Miscellaneous · Mixed Media

OUT OF THE BOX! Cold Wax + Oils


“Slowly Going Nuts”

Carol A. More

A while back I decided I needed to expand my understanding of composition and other materials useful in my trash-2-collage work. Why? I’m not sure, but it sounded good at the time. This weekend I secured a coveted seat in one of Cindy Walton’s Cold Wax & Oils beginner’s workshops. Yikes.

I’m complaining here

You know the cold (I’ll be using this descriptive word often here), sick feeling you get, one hour into a class, when you say to yourself “OMG, what the heck am I doing here?!”  Uh huh. First, the investment was huge. My beloved husband gifted me the class for a Christmas present (I wouldn’t have spent the high dime) and then I had to buy EVERYTHING on the supply list. EVERYTHING. I was into half a thousand before I even received my credit card statement. Second and most important, I learned a lot and third, I stayed the entire three days – surprising myself. My teeth were ground down to nibs and I was the first one to my car when it was over. I must have been giving off vibes of wanting to run the final day/hour, when Cindy asked us to journey to each person’s workstation while she critiqued and then she stink-eyed me through clenched teach, asking ALL of us to stay for the review of everyone’s art. Who me?  Duck out early?  Me?  In all honesty, I deserved that stink-eye. I might have dodged…..

The freaking mess of oil paints….

And the mess. OMG, the mess. Oils frighten me for many reasons. Reading that Old Masters went bat-sh*t crazy from lead poisoning didn’t help. First day, I used an apron; second and third days, I draped myself in a XXXL men’s shirt that draped to my ankles. I have oil paint in my car, on my steering wheel, on my art lab floor (must have been on my shoe bottoms), in my hair, on my eyelids, under my nails, on my leather purse….I’m sick of looking at the stuff.  There’s nothing like vacuuming up bits of paper from my lab floor at the end of a free-for-all art day. But this oil……Lord have mercy.

I’m a collage artist and my job is to over work a piece!

That said, this is the only one of six panels and two oil paper quads that I wanted to publicly share.  I am an over-worker of art. I know that. I pride myself in it. I’ll never be accused of slapping the minimum down with my arms raised in Olympic-style triumph shouting “DONE”, slap a price tag on it and move on. In my narrow mind, I believe that’s what collage artists do. They over work! In fact….I will over work something to death, walk away and mess with it again….day after day after day. If I had a dime for every time I heard the word ‘stop’ or ‘leave it’ directed my way from Cindy, I would have paid off the hefty oil paint investment in one day. Something else…all the supplies were provided at the workshop – all FREE from the art companies and for our use. Does this experience spoil my desire to learn? Nope. I’m signing up for a drawing class next. That and the cold wax+oils class should sufficiently humble me for 2017.

And no, it’s not the title of this piece (“Slowly Going Nuts”).  I’m thinking a more professionally appropriate title is “Never Again”.



10 thoughts on “OUT OF THE BOX! Cold Wax + Oils

  1. Working with oil paints is on my “to do” list – I will do it some time but not at the moment! I’m happy working with acrylics and watercolours for the time being. Well done for sticking out the class Carol – I would love to do some art classes, but I don’t have the time or money just now. The drawing class should be good… !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s expensive. LMK when you decide to try it and I’ll mail the unopened paints (and sundry other ‘required’ things we never even used) to you as a gift….if I haven’t boosted them on Craigslist by then! I so want them out of this house! XOXO

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve done printmaking with oil based paints. I hear you. It gets everywhere and hangs around like a bad smell. And often with a bad smell. Give me torn paper and acrylics any day. That said, it’s all contrast, right? Context. Reassurance your place is your place, your method is your voice. Good for you seeing it through. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mixy! I couldn’t have said it better. So tonight, I was teaching a yoga class and demo’ing a pose when I caught sight of a green stain on the sole of my right foot…..yep you guessed it. OIL PAINT. Then I frantically ran home to trace my steps through the house with a bottle of solvent….And the scary thing is I didn’t even have my paints out today!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You raised a very sympathetic chuckle from me – the last workshop I did was mixed media drawing, which should have been straightforward, but I spent the first half wondering why I was there – almost trying not to cry! Then, after lunch, I thought what the hell, and let loose and produced several pieces I was happy with. BUT in the end they just didn’t feel like me, so even though I like what I did, I won’t work like that again. The main thing I learnt (or remembered!) is that I am slow to relax into a new situation, but eventually it comes good, and not to expect too much of myself. I do love oils myself, but I keep them pretty well constrained so there isn’t huge mess. I love that piece you show at the top, so as far as I can see you had success!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and bless you, Anna, for putting my thoughts into words. I went home the first day so cranky which wasn’t the best attitude to begin the 2nd day. My learning outcomes were the same. I AM glad I stayed for the entire weekend – I admit it was more about trying to get my money’s worth but in doing so, I felt I learned enough to feel successful. Maybe I just broke even! Art is such a metaphor for life, isn’t it? Layering and uncovering, light and dark, open and closed, free and constrained…..it all works out. Thanks for your thoughts – what a lovely way to start my day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was great for me to read of someone having a similar experience to me – generally everyone else seems to love workshops and get heaps out of them, maybe they feel they have to though! But it teaches us something about ourselves too I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

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