Transitioning into Oil Painting

At the back of my head, I think that I’m always considering painting and how to get back into it. My relationship with painting has never been an easy one, at least when looked at in comparison to my relationship to printmaking and sculpture. When I was an undergraduate student, I was completely convinced that painting was what I wanted to focus on. In the years since then, I feel like the distance between me and painting has just gotten longer and longer.

A still life painting from my sophomore year at RISD.
I’ve realized that for the most part, I’m not a colorist and that I tend to use color as a supporting idea to larger concepts of contrast and tone in my work. In addition, I think I’ve had much more success in printmaking than in painting. Even sculpture to a certain degree has felt more concrete for me, perhaps because of the tactility of the medium and the fact that sculpture is just so there.

My initial thoughts for this series on waiting was to eventually let the drawings and prints lead me into the oil painting. I’ve been sidetracked to a certain degree in that the ink drawings and prints are taking one more significance than I initially planned for. Maybe this summer I’ll work up the guts to get back into it. I think the other issue is that when I work with oil painting that sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to make the painting what I think it should be rather than what it needs to be. As a result, I end up compromising what I was trying to achieve to begin with. After this year, I am hoping my experience with the prints and ink drawings will give me a more concrete idea of what I want the oil paintings to look like. Whatever happens, I am certain that when I do revisit oil painting that I want to approach it from a more translucent point of view, layering glazes to create transparencies in the work.

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