It's been two years, maybe even more, since I broke out my large glass palette. I can't believe that it's been so long since I really sat down and painted. Painted for me, painted for fun. Not for a present, not for an order. Just for me to have some time to myself, creatively, emotionally, spiritually. I cracked open some seriously old oil paints (hello, I haven't been used in almost 7 years!) and gave up on the bottle of linseed oil that I just can't open for the life of me. I had just a dribble of mineral spirits, so I settled for stinky, headache inducing Turpentine instead. Most of my brushes were stiff and a little crusty, so I only had two decent ones to choose from, plus a knife. My mom has my table top easel and my standing easel, so I had to make shift something to set my canvas on. Man, looking back I feel like I should have quit while I was ahead, and gone to the store to get better supplies.
Even though the conditions weren't prime for painting, I didn't let that stop me. I wanted to get my fingers messy, smell the oil paints, create something. I squished out little bits of the couple colours I had, poured out some of my turpentine in a jar, and started getting some colour on the canvas. It felt good! I didn't have any kind of plan, I was going completely abstract, and I didn't care too much about my colours mixing. I started with thin washed out layers of colour, and covered the whole canvas with swashes and dabs and blobs. I started going in heavier after that, working the paint with my knife, scraping it across the canvas. I really love the sound that a palette knife makes as it travels across the rough canvas. It brings me back to the time I first used oils, first used a knife, first worked on stretched canvas. I feel so blessed with the various mediums and techniques I've been able to try in my short life.
I'm not sharing bits of the piece I started working on just yet, as I'm not totally comfortable with it at the moment. For now it's hanging on a nail on the wall of my studio, drying before I can put more layers and more colours down on the canvas. I'm thinking about switching up my mediums a bit and going in with some vibrant fluid acrylics and lots of white. I want to experiment with more mark making techniques than just a brush and knife. I want to paint with my fingers, brushes, found items around the house. I want to write messages and cover them up. I want to share secrets in those layers, secrets only I will know are there. I love the beauty of layering paint, the evolution of a painting, and the whole process in general.
I'm so glad that I broke out my palette again. It had been way, way too long.