Friday, February 1, 2008

Hot hot hot

After my last rather grumpy and ugly entry, I thought I would find a sunnier image to post today. I haven't had time to paint or sketch so this is an old one, which lives with my sister Gillian in Texas - and it's appropriate - at last summer has returned to Joburg and it is hot, as it should be at this time of year. Although this painting has many faults which are glaringly obvious to me now, I feel I was at the time making headway with my watercolours - getting freer, cleaner (still some mud here) and fresher... and then I stopped... why? Now I'm back to square..if not 1, then 2 or 3. I've wandered off into other mediums and I think with each one I reach a certain stage, and then switch tack, so never actually become totally adept at any of them. I'm feeling the pull of watercolours again, and am wondering whether to commit to a year or two of just those... but then my expensive oil paints may dry out and I'll lose whatever familiarity I've built up with them. Can one juggle a few techniques at the same time (I have to use pen, ink and graphite for daily-ish sketching too), or should you stay true to one until you're quite on top of it? Any advice appreciated!

10 comments:

Ginny said...

This watercolour lives very happily on the wall in our kitchen. And so appropriate for HEART month - all that red. I love it! I have no idea how to answer your dilemma...
Adam, where are you...??
want to say - stick with your w/c's for a while; but I also hate the idea of waste... will the oils really spoil?
:>)

Cathy Gatland said...

Well I have abandoned them before, and some were fine after a couple of years, and others (esp. yellow ochre) were solid in the tube. Maybe if I keep them in the fridge in a plastic container they'll be OK

Adam Cope said...

your oil paints won't spoil if you really take care to put the lids on (clean them the thread of the cap out). I learnt to paint with my grandmother's paints from way back.

some pigments repulse the oils & will 'bleed' as the oil pushes apart from the pigment, others like yellow ochre will drink the the oil up. thes type of emi-set oil i cut out of the tube & soak in a small jam jar with turpentine & linseed oil. but you hav e to use them quick at this stage as the vechile is detorirating.

ps enjoy the tension between your medii - it's creative!

Marie-Dom said...

Just beautiful! Please keep up with the watercolours. They suit you..or you suit them..but whatever...you are good with them. Love your style.
MD

Vivienne said...

I have been looking in my Ray Smith book, to see if there is any advice, but could not find anything specific. Usually they do seem fine if tops screwed on well, and I think you could add some turps/oil if needed.I have just thought to move mine out of the sun in the hot attic room!!(No wonder I don't paint, it's 38ºC) But don't you have those water soluble ones?I do know that acrylics turn into hard plastic, or get stinky ... another reason to avoid them in my opinion.
Water colours go on dissolving mostly. Don't they? Gouache not. Anyone else?

dibujandoarte said...

This one is amazing! I just love it!!!

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks everybody, for your input - even some research, thank you Vivienne! It is very hot in my studio too (but not to Aussie levels!)- so I think things deteriorate faster. I have a few water-soluble oils which I haven't used for ages - wonder how they're faring...? Adam - will check the lids and try and recover my yellow ochre... maybe after a spell of watercolours... oils seem to win the tension race - they just get all over everything if I have both going at the same time!
Marie-Dom I tried to find a link back to you but couldn't - thanks for visiting - and Martin - so exciting to exchange with someone in Argentina!

Felicity said...

Lovely painting! I just followed you from Crackskullbob's blog and have to say your blog is so interesting.

laureline said...

What a luscious watercolor! I love all the reds and oranges, Cathy!

"Maggie" said...

How beatiful and vibrant...!