Painting Roots

* Originally posted via an older blog of mine back in 2013.


I just stumbled upon your site while searching out blog avenues. Yes, I agree the background that is now the composition is too beautiful to alter with further subject content. I am a beginning painter in a formal sense and chose oils, however, I am interested in giving acrylics a try as well. Have you ever played with oil painting? Why do you prefer acrylics? Just curious.


Hi there. Thank you for taking the time to write!

The choice of acrylics came after many years as a child playing with all sorts of art materials various family member’s art materials, including watercolors, pencils, colored pencils, pastels, oil bars, tempera. I was introduced to oil paints via a paint-by-number kit which was of hot air balloons. It produced the most influential memory and feelings I have toward oil paint. I remember spending an hour trying to get the oily mess off my hands, which wasn’t fun at all and left me in tears! I was often told that the artists whom went crazy used oil paint. So that thought combined with the inability to get it off my hands quickly stressed me out! And both memories stuck.

Recently, to over come the childhood programming, I purchased some Winsor & Newton Artist’s Oils and took an oil paint class. It didn’t last long, about three weeks. During the painting session, I painted a landscape. The paint blended beautifully. But days later it was still wet! I like to bang out paintings as I think them much like typing, and the slow drying oil paint was irritating. The first day was spent inhaling Liquin fumes for 4.5 hours, and an hour with stronger noxious solvents to get the oily mess off of my precious brushes and palette. Stunk up the house for hours.

I may however, try them again as after my meeting with the owner of M. Graham Paints. He taught me how to wash brushes without solvents, but using pure walnut oil, soap and water. Duh, what a concept!

My love of acrylics came from high school. My art teacher introduced me to acrylics for one week in 1994, in which I was allowed to paint an 11×15-inch picture on canvas board. It was of a violin and guitar in front of a Lichtenstein painting. It was the most frustrating paint I worked with, cheap paints with no blending ability. Yet it had the punch and drying speed I craved, so I made it a goal to finish that piece in a week. That was the only painting created with acrylics until 1999 when able to afford acrylic paint and other art materials of my own. I started with student acrylics for a couple of years and then moved on to Liquitex Fluid Acrylics which was used for about five years. In the year 2005, I chose Golden Acrylics for the vibrant juicy colors.

I use watercolor, oil pastels, and colored pencils on a regular basis for sketches and journals. 

* Today I choose oil paints from Gamblin and Winsor & Newton. They are also used for my painting journals.