Okay, I have had some time off, a lot of time off considering I had to walk away from my main job at the end of the year due to the repetitive strain injury from too much computer time, and the psychological environment that eventually ground me down too far to continue, even using my spiritual tools, and left me with an ulcer. When I finally got disengaged for good it seemed the sky suddenly opened up and there was the sun shining, and I thought I would take a break and do some art before looking again, though I'd always been looking every month or two for the over two and a half years I held the job.
I underestimated the power of Resistance. It's a long story and I made a vow to just stop with those, so go get Steven Pressfield's The War of Art. If you are any sort of creative type, it will make your eyes go wide, even if you already know some of this like I did. It is Just. So. Clear. There is no escaping learning how to deal with creative blocks of all sorts. Once fully uncovered resistance has a harder time hiding as it does its damage.
So I have been selling my stuff, started up an old business again that I enjoy, worked two other PT jobs I still had, played a lot of FarmVille and ukes, fitted out my studio space, then re-did it, and again, then when it was just right caught up on some TV shows and books. I just took up photography again with a new digital I'd been waiting for for 18 years. Figured out there was some stalling and procrastination going on. Figured it was fear based. That perfectionism thing. I am working on two commissions, one in oil. I haven't done oils for a few years now, cause well, I have been working and not painting. Had gone back to acrylics prior, forgot how to really use them effectively in the new style I'm trying to work out. Bought some great books and will share them next post. Got really excited, did some experimentation. Bought new supplies for those new ideas, which is also procrastination and retail therapy combined, a twofer!
I was going over my medium materials and needed a few things and darn. Cennini Studio Products has sold their painting products division and left no forwarding address. I was looking to replace my Lead Napthanate 24%, used as a drier in oil mediums or added to oil paint. The link in my sidebar (the paint brush) will still take you to the forums and a lot of fine information on oil painting geared towards Renaissance materials and traditions and technique and making your own paint, but the raw products are gone. I thought that I would now have to hoard my Ugly Dog Brush Soap, but Natural Pigments, also linked below Studio Products has it. I think that the soap smells like relabeled Murphy's Oil Soap. If it is, you can get it cheaper by buying Murphy's, but the label won't be as cool.
The other item I usually bought from them was a real lead white tubed oil paint.Natural Pigments has that. It has a really nice workability, dries everything it is mixed with better, is a good warm white with a faint yellow tint, and is dangerous if you get it on your skin and then eat lunch or smoke without washing it off. So don't. I wear nitrile gloves when I use oils. You can get them locally in drug stores but a box of 100 from Dick Blick is very reasonable. Try them out. I have started using them with my acrylics too. More about acrylics later. I have not posted anything on this blog, which was just deteriorating into egocentric rants instead of anything productive or useful regarding painting or art.
Right now my micro office/studio smells like good oil paint and a little oil of spike that I added to the medium I ended up making, with stand oil, English and a little Venetian (thick) turpentine, Damar varnish, a tiny bit of walnut oil to add a slippery touch to reduce the pull of the stand oil without over turping, a touch or lead (now all dried up in the bottle, sigh) and that dollop of spike, which is made from lavendar. It smells incredible, however I always keep everything capped, and only use a couple of small mixing knife fulls as needed for my paint as I'm mixing. Smells like home. Smells like good work accomplished. Smells like joy and enthusiasm. Smells like resistance has left the building.