an erythematous rash. It must not be given to the subjects of Bright's disease.

Perhaps the most valuable of all the medicinal applications of turpentine, and one which is rarely, if ever, mentioned in therapeutic textbooks - owing to the fact that gynaecology has been so extremely specialized - is in inoperable cancer of the uterus. Quite 90% of these cases are seen too late for operation, and nearly all recur after operation. The exhausting pain, the serious haemorrhages, and the abdominal septicity associated with a repulsive odour and the absorption of toxic products, which are the chief and ultimately fatal symptoms of that disease, are all directly combated by the administration of oil of turpentine. So beneficial is the action that for years there prevailed the unfortunately erroneous belief that Chian turpentine is actually curative in this condition. But it undoubtedly prolongs life, lessens suffering, and by checking the growth of bacteria upon the cancer reduces the fetid odour and the symptoms of septic intoxication.

Chris Rywalt said...

Painterdog sez:
This does not sound like you did it right.

Yeah, no kidding. I tried using Gamblin's ground, which is apparently a canvas-only product. Well, maybe it isn't strictly, but it sure didn't work all that well with my panels. I basically didn't do it right.

Real gesso takes a long time to dry, though, doesn't it?

prettylady said...

Aw, crap. I thought you liked me.

You yammer incessantly about Things Generally, which is just fine. It's the people who only yammer about Their Own Art whom I can't stand.

And if a panel isn't dry enough to sand, it's not dry enough to paint on, either. Sheesh, what art school did you go to?

Chris Rywalt said...

She sez:
And if a panel isn't dry enough to sand, it's not dry enough to paint on, either.

Well, it, uh, er, yeah. It may be dry. But it's happened where I thought it was dry enough to sand, and then sanding took off the top dry layer revealing the not-quite-dry sticky stuff underneath.

The main problem is I am impatient. I hate waiting.

painterdog said...

Chris true gesso is made with rabbit skin glue and whiting(gypsum, or chalk).

It drys very fast and you can make a panel in few hours give or take.

Or just use acrylic gesso it drys faster and is easer to use as you don't have to make it. Buy golden gesso it's the best and you can cut it with water, say 2(gesso) to 1(water).

Let it dry to the touch, lightly sand, put on another coat in the opposite direction to the first one. Repeat 5 or 6 times and you will have a good panel to paint on.

Through away the lumpy ones, they are toast.

Here is a link to a recipe for true gesso:

Chris Rywalt said...

You did hear the bit where I mentioned I'm impatient? No way on Earth am I making my own anything. Especially if it involves dead rabbits.

I've read about all that stuff. Gamblin says true gesso -- with marble dust and linseed oil -- should dry for six months before painting on it. My personal bible of oil painting, Joseph Sheppard's How to Paint Like the Old Masters, has a whole section devoted to details on boiling lead oxide, making sun-thickened oil, and so on. It's so thoroughly frightening I was paralyzed until I found you could buy some of this stuff without an alchemist's lab.

I've used acrylic gesso in the past. I just don't have any on hand at the moment.

I may just paint on the lumpy ones for the heck of it. They're really no lumpier than linen canvas. They're just lumpier than I wanted. I'm looking for something very smooth.

Chris Rywalt said...

Oh, and: I'm not not taking your advice. I'll do my next panels that way.

painterdog said...

You know if your going to do it "your way" I hope your listening to Sammy Davis Jr.

Also why ask or post about it if you don't care.

I don't get the time thing, your not able to slow down enough to make a panel right?

By the way it takes the same amount of time to make it badly as to make it right, in your case probably longer as your already waiting for the things to dry.

Anyway one solution for you is go to Homedeopt and buy some wet/dry sanding blocks.

Then put some water on the panel and sand in circular motions in about 15 to 20 minutes you will have very smooth panels.

painterdog said...

Gamblin is full of BS he's not a painter and is not really a good sorce for information.

painterdog said...

True gesso is not made with any linseed oil, he so wrong its not even funny.

There is a recipe for a adding very little oil, to make an oil gesso, which has 12 to 1 ratio.

This different and in your case as you don't want to make anything and don't seem to care it's a moot point.

I would use the cheapest stuff you can find, like white primer from Homedepot.

Chris Rywalt said...

PD, you didn't read me right. There are TWO nots in that sentence up there. What I mean is I will take your advice, the next time I make panels. I just can't go back in time to do these right.

I think you're wrong about Gamblin, though. He may not be a great painter, but he is a painter, and he's studied the chemistry of paint in more depth and detail than almost anyone. And I'm by inclination more of a scientist and engineer when it comes to chemistry; I'd trust a chemical engineer regarding paint long before I'd trust an artist.

painterdog said...

I'd trust a chemical engineer regarding paint long before I'd trust an artist.

Ok but that does not make any sense, as a real good painter with proper training can make better paint than Gamblin, I know I have done it.

Gamblin paint has a lot of fillers and additives to give it better shelf life in an art store.

The additives have nothing to do with making good paint or making a painting only shelf life.

I would do my own test, buy a tube Doak yellow ocher and Gamblin and maybe some other top of the line paint company such as Williamsburg and see which has the best constancy and handling.

Chris Rywalt said...

If history is anything to go by, the track record of artists making paints which stand the test of hundreds of years is spotty at best. J.M.W. Turner's paintings have in many cases virtually vanished. And Leonardo's paintings haven't always held up, either. In fact lots of paintings have fallen off their supports over the years.

I'd like to see your sources for your assertion that Gamblin paints are full of additives of any kind. I have seen nothing to indicate that.

What Robert Gamblin has done is chemically and physically test all his paint formulations, as well as analyze past paint formulations and varnishes, in attempt to bring the science of fine art painting out of the dark ages of superstition and willy-nilly experimentation. I respect that. I've heard of no such commitment from any other fine art manufacturer.

prettylady said...

Chris, it's Albert Pinkham Ryder's paintings that have shriveled up and fallen off the supports, largely because he kept painting thin over fat over thin over fat and whatever the hell struck him that day. As far as I know, Turner's are mostly still in good shape.

Chris Rywalt said...

Turner's paintings have mostly faded away, actually. He loved to use pigments that were even known at the time to be fugitive; sometimes he used pigments that wouldn't even last a year. His paintings are so awfully degraded, the Impressionists embraced him as one of their own, even though conservators knew Turner's works were never intended as impressionist paintings.

Chris Rywalt said...

Oh, and more recently: Mark Rothko's paintings are slowly sifting off the canvas. Not that I, for one, will miss them, but there you go.

painterdog said...

Turner's paintings have mostly faded away, actually. He loved to use pigments that were even known at the time to be fugitive; sometimes he used pigments that wouldn't even last a year. His paintings are so awfully degraded, the Impressionists embraced him as one of their own, even though conservators knew Turner's works were never intended as impressionist paintings.

Hogwash, where do get this stuff.
The only fugitive colors he used was Vermilion which will darken when it comes in contact with lead. and tin yellow which is not really a fugitive color but it will change over time due to pollution and exposure if the painting is not varnished. What you have seen is work that has been badly cleaned.
As far as the Impressionist are concerned it was more his ability of creating fantastic atmospheric affects which was mostly due to his talent and that he was one of the first painters to paint outside.

Turner's paintings are in great shape for the age they are. I was looking at one last month in the MFA here in Boston and it is in very good shape.

Jan van Eyck,1390 - 1441.
Rubens, who's painting look like they where painted last week.
Van Dyke,
Gerrit Dou,
Pieter Clasez,
Frans Hals,
Bruegel,father and son.
I could go on but I think I have made my point, they all made there own paint and for the most part the paintings have held up for over 500 hundred years in Van Eyck's case 700 hundred years and some of them still look like jewels.

painterdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
painterdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
painterdog said...

Oh I forgot Turner was a classically trained painter which meant that he spent years perfecting his craft.

He and all artist of the day knew what they where doing, it is the chemist and restorers who have fucked up the paintings, not the artist.

Rohtko does not count, nor do any of the Ab-X's as they through all the classical training out the window. It now shows up in their work

Ryder was a nut case who did not what he was doing, he used shoe polish for Christ sake, interesting paintings though.

Chris Rywalt said...

Painterdog, I hate to break this to you, but Turner's paintings were screwed up by Turner himself, not by restorers or anyone else. He was known during his lifetime for how little care he took of his finished works. He used to drive everyone crazy with how he treated his canvases when he was done.

There's even a record of a conversation Winsor (of Winsor & Newton) had with Turner. Winsor was concerned that Turner was buying fugitive pigments. Turner replied, "It's your job to make them, it's my job to use them."

His paintings still look pretty good in spite of his lack of care. Turner helpfully left behind one of his palettes which has been studied intensively to find out what he used, and in fact about half of his paints were brand new, untested pigments which had just come on the market.

Vermeer's paintings still look good, yes. Ever notice how his leaves are blue? Because green pigments were unavailable when he was working. He made green by layering yellow over blue, and the yellow, alas, was fugitive. Now his leaves are blue.

Now, those are just two I happen to be familiar with. I'm sure there are examples of other problems in the works of the artists you listed.

What do they teach in art school, exactly?

prettylady said...

Jeez, leave it to the two of you to come to fisticuffs over OLD PAINT.

It's true that Ab-X's knew nothing about paint, and their paintings are deservedly falling to bits because of it, the egoistic jackasses. But I'm sorry that Rothko didn't bother--his DO have something going on for them.

The day you learn to see what's going on in a Rothko, Chris, is the day you start to learn to paint.

And them's not fightin' words.

painterdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
painterdog said...

Little is known of Turner's working methods but his palette most likely consisted of Lead white, zinc white,tin yellow, chrome yellow,naples yellow, gambage, vermillion, yellow ochre, raw sienna, burnt sienna, umber's, green earth's
Veridian, Prussian blue, Smalt,
Ivory black or another kind of mineral black, these where common pigments of the time.

I don't know where you are reading this as you are not telling me your sources. Given he was very secretive even to his friend and champion Ruskin I don't know how you have some buy this information.

But that does not matter, the green or blue your talking about one I think the one landscape that Vermeer did is due to cleaning, not a fugitive color. And some colors have faded due to pollution exposure, but come one they are over 500 years old.

A lot of paintings where cleaned and some ruined in the late 19 and early 20 century buy idiots who thought they knew better than the artist themselves.

As for other problems go to the Met in New York and look at the Rubens or the Van Dykes they are in excellent condition, why is that?

Chris you sometime like to take a view that is based more on your desire to seem right than based on any research or knowledge based on your own experience making paintings. This is just my impression, I could be wrong.

As for art schools now or shall we say the last 40 years or so they teach nothing at all. It's all about expressing yourself without any training or craft or knowledge.

Oh and me lady is right if you can't appreciate a Rothko then you should try to.

I am a realist painter and he is noe of the few of that period who have a lot to say as a painter.

I like De kooning as well.

Chris Rywalt said...

PDog sez:
Little is known of Turner's working methods but his palette most likely consisted of...

There's no "most likely" necessary. More than one of Turner's palettes have been preserved. The Turner Bequest at the National Gallery in London includes some of his palettes in addition to various tubes and other paraphenalia of Turner's studio. These have been extensively studied.

Here's a taste from JSTOR.

I also read a fairly okay book called Color by Victoria Finlay. It started out as a very promising book about pigments in general but unfortunately (for me, anyway) sagged into being a history of dye pigments for fabric, which interested me not at all. She touches on Turner and the Impressionists.

So I've given two more sources for my assertions on Turner's paints than you have for sources on Gamblin's paints. I win!

...look at the Rubens or the Van Dykes they are in excellent condition, why is that?

I never said the artists always got it wrong. Just that they got it wrong almost as often as they accidentally got it right. One more word: Asphaltum. I don't think I need say any more on the subject.

...if you can't appreciate a Rothko then you should try to.

I have stood in front of any number of Rothkos and de Koonings and felt nothing, nothing at all. Not even a twinge. Rothko's paintings look like pleasant enough carpet designs, and de Kooning's look like enema paintings.

Chris you sometime like to take a view that is based more on your desire to seem right than based on any research or knowledge based on your own experience making paintings.

I don't usually like to argue against other people's perceptions of me. There's not much point, really. And I think you're right to some degree.

But not in this case. I've read fairly widely in this area (conservation) for an amateur and I'm fairly confident of what I'm saying. Michelangelo's frescoes, for example, still look fantastic -- but then, painting on wet plaster is just about the most durable method of painting we've discovered (although its one true bane is moisture). And, yes, a lot of damage has been done by poor restorations over the years. And pollution has done a lot of damage, too. Certainly true.

But that wasn't Turner's problem, or Vermeer's. Turner particularly: His work started disintegrating while he was still alive. I seem to recall he was even asked to come back and fix some which had faded, and he refused. Vermeer did use a fugitive yellow pigment, yellow lake. (Although that page admits it may have been over-aggressive restoration that wiped it out.)

Bottom line: I'd sooner trust an actual chemist than an artist. Art is one thing, but the scientific method is another.

painterdog said...

himm I disagree, I have seen a large amount of his work having lived in Great Britain for 8 years and his paintings are in pretty good shape.

Not as good a Rubens but he really knew his stuff, as did Rembrandt, and most on the list. Van Eykes are still in great shape at 700.

I already gave a list of historical pigments from Turners time period. Those palettes are they not his watercolor boxes? I know about the bladders with the paint in them.

Anyway if you want to use Gamblin go right ahead its not as good a Williamsburg or Doark.

I don't need to prove thisI have done my own tests. Gamblin has a lot of fillers and that is a fact.

Williamsburg has very little, and Doark's paint is pigment and oil at least according to him.

I know of a company up here in Massachusetts that makes excellent paint and they know their stuff.
If you take a tube if their Zinc white and compare it the runny mess that comes out of Gamblins Zinc white its pretty clear which is better.

As far as trusting the science or conservators over the painters who made the paintings if you believe that then I think you have really misunderstood the craft and history of painting.

The other stuff is personal taste and I don't think it is worth debating over that.

As far as trusting a scientist over an artist, if you ever want a portrait done I suggest you hire a scientist, I'm sure his/her 'scientific method' will produce a good likeness.

Sorry but I think we have taken up enough of prettylady's blog space.

danonymous said...

Chris, Painterdog and Ms.PL,
I have to say to all of you that I have enjoyed the above dialogue immensely. It is one of the best dialogues I have read in a while, mostly between PD and Chris and it was wonderful watching it unfold , beside the wealth of info you both provided. And how perfect that it would take place and be hosted by PL. I think the first entry I ever read here was about stretching canvases and I was mesmerized... sort of a persfect essay in form. It was a s much art as art. And for me, this dialogue was similar.
Great work on PL's part to provide a lead that lead to this.

Chris Rywalt said...

PD sez:
I don't need to prove thisI have done my own tests.

What, you have a lab? Or do you just taste the paints?

I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist.

I think this whole conversation will be of great historical interest. I can see what will be written in 500 years:

Freedner and Rywalt were contemporaries but they had very different approaches to their materials. From correspondence between them we can see that Freedner preferred a traditional approach to his media, while Rywalt came down firmly behind the science of chemistry as it was understood in his day.

The two of them argued their opinions quite strenuously. But of course you can easily see who won in the Early 21st Century wing of the United National Gallery, where it's obvious the paintings which have suffered the least are....

painterdog said...

Chris I have to ask if you see a stop sign while you are driving a car do you stop, or do argue with the idea of it just do be argumentative.

It is pigment, and oil that is ground together. Stay away from fugitive colors, paint thinly or fat over lean as a rule works.

As I have said Gamblin puts in a lot of fillers to give the paint a long shelf life.

Williamsburg does not.

The test are simple, you put out a little Gamblin and you put out a little WB paint and then you make some swatches, then you see how it covers in full strength, and with the addition of medium.

Gamblin's paint is weaker due to the additives period.

Next time you need to get some advice on painting ask a chemist I am sure that person is such a master at making a painting that they will know all about how to build up a painting from drawing to under painting, to the glazing and the varnishing.

I am sure they will understand what chroma and value and hue mean, I am sure they will have mastered anatomy, perspective, and drawing the human figure.

While your at it ask the chemist how to prepare a panel for oil and tempera painting. As you need help with that and we, the painters just don't have a clue.

Why is it that people have this attitude that painters know nothing about what they do.

Chris Rywalt said...

PD sez:
Why is it that people have this attitude that painters know nothing about what they do.

Oh, man, you just couldn't leave it alone, could you? I was all set to let this conversation die.

I think painters know a lot about what they do. You keep saying "Ask a chemist to paint you a picture" which is totally asinine: I never even implied that chemists know more about making a painting. Painting a likeness, getting an effect, anatomy, perspective, chroma, hue, all that crap, yes, painters know more about that. In particular, you know about that than I do, too.

But painters know diddly squat about chemistry. Just like I wouldn't ask a painter to fix my transmission or to prescribe medication, I wouldn't ask a painter to tell me if mixing pigment A and pigment B will cause, two hundred years from now, a chemical reaction turning an entire canvas hot pink.

Painters know that, in the past, Super Duper Painter Guy mixed dirt from Vaffanculo, Italy with dust from Upyers, Ireland and some oil squeezed from some seeds he had lying around and managed to make a really nice painting which still looks pretty okay up on the wall in the Pope's third crapper. Maybe. Because sometimes painters only know what Sir Anthony Blueballs wrote about what he thought about that painting two hundred years after it was finished.

Now I'm purposely picking on tradition. I'm actually not that cynical about it. I've long thought that anything humans do, they've been doing a long time, and over the course of that long time, they've learned some pretty good ways of going about it. Whatever it happens to be. So I do believe that painters -- despite the huge loss of knowledge of craft caused by the 20th century break with tradition -- have a good knowledge of what works and what doesn't. Mostly.

But it's all trial and error. The scientific method, on the other hand, is advanced trial and error. I am not a person with a great deal of faith in anything, but if there's one thing I do have faith in, it's the idea that a large number of human beings employing the scientific method can eventually learn a great deal about the workings of the physical world.

Modern chemists have been exploring interactions of media and pigments in more detail than anyone has ever been able to do, and they've worked out why certain combinations work and why certain ones don't. They have a model, not a pile of flawed experimental data. From this they have worked out new formulations and been able to stop using othe formulations which were fugitive, toxic, or otherwise undesirable. I mean, cadmium oxides make some beautiful colors, but they also have this tendency to poison the water supply. Art is important, but not so important I think we should be wrecking the environment to do it. If every time you made a painting you had to squeeze a live frog over the canvas, you'd probably stop painting.

I find it deeply amusing that you think you can determine the constituents of paint by looking at it. That's a pretty amazing ability. Do you also have the alchemical formula for turning flake white into gold leaf? Can you tell what color underwear I have on, Mr. Kent?

Admittedly I've never used Gamblin's zinc white, but their titanium white is quite thick, and the Gamblin flake white replacement is so heavy it's practically a solid. Not runny at all. Maybe you were testing Gamblin's student colors?

I will, when I have some money together, give Williamsburg and Doak a try, just to see what the big deal is. I also may try some Old Holland which I can get at the art store I go to. I like to try different things.

Also, I found that Gamblin makes Traditional Gesso. My confusion was because traditional gesso is too brittle (according to Gamblin) for fabric supports. So when he was talking about linseed oil being mixed with the gesso -- that was the stuff that takes six months to dry -- that was for canvas. Gamblin's panel gesso formulation is nearly identical to the one you suggest (including dead rabbit juice).

My mistake (which started this conversation) was using fabric ground on a panel support. Clearly I'm an idiot.

My current plan is to buy a 4 by 8 sheet of birch plywood and have it cut down to 12 pieces of equal size. Then I'm going to prime them with some kind of traditional gesso -- maybe Gamblin's -- and see how that goes.

Chris Rywalt said...

I found a little more to flavor this discussion.

Jerry's catalog page claims Gamblin colors use no adulterants and are made from nothing but "pure pigments and refined linseed oils."

A search on Doak turns up a blog post discussing the separation of oil and pigment. Apparently this is prevented by most manufacturers' addition of stearate, which of course Doak does not. I've found a number of tubes of Gamblin which also separate, most noticeably their yellows, like Indian Yellow. (Which was, by the way, never made from the urine of cows fed on mango leaves.)

Meanwhile over here someone reports having trouble with Doak's vermilion.

painterdog said...

I thought you wanted to let this go.
You want to use Gamblin go ahead.

I use Williamsburg and Old Holland,
Blockx, and I mix some of my own.

By the way separation of pigment is not a bad thing but it is a pain.

Gamblin claims that but they have stabilizers, and they use Alkali refined linseed oil which I don't like. It's a new substance, so we don't know how it will stand up. Mediums made with it such as Liquin, Galkyd, Neo-Meglip are awful, they will make your paintings dry faster, but they have been known to cause delamination in multi-layer painting, that is the layers don't adhere.

I like simple well made products and some of them are bit pricey.

I have a medium that I just made with stand oil, Canada balsam , and oil of spike(lavender turps) smells great but the balsam alone is over $20 for a small 1oz jar. which will last for about 6 months.

By the way besides smelling great, it dries in about a day or less.
Each to their own, if I was you I would learn to make a good support first. By the way plywood and real gesso is not a good idea as the wood might be green which will cause the gesso to crack.

Try using tempered masonite, but you must sand it first and hit it with some alcohol and you will have a solid panel.

Crom said...

Samson, die Philister sind hier!

Forgive me, I have some astonishingly stupid questions to ask about this topic.

First, an observation. The painting "Curtain" intrigued me, and I made it my desktop wallpaper for a while a couple of weeks ago. Although I certainly can see the curtain contained in the painting, with the yellow floor it resembled to me the edge of a forest, suspended in a dusk sky. It would take a long time to explain this, but certain cirrus cloud formations sometimes (to me) look like broad swaths of deserts with snowcapped peaks. It's merely a matter of perspective shifting, the orange sky is the sand, and the clouds are the mountains reflecting in the distance. It takes effort to see the sky in this way, but while I sound utterly insane it is possible to see this given the correct meteorological conditions and an open mind. Even with the removal of the orange floor (sky) it still looks like a fantastical yet spooky treeline, to me. I guess a lifetime spent looking at and traveling along treelines will do that to a man.

Ok, for the questions. I have driven past an art school once or twice in my life, and that is the sum of my training. That said, why is it necessary to use canvas, as opposed to other materials to paint on? I understand the material itself is resilient, but isn't it possible to paint on some other surface and achieve the results you want? Aside from black velvet Elvii (is there a plural for Elvis?) prominently displayed at the finer east Texas trucking establishments, I cannot recall anyone using alternate materials for the backing of their work. Is there a reason?

My second stultifying question is style. Dig if you will the picture that does not fall into any of the known "schools" or is an amalgamation of two or perhaps more styles - does this negate the piece because it was not strictly Impressionistic or combined Realism with Surrealism? In addition, if the artist is completely ignorant of both of these schools and yet paints within the confines of a few varying styles does that automatically render his burgeoning masterpiece into a festering piece of shite?

I wonder if the lack of training or knowledge would provide the painter a unique, fresh perspective or merely damn the fledgling artist to a life of noisome craft shows and loving renditions of the King?

Chris Rywalt said...

Hey now, let's not be too down on the King. I've done Elvis.

Chris Rywalt said...

PD suggests:
...they use Alkali refined linseed oil which I don't like. It's a new substance, so we don't know how it will stand up.... Try using tempered masonite...

Masonite was invented in the mid-1920s. Alkali refined linseed oil was invented in the 19th century.

So do we use "new" substances or not? Alkali refined linseed oil has been used only a few years less than many metallic oxide pigments, which only became commercially available around the time the Impressionists began working. Should I banish cadmium colors from my palette?

I visited the Cennini Forum, which seems to be the home of anti-Gamblin sentiment on the Web and is probably where you're getting most of your information. What the people on there seem to miss is that artist materials have been changing, are changing, all the time. One poster on there even wrote that people who use Gamblin paints tend to eat organic tofu and read bedtime stories to their trees. I thought this was hilarious because it's the traditionalists on Cennini who believe, entirely erroneously, in some idyllic past where artists all made their own supplies by hand out of organic, natural materials.

And even if that idyllic past did exist, duplicating it today is impossible, because those beautiful organic unspoiled materials no longer exist. Cold-pressed raw linseed oil of today is probably full of pesticides, herbicides, dioxins, radioactive waste (everything's more radioactive since we started testing nukes), and who knows what other impurities.

Good Lord, I just realized I might be wearing some polyester, too! I must clothe myself instead in sackcloth and ashes!

painterdog said...

Chris in keeping with Prettylady's request to not keep this going I am not going get into this anymore this is my last post on this.

As far as the Cennini Forum is concerned you have no idea what your talking about. Yes there are some weirdos there as there are on all forums, but I have learned a lot from the forum.

Studio Products makes the some of the best mediums and painting products you can buy period, those people know what the are doing.

The other stuff you are on about is based on personal opinion.
Quite frankly your knowledge of how to paint is just not going to convince me that you know what the hell your talking about.

I am not trying to insult you or anything as I am sure your going to take this the wrong way, but before you can start telling people how to do things or that your info is better than there's, especially painters who have years of experience, maybe you should get some serious painting chops together. I know I'm being a jerk but I don't care. The truth hurts...

Chris Rywalt said...

I'm not insulted. I'll be saying more about this on my blog, so check over there in a few days. Only positive things! So don't think I'm going to trash anybody.

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across your blog and really enjoyed it. Love your work.

Chris Rywalt said...

Late breaking development! I was in the art store yesterday and found the rack of Williamsburg oil paints. As I was reading the label, this conversation came back to me....

PainterDog said:
I use Williamsburg and Old Holland, Blockx, and I mix some of my own....Gamblin claims that but they have stabilizers, and they use Alkali refined linseed oil which I don't like. It's a new substance, so we don't know how it will stand up.

Williamsburg oil paints are all made with alkali refined linseed oil.