Unfinished: oil and wax on paper

NB: I will post out artwork up to and including 14th December, after that it will be from 2nd January 2019.

With everything winding down towards Christmas, my painting time is rapidly shrinking. I may have a post next week but not necessarily a new finished painting of any kind.

The ludicrous behaviour of our British Parliament has been a real distraction and I am becoming very bad-tempered about it. It is sometimes a relief to simply grab up some paint or ink and mess about with it, with no real end-piece in mind just to soothe the nerves. The picture today is not finished; it is on Arches paper and consists of several wax/paint layers, using red/gold, pale minty-green and then a dark reddish black. I have to decide where to take it from here….if I can. It was conceived over three very short work-periods of barely half an hour each, which isn’t ideal.

I have also used this past week or so to think over this year’s work and what I will or won’t be doing in 2019. I can see a gradual end to using canvas, for example; I haven’t used it a lot, preferring canvas-board or Ampersand gessobord. Even these may give way to the recent introduction of Arches oil-paper, a surface which I have found particularly satisfying to work on. Three of six works on this paper have sold, which is telling me something. Although they’re framed under glass, this is no particular worry for me, since I also do pastels and they, of course, need glass-framing.

Another reason is storage; I just can’t harbour any more panels or canvases. Paper is much easier to manage. Pastels will continue on pastelmat or similar grainy surfaces, keeping to floral and still-life themes; I don’t see much landscape happening, except scenes with clouds in as a dominant feature.

My main projects for 2019 will be to produce work for the local exhibitions….as always…I need fourteen or fifteen good ones through the year to cover these. I’ll also be exploring cold wax further, for traditional oil subjects. I am diddling about with some abstracty ideas but these seem to work better for me on Arches oil-paper than on board….the colours don’t sink in quite so much, even allowing for the matte quality that wax gives to the paint. They won’t be large, either because this kind of work eats up oil-paint….certainly nothing much beyond say 16 inches.


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