Yesterday I spent some time with my father in his work studio. Over the years, I have spent countless hours watching him work and usually, while he paints, he talks about what he’s doing and why. Before I know it, observation becomes a lesson. I have no idea why I haven’t picked up on this wonderful activity for myself however, in hindsight, I have instead, taken on his ability to experiment, to try things out, to be always practising and to enjoy the process more than the outcome.
While he was painting, he told me about how he’s actually using oil paints (water mixable oils) and found that they mix better with water based turpentine so he’s using them as he would use water paints. He enjoys the latter more than oil painting but this now allows him to experience the best of both worlds.
The freedom to move the brush over the canvas in free form and to mix and blend colours on canvas is not possible with thick oils. There’s also the pesky situation of waiting for oils to dry so the experience is totally different. However, he seems to have now figured out a way to overcome this with the water based oils.
He uses some techniques here that are all of his devising. To a non-painter like myself, I may not understand the nuances of painting but what I do understand is the importance of being able to test things out, experiment, fail and learn – over time, your practice helps you become better.
In his words, “if you’re not having fun while you’re learning, you’re not learning.”
I decided to collate all the videos I took (as originally I posted them as a Twitter thread) and create the full video above instead.
Ive spent countless hours watching my dad paint in his studio. He loves water painting but he’s experimenting with water mixable oil paints. He’s found they mix better with water based turps so he uses different techniques to feel like water paints but without hassles of oil. pic.twitter.com/8LTVj5AxbZ
— Helen Blunden #MSIgnite Community Reporter 🎤📸🤳 (@ActivateLearn) October 4, 2019