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Oil and Water

Lake Michigan Willow

“Lake Michigan Willow”

Well, here it is, my first oil painting.  I’ve got to say, it wasn’t easy to force myself to make the change but every time I read another book about the environment and what we are doing to it, I found it harder to live with painting with acrylics.  For my first one I  thought the lakeshore would be an inspiring choice.  I wanted to catch the wonderful color of a weeping willow just as it is breaking bud in the spring, and the subtle colors of the sky meeting the lake.  Even so, this painting languished in my studio for months while I wavered.  Happily, the good people at Earth Paint added a gorgeous purple to their line and that was the inducement I needed.  I ordered a pound of the stuff, which ought to keep me happy for quite awhile.  The pure pigments are mixed with walnut oil, and I use no chemical additives at all.  The pigment is completely archival, and I’m told that walnut oil will neither yellow nor crack with age.  So, off I go on my next painting adventure.

10 thoughts on “Oil and Water

  1. Congratulations on your first oil, Melissa. I like the effect of the weeping willow with the softly lit sky you have created with your lovely new purple.
    It is apparent that, in this case at least, oil and water do mix. I applaud your responsible use of clean media. We use walnut oil to maintain our wood utensils and cutting boards. I do believe your use is a cut above. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Steve 🙂 I’m glad you liked my little joke with the title, and so pleased that you like how the painting to turn out. That is interesting~ walnut oil on your wood cutting boards and utensils. How often do you apply it?

      1. To be honest, I am not sure….Mary Beth does the honors. Maybe once a month. We wanted to protect it with something edible and not prone to becoming rancid.

  2. Congrats from me, too. Making a big change can be hard. I’m glad you got the right pigment to inspire you to go ahead. Willows are one of my favorites. We had two behind the house when I was a kid.

    1. Thanks Jim! Yeah, I love my purple. I like willows a lot, too. Next time I’m swinging from the branches I’ll think of you 🙂

  3. That is good to know about the oil~thanks! I have heard references suggesting it be done, but always wondered what oil to use and what the purpose was. Now I know 🙂

  4. Happy new, as my wife likes to say. I remember the smell of oil paint from when I was a kid.

    Your statement that “walnut oil will neither yellow nor crack with age” reminded me of this line from Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra”:

    “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
    Her infinite variety.”

  5. Happy new~ I like that. Yes, I do kind of like how my studio smells now and it is cool how I can control how thick the paint is.
    Your memory for Shakespeare is remarkable. I used to read the plays with my children, each of us taking a part.

  6. This is so very beautiful !

    1. Thank you! I have a real soft spot for weeping willows.

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