|8x10 inch on linen panel|
Subject matter: I liked pairing the single rose with the religious symbols, especially since we often send flowers and pray for those we love. I recently purchased this little vase in an antique store for a few dollars and then found out that its taller cousin came with it, so now I have two. If any one has followed my blog from the beginning (Hello, are you out there?), you know that I have struggled with roses. I feel I'm improving, so feel free to let me know what you think. (And while you're at it, sign up to follow my blog--down on the right hand side of the page. I don't know what happens when you do this, but I'm pretty sure you won't get a visit from the FBI.)
Surface: I love linen panels! Right now I'm experimenting with all different ones. This one is a C13 from New Traditions Art Panels. The "C" stands for Claessens, a company somewhere in Belgium that is famous for their linen. New Traditions uses different substrates but my favorite is Gatorfoam. It is archival yet incredibly lightweight. Of course, linen is much more expensive than canvas and other surfaces, especially if it is oil or lead primed. But I've decided that fighting against a bad surface ruins the fun of oil painting! Of course, there are many good canvas surfaces too; but I simply won't paint on the cheap ones any more. The quality of the canvas and the priming make a huge difference. When I began my journey in oil painting, I didn't know any of this. It's interesting that beginners usually start out using sub-standard materials, such as student grade paints and cheap canvases. I wonder if beginners would progress faster if they began with better materials?
Exciting new additions: I recently purchased a beautiful Matisse French wood taboret from Jerry's Artarama. Here's a photo of it in my tiny studio area. It's perfect and keeps me from bending over so much to reach my palette. Now if I could just make the room a few feet wider...