|"On the Crowded Streets" - Oil, Cold Wax - ©Mary Montague Sikes|
In those days, I was mostly doing portraits and figurative art. Because I used turpentine to thin the paint and to clean brushes, an annoying dullness became part of the images. I also disliked the odor of turpentine that permeated our house when I painted. It was with great excitement that I discovered acrylic paints. I eventually gave up oils completely and never looked back until recently.
After reading a lot about the cold wax medium, I decided to try it. When I took a workshop at Crossroads Art Center in Richmond with Lisa Boardwine, I was completely hooked. I loved building up layers of oil paint mixed with cold wax--Lisa calls it creating history, then using a variety of tools to remove portions of the surface. More layers of paint add to the history, and then begins the mystery of discovering the imagery that lies hidden beneath the colors.
Mixing cold wax and oil is really a fun way to paint. Best of all, cleanup is with odorless mineral spirits. I can incorporate my love of making a textured surface by using the cold wax over the heavy professional grade gesso I can still get from Utrecht. Experimenting with Cold Wax Painting is truly intriguing. I'm excited about my new work that includes "On the Crowded Streets" above.