"Unwavering Stream", 24x36" o/c ©Brenda Boylan
Over the past year, I have had many discussions and thoughts about rediscovering painting with oils as a means of discovery and possibly expanding my work. When I was a very young artist, I had impromptu lessons in oil painting from my neighbor Robert Guise, who at the time was 76 years old and grumpy as grit. He believed in me and showed me the artist's life. I continued to play and practiced with the medium up until I was in college and into my young adulthood. But when I found pastel, back in 1994, I was so hooked that I packed the oily stuff away and never looked back. A big part of this decision to switch was because I had started a family and the thought of oil medium and turpentine spilling or getting into young hands was not a picture I wanted in my family album. Pastel is spontaneous, forgiving, and if you have to stop quickly for some reason, (like a baby waking from a nap) you can just wash your hands and go! No turps and solvents, oils drying, ruining brushes before I can find time to clean them, to stop me from my family duties. So pastel it was!
A lot of time has passed and I'm ready to explore oil again as a complement to my pastel work, but I admit, I am doing this with a ton of apprehension. I'm trusting myself that failure and growth are part of the journey, willing to explore and learn as I enter back into the world of oils. So, please, join me in my journey as I grow into the medium. And to all you lovers of pastel, I'm not abandoning my joy of the dusty medium, just complimenting it. Happy new year!
Above: A large piece I did in waaaay back in 1988. Woah!