A Painting


The Princess and the Hens

The whole Impressionist thing which means no black paint and various other rules was once my “thing.” Since 2008, when I tried my first oil painting since high school (graduated 1970). I quit painting with these rules. For that painting, I painted a canvas with black primer and brought the colors out of it. I loved it and found it very liberating.

I remember asking my fresco teacher (about fresco) “Do we paint light to dark or dark to light?” It was a practical question about a medium I hadn’t used before. He — as a professionally trained artist — didn’t give me a very useful answer. He said, “Yes, that is always the question…”

Turns out, fresco paint is opaque, like gouache or acrylic, and a person can paint dark to light. He did. I’d imagined it was more like watercolor, transparent and… Anyway doesn’t matter. Oil paint, however, I’ve found can be both transparent and opaque depending on the pigment and how it’s used. I think it’s still my favorite (of things I have at my disposal to use), but the great thing of acrylic is that it dries in one’s lifetime…


Cows in the Rain, 2008, first oil in 39 years!


14 thoughts on “A Painting

      • I am trying my hand at watercolor…first time since high school. “Brave new world” indeed–who knew they made watercolor paint in tubes! Sister Elaine didn’t teach us that way! 😀

          • Was there any other way?! And run-offs. We will have no run-offs. No one even talks about them anymore. Good gosh, Martha. I am swimming in entirely new waters–pun intended!

            • I’m sure you’re fine. I like the paint in tubes. I just use a palette. My palette is the lid from a large yogurt container. 🙂 But, at the moment, I’m using water color pencils. I like them even better than watercolor in tubes. I use Caran d’Ache supracolor aquarelle pencils. They do EVERYTHING.

  1. My mother never made the jump to acrylics. She tried them, but they always dried before she had quite finished. I painted for a while. Then I got a camera. After that, I never painted again and I’m pretty sure the world is better off as a result 😉

    • I paint for reasons I don’t even known. This little painting was just to paint something just to paint something AND the grandmother of the little girl really wanted this painting and I thought that was a good motive. She bought it and I’m very happy she likes it. I’m having a kind of identity crisis at the moment so… I’ve decided retirement is a lot stranger and newer than I had even begun to imagine.

  2. 1st painting- Love the white spotted hen, the softness of the princess dress and the light. 2nd painting- can feel the cool rainy weather.. The cows in the back r so cozy making me feel like sitting under a shade in a blanket watching the nature.. an earthen cup of tea in hand..

  3. I’m an impatient painter myself, so I learned eons ago never to use oils. I mean, they make great work, but if you have inquisitive pets in the house or have to move your work around to make room for a new painting, you run the risk of ruining it too easily (at least, I always seemed to). Besides, I tend to get crazy inspirations and if the paint dries a lot quicker, I can work with it (and if i make a “mistake,” i can cover it up easier).

    So far I do lots of layering, let it dry, move on to another, and play with how things work. With oils, it’d be a puke-colored, incomprehensible mess because it’d never be dry enough to work with. But when patience comes, and experience, I wouldn’t mind learning proper oil-painting techniques. I’ve never messed with watercolors, either (the comments have been enlightening, maybe someday).

    I like what you’ve got here, it looks nice, especially with a medium you’re not used to. Great job.

    • It’s all a big learning experience. I like watercolors. I avoided oil for years and then discovered it was my new best friend. You just never know. I think when I fell in love with the process of painting (that came when I was writing my first novel, Martin of Gfenn, which is about a painter) I was in a much happier place with the whole art thing. I like painting on Ampersand gesso panels with oil and using Gamblin’s solvent/thinner, Gamsol because what happens is the paint goes into the surface instead of staying on top. Acrylic still seems very flat to me, but I’ve gotten two pretty decent paintings from it, both of little girls — one my step-granddaughter and this one, the granddaughter of a friend. I think the trick is just not caring what happens. Thanks for stopping by!

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