First of all, brushes. A good brush is essential. I was introduced to Rosemary and Co Brushes a few years ago and they are the only brushes I now use. They are handmade in the UK, which you might think makes them expensive. Not the case at all. They are exquisite, and at $4-15 per brush, for the varieties that I use, I'm happy to have them shipped over.
What makes these brushes so delightful is that they hold their shape, they carry the oil paint really well, and leave very few brush marks behind. I love a smooth texture in my paintings so having a brush that doesn't leave each stroke in the paint is great.
Clean up is also really easy. I use plain old Linseed oil to clean my brushes with a touch of Murphy's Oil Soap for a deeper clean. With proper care these brushes will last a long time.
Next up: Paint.
Winsor & Newton Artists' Grade paint has been my go to paint over the years. I find the pigments to be rich and smooth. These paints blend really well with one another also. The only exception is the Titanium White, which is very stiff, so it requires a little thinning and more mixing with the pigments.
Winsor & Newton is not the most expensive paint, or the most exotic. Old Holland paint, for example, dates back to 1664 and the Dutch master painters like Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals. I'm curious what it is like to paint with, however, at $109 for a 40ml tube of Cad Yellow, I think it will be awhile before I invest in this paint.
What I have explored is Gamblin Paint.
My idea is that the quality is a little higher than Winsor & Newton and the consistency of the paint is really lovely. The Titanium White from Gamblin is buttery smooth. My next painting I'm going to use Gamblin exclusively to see what difference it makes in the overall painting. Exciting. I'm looking forward to trying it out.
Mediums and additives.
This is a tricky topic in the oil painting world because there all sorts of conflicting opinions. There are those artists who have used additives for years and have no problem whatsoever. While others recommend not to use these same mediums because of longevity issues, delamination, yellowing over time, etc. To avoid the conflicting opinions and perhaps issues over time, I've decided not to use any mediums or additives beyond simply linseed oil. Linseed oil is the carrier oil the paint companies use for their pigments. This creates a harmonious union between the layers of paint that I use and will not have any trouble over time.
What I want to ensure is that when you purchase one of my paintings they are stable over time and if they need to be retouched an archivist can do that easily. If there are additives it can be difficult for a restoration to happen because those additives don't allow for future paint to be added or for the additive layer to be easily removed before the restoration.
My goal is to use fine materials, with my painting skills to create a painting that will become an heirloom for you and your family. I love that longevity piece. Creating things that will last over time.
Leave me any comments you have below. I hope you have enjoyed this foray into the materials that I use in the studio.
Bernard Callebaut. In a word, this is it, my guilty pleasure that I don't feel guilty about at all.
I was first introduced to them when I worked in Calgary, I used to take the bank deposit to the Scotia Bank down the street which took me right by the retail store for Bernard Callebaut. One of their practices was to have counter samples that would introduce you to new flavours. Oh my!!! Delicious.
Handcrafted chocolates with delightful creamy fillings. Not overly sweet, just flavour, flavour, creamy flavour. It has been a love of mine ever since. They feel so decadent and luxurious.
I think finding things that make our experiences better are important things to figure out. It can take some time to pay attention to what these things are. Our desires are important.
Despite our desires being important, it can be hard to allow ourselves to have our desires. We have been told 'no' thousands of times in our childhood and I think as adults we are accustomed to saying 'no' to ourselves.
Often we say no for the sake of family or other priorities. Sometimes it's necessary, but when and where we can, allowing our desires is important.
These chocolates are one of the those desires that I allow myself.
If you'd like try them for yourself I'll include the web address here.
If you live in the White Rock/South Surrey area you can visit the retail store in Peninsula Village located on 24th Avenue just east of 152nd Street.
If you do try them, them me a comment below. Perhaps you have already tried them or some other guilty pleasure. I'd love to hear about it.
Share your comments below.
Have you ever had an idea that has taken you a few years to complete on?
I have. This piece is a prime example. It was conceptualized in 2019 and I'm only now getting around to it. I love that feeling of completing on older projects. I was curious if I'd feel the same inspiration after all this time. I am. Very cool. I think I'm even more motivated now that I started to refine the shapes and colours.
There are a ton of details to paint in. While you see the line drawing on the canvas, the lines only depict major elements. There are subtle shifts throughout the entire piece. It's slow. It's rewarding. It's going to be stunning.
From deep fuschia to light pink and on to white. These six blooms are going to be amazing.
You are welcome to follow along with me on social media. Click on an icon below to be taken to the social platform.
My VIP email list recipients receive updates from the studio, early access to new work, and special that I publish periodically. Would you like to join in?
Just the way I planned it.
We all know the summer flowers don't last forever, but someone there is still a sadness when they are gone. Part of my master plan is to bring those gorgeous flowers indoors so you can enjoy them all year long.
But really, what does it matter that you have a flower painting on your wall? In the big picture. Yes, it's pretty, but what is the lasting effect?
Just image you wake up and are greeted by one of these beauties. What's the first thing you do? You smile. You are in awe of the beauty, the colour, the lighting. Guess what? Even on the grayest of days, you immediately feel better.
What happens when we feel better? We smile more. We feel more confident. We greet our neighbours with a warm hello. We might even have a conversation with a random stranger. Who knows what could happen once you step outside feeling all happy.
We have an impact in the world, we may not always know what that impact is. We may not have any feedback about how we influencing others around us, but influencing we are.
My situation is unique because I often receive messages from clients once they have received their paintings. Like this one. This is the reaction from a client who was seeing her painting for the first time.
It still brings tears to my eyes to take in this impact. Can you feel it to? The amazing connection she had to the painting that I painted for her. Does she feel different? You bet.
Now just imagine what that feeling can do for a week, for a month, for a year.
We might want to change the world around us but really not know how to do anything to create that change. I know for certain feeling good is one thing that we can all do, and it has a big impact on what's going on around us.
Or this note from another collector of mine,,,,,
Why am I sharing all this, partly for me to be reminded of the impact that I'm having and partly to share with you, what it's like to own one of my paintings.
I really want to share beauty with others and by creating gorgeous paintings I have a way to do that.
Right now, I have a special promotion going on. For my VIP email recipients, I'm sharing a $100 voucher to use towards their purchase. (Good until 11 July 2022) Would you too like to be a part of it. It's easy. Simply join my email list. Here is the link to do that.
Maybe you'd like to see the pieces that are included in the Mid-Summer Clearance first. Before you sign up, because what if the paintings aren't any good. You don't want to sign up to a list if the paintings are bad. (They are not bad)
Just take a look. Don't take my word for it.
Yes, I can be a bit cheeky. Have a great day and let me know if you have any questions. You can message me here.