A Watched Pot does not Boil

johndrow03 As I impatiently wait for my oil painting studies of Johndrow Vineyards to dry I’m reminded of my British mother's common response, “A watched pot does not boil.” I like to layer the paint on thick. This is good because I get to sculpt the paint, to shape it as a dimensional form. But the down side is that because of my particular painting technique, my paintings can take a very long time to dry. Like wine, it’s done when it's done.  You can’t force it. I do not use toxic mixing mediums or drying agents.  My paintings are created with two essential ingredients: oil paint and linseed oil. This is the greenest approach to oil painting but it is the most expensive.  When a little itty-bitty tube of oil paint runs $50 a tube, many artists are understandably reluctant to use this uneconomical approach. My attitude? This approach feels right and my collectors are worth every penny. So here the studies sit in my San Francisco beach studio waiting for the thick textural sections of each Johndrow Vineyard painting to dry. Dry enough that I can cart them to my fine art photographer’s studio without causing him to grimace, “Are these paintings dry yet?” My photographer and I have history. He knows that I can be too anxious and bring him wet paintings, leaving behind permanent marks of oil paint in his pristine photography studio. Once these studies are photographed the Johndrows will choose a study that I will reinterpret on a 36” x 48” canvas. This is the fun part.  But the choices can also overwhelm my collectors. So I guide them and suggest the images that will do best scaled to a larger size and the ones that contain the most creative energy. The finished large-scale painting will resemble the study but it will be a more refined and evolved version of it. Then we’ll have to wait for that “pot to boil.”
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