Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I thought that acrylic would be a natural choice so I went out and bought a full complement of colours, and some canvases and set optimistically to work. It was a slaughter.
The paint fought me all the way. It dried quickly and flatly like house paint; it covered the colours beneath it very opaquely unless I started fiddling with different mediums to make it more transparent or more rigid or more something or other; and it wouldn't glow for me no matter what I tried. I started to question whether I was capable of being a painter at all. This was not a good time.
Luckily a friend suggested that I try oil. I'd avoided it because it seemed difficult and intimidating. It wasn't. The first painting that I attempted wasn't actually that bad and, more importantly, it glowed. From the start, I could see that this was a medium that was as beautiful as watercolour. You could layer it, blend it and play with it like thick, bright frosting on a cake. I was in love.
The painting above is my very first oil painting. It's a picture of the painter Sharon Williams addressing a canvas. The colour is fanciful and unrefined but still, it has energy and heart. I'll hang on to it.