Undulations, 11"x14," Oil on panel, ©Lynn Goldstein, private collection
Oil painting was my first love in college.
After graduation, I continued working in oil for several years. However, I switched over to soft pastels to avoid the solvents required to work in oil necessary at the time. Many years later, I tried oils again, utilizing odor-free mineral spirits. I wasn't able to rid myself of the concern that I was still breathing the fumes, I just couldn't smell them. Furthermore, I hated washing my brushes. It was so difficult to get the paint out of the bristles. I found myself thinking about the fact that after each painting session, I would have to wash the darned brushes. That alone was sapping the joy from my painting experience.
I kept hearing about water-mixable oils, and I decided to give them a try. Now that I have found my favorite brand, I am hooked. The color is vibrant, I don't have to use solvents, and I can clean my brushes with ease. If you are wondering about this medium, which is real oil paint, I can give you a big thumbs-up.
Here is a list of the positive aspects of water-mixable oils:
1. No solvents are needed.
2. They dry slightly faster—if you are used to conventional oils, this may not seem positive. I am thrilled.
3. They are great for travel because they dry faster and you don't need solvents to use them.
4. You may mix them with traditional oil paint. This is great if you want to use paint you already have. Don't use half-and-half conventional and water-mixable oil. The more conventional oil you use in the mix, the less water-mixable the paint becomes.
5. You may purchase water-mixable mediums such as thinners, glazing liquids, etc. in order to change the way behaves. For example, the glazing liquid will create a more transparent paint.
6. I do not generally thin my paint with water, but you may do so. If you do, I recommend only doing so for your under painting.
7. You may clean your brushes during a painting session in water rather than in solvent.
8. You may clean up after your session with soap and water.
I am sure you are curious. My favorite brand is Cobra by Royal Talens. I also like Daniel Smith.
Below is a very short video that shows you one of the ways that I start my oil paintings. The image above is the finished piece.
Want to learn more about this terrific medium? You are in luck! I am teaching an online Zoom "Live" workshop soon. Click the button below to learn more and to sign up now.
A shelf in my studio outside my home
I own an embarrassing amount of art books. They take up space all over my house, in my studio outside my home, and I love them.
However, I have some all-time faves. These are the books that always seem to find their way into my hands. They move from my studio outside my home, back to my home with regularity, and from room-to-room frequently. To find out what they are, and why I consider them some of the best out there, check out this video.
Fleeting Imagination, 18"x14," oil on panel, ©Lynn Goldstein, $800
Having lived in the Washington, DC area for decades, I have visited the Torpedo Factory Art Center more frequently than I can begin to say. Between taking classes, visiting artist studios and showing my work in juried exhibitions there, I have spent countless hours at this artist's mecca.
For years I have also considered throwing my canvas into the ring to become a part of the Torpedo Factory Artist's Association. That said, I knew that being accepted was not an easy task. Fear played a role as it often has when I was faced with the clear-eyed possibility of rejection.
In fact, I experienced that rejection a few years ago when I applied. Didn't even make it through the "first round" in the battle.
This time was different. The art goddesses smiled on me, and I recently received my acceptance. I am thrilled.
To see the art that I submitted, click read more.
Commissioned painting in progress
Commissioning a piece of art is a wonderful way to get exactly what you want. Sometimes a collector has a specific request.
For the past several weeks I have been working on completing a commission that was requested by someone who knew exactly what he wanted. When Mark (name changed to protect the innocent) saw one of my paintings in my studio, he fell in love. He would have walked out with the piece, but it simply wasn't big enough for his space. So, he asked me if I would make the painting again in a specific size.
Now, I know that many artists would likely say no to such a request because they would not want to repeat a painting that was already completed. I saw it as a challenge that I wanted to tackle.
Also, Mark really loved the painting and I wanted to bring joy to his life.
Verdant, 24x36 inches, Oil on panel with maple sides, © Lynn Goldstein $2100
As you, my dear readers know, my mission in life is to try to help people feel peace in a difficult world.
Here's the rub. Lately, I have had a tough time finding that calm myself. As a result, I have been searching for ways toward equilibrium.
About a month ago my husband sat down next to me, fired up the television, and surprised me with one of my all-time favorite feel-good films. He knew I would be touched by the gesture, and I was. As a result of the success of that evening, we have been looking for some old favorites that will uplift our spirits.
Hopefully, this list will help you to feel good too.
I couldn't be more happy to offer my first online course, Build Color Confidence using only 6 pastels.
Sometimes less is more! With this course, you will be using a very limited palette to help you with all your paintings in the future. You will have a clearer idea of how to use a color wheel and select color schemes for your paintings.
Take a look at the video below that will explain all you will receive by enrolling in this class.
If you would rather not watch the video, head on over to my course page to see all that is included! To see that page, click here.
Hope to see you soon!
"Thank you so much for your pastel workshop. I'm appreciating the information and quite excited to be trying the first exercise. You are making it so enjoyable and I'm feeling I'm in the room with you. "
So happy to share with you that I sold one of my all-time favorite paintings recently. See below. The collector is thrilled with it, and I am thrilled that she feels such happiness. This sale has made me think about my own art collection, and the joy that I have derived from the art that I have collected over the years.
Several years ago, I read an article written by an artist who wanted to know if fellow artists purchased original artwork.
After I got that particular question stuck in my bonnet, I had to go through my house to check the original art that I had in my home. This was to ensure that I was indeed supporting the arts in the best way that I knew how. By looking at what I had under my own roof, I realized that not only did I buy original art, but I had work that I had purchased decades before.
I have been buying original art since I was in my early 20s. The work that I have collected over the years has been varied, but all of it holds a special place in my heart. I have collected glass, ceramics, painting in all kinds of media, and woodblock prints. These are treasures that I have moved from place-to-place and have helped to make happy spaces throughout my home. We all need a little joy now and then.
Since I usually show you my own work, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites by others. These pieces brighten my life every day. I stop to look at them often. I like to put them in groupings that may give you some ideas for your own happy spaces.
Hope that you enjoy them too. Please let me know about some of the art that uplifts you in your home. I would love to know in the comments below.
Ataraxia, 30x30 inches, oil on panel, ©Lynn Goldstein, $2600 Available for purchase
Studies have shown that living with art makes you happier. How great is that? You benefit whether you are making your own art or whether you are enjoying someone else's creations.
These positive results were not what I was looking for when I realized that I hadn't taken enough time out of my studio to see art in other settings. But I can tell you that I definitely felt the uplift when I went to the opening reception of the new exhibition: John Singer Sargent—Portraits in Charcoal at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. To bring that joy to you, I have included some of my favorite pieces from that exhibition. See below:
Ongoing Ritual, 36x36 inches, oil on canvas, $3100 ©Lynn Goldstein
Painting is like golf. Bear with me. This will make sense.
My father was an avid golfer. He played as often as he could and was always happy when he got time on the links. While gathered around the dinner table, we would always ask him how his day had been when he returned home after playing a round. I remember, with great love, the smile that would spread on his lips as he responded, “It was great, I think I have finally found it.”
Waving, 12x9 inches, pastel on paper, ©Lynn Goldstein more info here
So, do you feel like you are living inside a sci-fi novel yet? Trust me, I am not making light. With the supermarket aisles devoid of canned goods, meats, produce, and TP, not to mention anti-bacterial gel and wipes, it feels pretty eery. That, coupled with all the news that is coming at us every day. I have been pretty anxious.
Music has always been my go-to when I feel upset. Putting on some music has helped me since I was a little girl and I listened to 45 rpm records of Walt Disney musical hits. (I KNOW! I am aging myself)
Music has also been a constant while I am making my paintings. I have certain go-to music for my different moods. I also use music if I feel that the work is getting less lively and I want the art to project a lively, upbeat feeling . I bet you can figure out from the list below which music I use to bring more life to my art. Interestingly, I think that some of the art that I make has a musical rhythm in it.