|Walk Along the Berm, Oil on stretched canvas, 11" x 9", November, 2013|
Juliet asked. "What's in a title?" I ask. A clue to what the painting is all about I imagine?
Titles annoy me; there's so many possibilities. Which one would a viewer remember? Which one would make me recall the painting? While I really think of this first small landscape in oil as Turn Left at The Sign, because that's how I'm going to remember where to turn to go down to the lake this summer, that title is too private. So is Walk Along The Berm, though it's the truth, and a bit more romantic, (a walk down any berM, lane, garden path is romantic). Titled categorically, this is Oil Landscape #1, not intriguing, not poetic, definitely not romantic, but true as well.
Two titles I, as a viewer, recall: Hand to Mouth which was brilliant for a relief sculpture of an arm, a shoulder and profile; and Hard as Stainless Steel, a pencil drawing of what I couldn't tell you. I don't recall the artwork that went with that last title, but the phrase always goes through my mind when I run into difficult situations calling for difficult decisions. I think the artist and I shared a world view.
I found it hard to make the transfer from acrylics to oils. I threw away my first attempt, as you know from two posts ago--the one that looked like a cotton ball tree. This one is a keeper. The oil process is so very different from acrylics. The drying time must be respected. No hair blowers allowed. I used mineral spirits to speed it up, but after establishing the first values, I prefer a mix of half and half linseed oil and mineral spirits. The paint is juicier and more malleable. I like the finish too. --And God Bless my opposable thumb! It came in handy. I used it for a lot more than picking up the brushes and holding on to them.