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05/09/2004: "Alternative to Liquin"
I know I bitch all the time about the fumes in my studio/living room...even after getting an exhaust fan (thanks for the suggestion Jackie!). Well, last week I started to just dip my bushes in walnut oil at the end of the day so they wouldn't dry out (rather than clean them). So, I was quite surprised when I found a couple of my brushes quite hard after a few days. Turns out the walnut oil I used was something that my friend Rick left me (with a bunch of other art supplies) when he moved to Washington DC. It's called Walnut Oil Alkyd. The "alkyd" being the important part. It was in the same size bottle and looked identical to the walnut oil I usually use as a painting medium but the added alkyd does essentially the same thing as the Liquin does... it speeds drying time and creates a high gloss. And, although it doesn't dry quite as fast as the Liquin does, it's non-toxic...so no fumes. I don't use any mineral spirits or anything like that, so, without the Liquin I'll pretty much have a scent free studio. I'm so freakin happy. My few remaining brain cells are breathing a sigh of relief.
Also, I've come to realize that starting paintings is fun and easy, it's the finishing part that's not so great. Particularly when I am running ahead of schedule and have plenty of time to fuss over each painting. I'm constantly painting over and over the same paintings but they don't seem to be getting any better. So I've decided I won't start any new paintings until I finish the 15 that I've already started. At the end of each week I'm going to declare two paintings finished and put them away in another room to dry where I won't see them every day and obsess over them.
I had a chance this weekend to work on three paintings already "in progress".
I want to be done with all the painting for the July show by the end of May so they'll have an entire month to dry. That way I can varnish them right before the opening. And now, back to work!