Before opening River Luna, the majority of my work was in oil. I decided to make the switch to watercolors because I was concerned about the toxicity of the paints and turpentine. I paint daily, so I didn't want to constantly be exposed to the chemicals, and the cleanup became more of a hassle. At that time I didn't have my studio, and I also didn't want my family around the paints.
It was a nice break, however it's been extended since opening River Luna. I just couldn't find the time to use oils while working and being home full time with my son. River is 4 now, and has preschool a couple days a week. I don't know if I'll really be able to keep up with my oils, but I am going to try my best. This past week I set up my easel in one corner of the studio. It's the perfect space, with plenty of natural light. I've been slowly working on my India Series, and I'm in no rush to finish. I paint leisurely. I love how rich the colors of oils are, and it's the only medium I care to paint portraits in which I enjoy immensely.
It's interesting to have two main mediums. It almost feels like learning about two different sides of myself, my life. Working in watercolors, I find the beauty in everything from nature. I feel so much freedom with the paint, light hearted and joyful in exploring my surroundings, studying the earth.
With oils, I explore people. The nature of people, emotion, culture, our connections, and the expression in their eyes. Through painting I learn more about my childhood, others, and what makes them who they are. The oils can get a little dark at times, and I suppose that's also why I love watercolors so much. They bring light in when an oil painting gets too heavy for me to continue.
Okay, so the pieces above are unfinished, obviously...but it feels like I should just put it out here anyway. I have a thing where I don't finish my oil paintings. I'm not sure why, I just never do. It bothers me, but I've even sold paintings unfinished. I'd really like to change that, so my goal here is to at least finish these three. Just these and that will be enough.
I'm sure there's an important experience I'm missing in finishing a painting that I've spent so many hours on. So once I get there, I'll come back to share.
~ marisa ~