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My first oil painting was done by taking paint-by-number paints with a cardboard box as my canvas.  I was about ten.  From there I used oils until my late twenties, when I went to watercolors.  After that I didn’t paint with oil again until a year ago.  For me I found so much life in watercolors that oil painting felt dull and lifeless to me.  A year ago I read that an artist should have three heroes and that we should strive not to copy our heroes, but to incorporate them into our own style, honoring them with our own work.  I chose Rembrandt van Rijn as my first hero and it has turned out to be a good choice.  I found the life I was missing in my oils.  It was light.  That same light that I’d had in my watercolor paintings was possible with oil as well.  At this point I’ve only painted three oil paintings (this go round, at least).  They are all of four children.  I’ve done several studies (two in oil, three in colored pencil) and I’ve started over with a canvas four times.  A recent catastrophe with a dog and a cat left my fourth attempt with gaping holes.  A friend is going to help me cut the canvas and make it into two smaller paintings.  Knowing that all is not lost helps.


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