Paper and Plastic and Ruining Everything

Last August, I wrote about how I was going to stop ruining paper by painting plastic on it. Instead, I switched to oil painting instead of acrylic paint.

I’ve been painting mostly in oils for about a year now. What I didn’t know then was that there wasn’t really a way to paint with oils that also didn’t use acrylics too. Prepared canvases and panels are primed with acrylic gesso. To paint with oils on paper, I must use acrylic gesso. (I tried ‘oil paper’ — while some people love it, I found it far too thirsty and ended up gessoing it anyway.)

Often, too, I use acrylics to paint a ground color before painting the main image in oil painting.

There are other drawbacks to oils, too, not the least of which is the drying time. I’ve learned to be more patient with that, but it’s still a drawback.

Sometimes I don’t even have the patience to wait for acrylics to dry. Even when using a hairdryer or fan to speed it along.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that while oils are interesting and fun in their own way, and I’m glad I learned to use them, and I’ll continue to use them off and on in the future, I’m going back to ruining paper with acrylic paint and mixed media.

After all, I make art mostly for myself, as well as gifts for friends and family. Some people call that being a ‘hobby painter.’ Which is fine, I guess. I prefer the word ‘amateur’ which means I do it for the love of it. I may sell something now and then, but I’ll never be a ‘professional artist,’ dealing with collectors and galleries and the ‘art world’ whatever that is.

painting of stone ruins
Ruining Everything, Acrylics on Paper, 9″ x 12″

I make things because I’m an incurable maker of things, and I’m happiest when I’m making all kinds of different things in all kinds of different media to express all the feelings and ideas I have about everything. That’s how it’s always been.

So hang around to see what I ruin next.

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