Wednesday, April 7, 2010

'From Above'


'From Above' oil on panel - 12x16 © Marc R. Hanson '10

Sometimes I paint just to use materials as much as anything. I love artists materials, they are like having apple pie in the kitchen when coming home from school. I treasure their purpose, I collect them, I even have art supplies that my dad used 40 or 50 years ago or longer. That's another story.

This painting is the result of wanting to paint a buttery warm image last night, and that required on thing... Flake white, made from ground basic lead carbonate. It's a wonderful paint to use. We don't use that often anymore due to it's being toxic if not handled properly. But IF handled properly, there isn't anything quite like it and the handling properties that it has. I have several tubes of it in my paint drawer from a company called Studio Products. They hand grind it in black oil, or did, it isn't shown as available anymore... very sad. I don't use it often and when I do, I am very cautious and that means keeping it off of my skin and out of my mouth, eyes and any cuts I may have.

It's a paint that makes me feel musical because you need to 'work it', to move with it. Compared to titanium white, which goes on the surface like house paint on a house, flake white requires a dance to happen while it's being applied. Okay, I'm over playing it's qualities a little bit, but It is stiffer out of the tube and needs to be whipped a little bit, like a meringue, in order to be workable. This is how I like to use it. Once it is, a touch of colored pigment mixed into it and the color just explodes into the white.

It also allows you to build up some pretty heavy textures of impasto. You can probably see that in the area of the reflection on the water. That paint is about 3/16's of an inch thick.

Well that was fun...

17 comments:

billspaintingmn said...

Marc, This is spiritual. It's one of those moments when you know God is with you.
You paint wonderfully. Very inspiring to me.

Steve Gibson said...

My word, how do you produce so many great paintings as quickly as you do? Your sunlight filtering through the clouds is masterful.

Mick Carney said...

Stunning use of paint. This sort of image is why we attempt to paint the landscape. You have produced a glimpse of the infinite.

d'Morais said...

Very nice. Maybe surreal. I like that.

liz wiltzen said...

Marc, the sky in this painting is incredible in it's subtleness. Lovely.

Bobbi Dunlop said...

Marc, what an absolutely exquisite painting! You never cease to amaze me! I share your love for art supplies, as time consuming as this is at times. Thanks for sharing, love hearing about your process.

Art By Erika said...

This painting hypnotizes Marc and you got buttery! The golden light give is it curious coaxes me to go there for a closer look. Thanks for the insight on flake white with lead. Is that what Wayne Thiebaud painted with when he did desserts?

Walter L. Mosley said...

This is beautiful. I've been admiring your paintings on facebook and am loving seeing them. Is this done in the studio for an outdoor sketch? However it was done, it is really beautiful, thanks.

adebanji said...

Nothing short of the divine!

jeff said...

Marc you should look into getting some Flemish White from Blue Ridge.
It comes in a jar because it's very loose lead white. You can stiffen it up with egg,(never tried this but I am going to) or ground calcite or calcium carbonate which is chalk.
It will stiffen up the paint to the consistency that you want.

Natural Pigments sells the chalk.
I male a putty medium with stand oil which is nice. I use to use a lot but these days I'm just using linseed oil and trups or stand oil and Canada balsam with turps.

Jala Pfaff said...

So gorgeous!!!

I like flake white too, even though it's ridiculously stiff, because it's the only white that feels "warm."

rahina q.h. said...

delightful description of your use of flake white and what an excellent result. beautiful!

Elizabeth McCrindle said...

What can I say....I love it :D

Jesus Estevez said...

you really got Miss Inspiration to your side when you did this painting. what a jewel

John Baker said...

Really nice Marc. I would like to spend some more time with flake white, but wonder about flake with my cads, especially yellow. I've heard they can be trouble together. Do you mix them? As far as I'm concerned, if it's ok with you, it's ok.

Anita Stoll said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Hi Bill... Thank you, you're right.

Steve... Paint, paint, paint! :) Thanks for the kind words.

Mick... that's very kind.

d'Morais... Good thought. Thank you.

Liz... Thanks Liz. I like painting things that are rich but subtle, like this was.

Bobbi... Thank you. It's a disease you know? :)

Erika... Thanks. I don't know if Wayne Thiebaud used flake white but it wouldn't surprise me if he did. At least earlier in his career. Flake white was the more common white to use until more recently.

Walter... Thank you. This was painted inside and loosely based on a photo taken while out sketching a location near by. That's important, to have at least tasted the area from life first. Then the studio has some relationship to what you actually saw, at least in my case.

Abebanji... Thank you!

Jeff... Thanks. I'm going to check into that. Thanks for the lead.

Jala... Thank you. I read in a book years ago that if you 'whip' it with the palette knife that it makes it more workable, and it does. Then there are these makers now who are making a 'stringier' flake white also. But yes, the warmth!!!

Rahina... Thank you! I appreciate your well thought out comments here. :)

Elizabeth... Thank you.

Jesus... Very kind, thank you.

John...Thanks. Every thing that I read says that your concern is something that was valid years ago but not now. Seems that the sulfides in the cadmium have been bound more completely preventing a reaction with the lead in our modern paints. I'm not worried.

Anita... Thank you.