Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back to my Artistic Roots

Aloha - Oil on Canvas, originally uploaded by Jennifer Mullin.

In college, I was introduced to oil paints and working with them felt so natural that I was instantly hooked. I'd been painting for years with acrylics and was successful, but once I touched oils, there was no going back. The way oils move on the canvas, their glow and transparency just could not be matched with acrylics. I found an abstract style that worked for me and painted like crazy through college and a couple of years beyond.

Oil paint does have its constraints and over time it became more impractical for me to work with them. First, there is the smell......Though a pleasant one, it permeates everything. When I lived in Arizona I used to paint out on my deck when it wasn't 100 degrees, but that got old really fast. There is also the issue of the solvents involved. Just how do you properly dispose of them? In college, we just had a big jug that it got poured into. What was I to do at home?

Long story short, I went back to painting with acrylics, then moved onto watercolors and eventually stopped painting altogether. It must be at least 5 years since I have painted with acrylics and maybe 2 years since I've worked with watercolor.

This week, I completed my first oil painting in almost 10 years! My boyfriend Matt is a painter and he encouraged me to try it out again. (Check out Matt's work here.) He's got a great space for painting in his house and even stretched the canvas, so how could I refuse? We worked together on "Aloha" which measures 4' x 7'. Because it was so large, we could easily paint at the same time. His style is more fast loose, mine more deliberate, but it works and we were successful!

There is already been some interest from others to buy it, but I don't think Matt would let that happen! Its currently displayed proudly in his living room, where I think it will stay for some time.

I am starting a tiny 8" x 10" canvas of my own today, and I foresee much more painting in my future. I truly had forgotten just how much I love it and how good I feel when I paint. Hopefully you will see some of my paintings up on Etsy soon.

Happy Sunday.

***ALOHA is available as a giclee print in Matt's shop. Click here.

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