Recently, I had one of my students ask if they could use me as a resource for their project in another class, and it was on oil painting. I jumped at the chance to help because even at 26 I believe I have some expertise in oil painting. Here are her questions, and of course, the ones I answered. I hope you learn something new about myself and enjoy!
How would you describe oil painting?
I would describe oil painting as traditional but still a very modern medium to work with. It gained the most popularity in the 15 century, and of course the Renaissance. Oil painting has been around for so long for a reason, and that’s because you can do so many new techniques with it. There are some techniques in my opinion only oil can achieve. For example, if you want perfectly smooth transitions from one color to another oil is the best, and believe me I know because i have struggled with acrylic paint knowing that if i just switched back to oil paint, it would be much easier.
When you think of oil painting, what is the first thing that pops into your head?
The first thing that I thought of was a Claude Monet painting Water Lilies. He is my favorite artist of all time and his oil paintings embody many of the aesthetics and feelings I want to inspire in my own work. I also simultaneously thought of color because to me oil paint will always be the brightest, most lushest and rich paint to work with. Acrylic is getting there but for me nothing can compare to oil
What is oil painting to you?
Oil painting to me represents expression and comfort. Art has always been the best way that I communicate with others and let people see who I am. Oil painting holds a special place in my heart because it is what I do when I am upset or sad. The act of painting soothes me just as much as it energizes me. I can make one brush mark and be totally happy. I am naturally introverted and shy even though most people can’t tell, and painting helped me be confident in who I am and in some ways helps me talk to people in ways I normally would not.
When did you start painting?
I did my first oil painting when I was in 9th grade my dad gave me the paints to work with from his kit. I loved playing with them, but hated that i could never clean my brush. My dad never gave me mineral spirits or turpentine to clean my brush, so at first I thought oil paints were inconvenient and hard to work with. However in undergraduate school I had my first oil painting class and on the first day with the proper materials I fell in love. All of my undergraduate work is in oil painting and I just love it!
Why would you choose oil painting over some other medium?
I would choose oil paint over another medium I think. it is a close call with acrylic paint at the moment, but I think my paintings could have been achieved just as well in oil. I just wanted to learn to use acrylic, but I have found that my experience with oil is more extensive, and I have developed my vocabulary of techniques. I feel I could make whatever I wanted with oil.
Can you talk a little bit about your oil painting experience/fine art experience?
So, I have always liked art and always done art as a child and young adult. I thought when going to college I wanted to be a science teacher, artist or art historian. I needed to start on art courses right away at my undergrad of SUNY Potsdam to get prerequisites out to the way, and once I started those classes I never stopped. I knew that I wanted to paint and decided to get my BFA there. I graduated SUNY Potsdam with a BFA in painting and photography and an art history minor. My undergraduate thesis was about expressing a person or animals character through paint, oil paint to be specific . I wanted my technique of blurring portions of the portrait to convey something to the viewer, an introduction of sorts from one stranger to another. I took one year off before coming to RIT for my MFA in studio fine art. I made this decision because I wanted to teach at the college level. I wanted to help inspire young artist just as my professors inspired me, but hopefully give them a little real world advice and tips, as a young emerging artist. Being an artist is hard and I have been in juried shows and a couple of group shows. I was recently in the Studio Visit magazine, but always am applying to show my artwork. My thesis work in graduate school is currently in Acrylic, but that doesn’t mean I stopped using my oil paints, and very soon I hope to work on my foundation oil painting skills in Plen Air painting when my thesis is finished.
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