Monday, February 22, 2016

Exploration

About a month ago I visited a colleague in her studio, while she was on a nearby retreat in northern New Mexico.  Rebecca Crowell is one of the foremost contemporary painters using oil paint mixed with cold wax medium.  She teaches all over the world.  I was fortunate to spend a few hours watching her work.  I was so inspired that I decided to experiment with cold wax when I got back to my studio. Using Gamblin cold wax medium with oil paint allows for a myriad of textures and effects that I was unable to achieve with oil paint alone.  The wax also helps the paint set up faster, so layering is facilitated. I stopped using stretched canvases – you need a rigid support to paint on, so now I am working on beautiful panels with 2 inch birch cradles (sides). The panels are lovely physical objects in themselves, and, for now, I’m working with small sizes.  I’m no longer using brushes – instead I’m reaching for palette knives, squeegees, scrapers, brayers, and pigment sticks.  I am still in a relatively experimental stage, but I love the results so far, and have decided to move forward with this major transformation in my style and materials. I am taking up a new challenge and I’m very excited about this evolution in my work.

I have been painting grids for five years, and I have been using only oil paints on canvas for more than 30 years. The change in my materials and technique has been a revelation. Sometimes it can be a little frightening to step out of your “comfort zone” and reinvent yourself. But I feel that the New Year and my recent birthday have been nudges to inspire a radical shift. I’m excited, and look forward to creating this new body of work. 

Boreas 1, oil and cold wax on panel, 12 x 6 x 2 inches

Boreas 2, oil and cold wax on panel, 12 x 6 x 2 inches

Hesperia, diptych, oil and cold wax on panel, 6 x 8 x 2 inches each panel




8 comments:

stephanie dalton said...

Very exciting transition Diane, i think it's great that you are embracing this new direction. Your works look so well suited to this new path. I love working in cold wax myself, and Rebecca is the perfect catalyst.

Diane McGregor said...

Thank you so much, Stephanie. This is a new thing for me, being thrilled in the studio again -- I didn't realize how stuck I was until I was free! I appreciate your support and encouragement! xoxox

Dara Mark said...

These are like the little rectangles blown up so we can see all the marvelous textures. Brava!

Diane McGregor said...

They are, indeed, Dara! I realize within each cell of the grid was a beautiful composition -- these new paintings have increased the scale and visibility of each tiny composition.

Sue Marrazzo said...

love

Diane McGregor said...

Thank you for reading, Sue.

Rounder Studio Stuff said...

Wowiw! I've made you my Artist of the Day...http://rounderstudiostuff.blogspot.com/2016/03/artist-of-day-diane-mcgregor.html

Diane McGregor said...

Thank you so much, Nancy! I am honored.