Why Oil Paint

My preference for oil paint over synthetic materials lies in its inherent quality, each layer of pigment is "alive" and interacts with those above and below. I can also work back into layers since they take time to dry and thus offer many possibilities suited to my process in which I reflect and revisit a composition many times. The material itself becomes an active influence in my choices along side my original inspiration and vision.

Paintings for me start by preparing and building their support. Using traditional techniques and materials from old masters, I stretch and size belgian linen with rabbit-skin glue and then prepare the surface with white oil ground. I enjoy the texture of the weave to interact with the painting process and typically use the medium to coarse weaves rather than the fine weaves used for portrait painting.

What Doerning wrote, "The ground [...] has an extraordinary influence on the durability of the picture and the action of the colors, as well as on the later preservation and luminosity of the painting. Most painters believe that with oil colors anything is permitted, that one can go on indefinitely covering up one coat of paint with another [...] But even with the thickest oil colors the ground strikes through [...]"* is very significant to me and, I believe, extends to subsequent layers of paint. Each layer, each pigment, contributes along with the forms and images to realize my paintings.

*from The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting translated by Eugen Neuhaus, revised edition, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. 1962