Title: The Flowers of Oil Paint
Size: 8 inches by 10 inches each canvas
Support: Triptych (Three stretched canvases)
Date Completed: Feb. 24, 2020
No framing necessary.
This work is called a triptych which consists of three oil paintings. Each canvas is 8 inches by 10 inches and the sides are painted. Group them in a row, or triangle, or spread across the room. Anyway you choose will be beautiful!
There are a number of reasons why I created this work. One, the flowers are pretty to look at. Two, to re-educate the public about oil paint in general. And three, I wanted to do something that was a little away from my normal paintings. I wanted to capture the old world illustrative works of botanicals. At the same time, I wanted to make the paintings as I have not seen them before, in both the illustrative old world style, but with a painterly touch.
The Flowers of Oil Paints show people where oil in oil paint actually comes from. The first work is the flower from the flax plant. It is bluish-purple and dainty. The seeds from this flower is called both flax seed and linseed, is used to make the oil in the paint. Furthermore in old world times and if you are rich, the flax plant itself makes the linen for canvas. The oil from the flax plant is also used for cooking oil, sometimes called flax seed oil. Linseed oil is the most robust and the most widely used oil in oil paint.
The second flower, the one that looks like thistle is the safflower. This at this time, is second only to linseed in the creation of oil paint. The safflower seed produces a very light colored oil that is used in the lighter pigments, such as white and light blue. Safflower oil is also a cooking oil often found in the kitchen.
The third painting is the poppy flower. Not only is it a wonderful seasoning on bagels, the seeds also produce oil for painting. Poppy oil is a light colored oil that is used to extend the drying times of oil paint. It is used in lighter colors, as linseed oil can yellow over time.
I keep reiterating the fact that the oils used to produce oil paint is also found in the kitchen because even to this day with all of our knowledge, people still teach their children that oil paint is toxic. If you avoid toxic pigments such as cobalt, and use safflower oil and the Master’s Brush Cleaner (non-toxic, safe for kids) to clean the brushes, there is nothing at all toxic about oil paint.
Regarding the color palette, I wanted to make these paintings warm and welcoming. I also wanted to bring a bit of color theory into the mix as well, with the primaries and secondaries of the color wheel which are depicted subtlety.