Sometimes, I play with oil paint

Oil painting_Zelda_feistyharriet_2016

Several years ago on kind of a whim I bought a set of professional water color paints and a how-to manual. I hadn’t tried using watercolors since I was a kid and, frankly, they are a lot harder than I remembered. You can’t layer paint very well with watercolors, it jut makes everything a muddy-colored mess. Within a few weeks I had given up on watercolor and moved on to oil paint, where the final product is ALL about layering. I watched some YouTube tutorials, read “Oil Painting for Dummies” several times over (yes, really), and got my hands dirty.

Oil painting_windmill with purple sky_feistyharriet_2016

I quickly fell in love with the medium, with the smells of paint and linseed oil, the feel of brushes and palette knives, and the different ways to get paint from the tube onto a canvas: big brush, small brush, fingers, skinny knife, wide knife, paper towel; thick paint vs thinned paint; paint well mixed or paint with stripes of the combining colors still showing. I love mixing up colors, trying to add a bit more yellow, or burnt umber, or viridian to get the perfect shade.

Oil painting_winter barn_feistyharriet_2016

Now, I am in no means a professional artist, and for now I have no real aspirations to become one. Professionals have taken years and years or courses in color theory and composition and medium; they have spent tens of thousands of hours honing their craft and practicing.Ā  Really, I doubt I will ever attain that level of skill, I prefer “abstract” because for me it’s easier to identify my attempts as such instead of trying to pretend I know how to draw faces or bodies or anything else truly recognizable. I sometimes dabble in reality, but usually give it crazy sky or bizarre colors or something so I don’t have to worry as much about it being too real-looking.

Oil painting_Windmill on the hill_feistyharriet_2016

But, I love it. I think this will be a life-long hobby for me. One thing on my life bucket list is to get paid for a commissioned painting; I would not accept payment for something I didn’t consider at least quasi-professional, so for now I paint for my family, and a few friends, but mostly I just paint for myself.

Oil painting_Spanish monastery_feistyharriet_2016

Ok, so, based on this post you’d think I have a thing for windmills…and, I suppose I kind of do, but mostly I have a thing for color–the crazier the better! Do you have any hobbies you’ve taken up as an adult? Or hobbies that you dabble in for the love of it, and not necessarily because you’re brilliant at it?

Harriet sig

29 thoughts on “Sometimes, I play with oil paint

  1. WhenInTurkey

    I’ve been an artist/art hobbiest since I was old enough to hold a crayon. Started with coloring books, worked my way to paint by numbers, sat with my grandma while she taught me how to sculpt (spoiler: that didn’t last). And I’ve never stopped. I always shied away from oils because I had a bad oil experience in middle school… But I’ve been getting a lot of encouragement lately to pick it up again. Most of my paint has been acrylic, which dries quickly and has more mixing than layering ability imo. Too bad all my supplies are still in the US and it costs an arm and a leg here!

    But for hobbies newly acquired… I’d say knitting!

    Reply
    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      I tried knitting, and it seemed WAY harder than I was willing to put up with. I can crochet like nobody’s business, but the two needles threw me for a loop!

      xox

      On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 5:46 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

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      Reply
  2. onestepmomentatatime

    Those are so great! Very creative. I’ve always wished I could be more artistic. I’ve always been musically inclined since I was little, but haven’t played anything in years. Over the holidays this year, I made lots of the no sew blankets. Although I’m aware little to no talent is involved, it kept me busy and I like doing things with my hands. I also made fabric dog toys with the scraps. My stepmom-to-be is going to teach me how to crochet, because I decided that’s going to be my next venture. First lesson is actually tonight! We’ll see how that goes. My solo attempts have not worked so well…. I also keep eyeing those adult coloring books at the craft stores šŸ™‚

    Reply
        1. Feisty Harriet Post author

          Haha!! My default pics for people without avatar images are alien monsters, mostly because I think they are funnier and have more personality than the previous default of pixel-quilts, or whatever those images were. šŸ™‚

          xox

          Reply
          1. onestepmomentatatime

            Lol. I know my profile at times is lacking, and needed to get around to putting SOMETHING up, but I wanted to make sure not everyone was seeing me as an alien with a brain popping out of the head! šŸ™‚

          2. Feisty Harriet Post author

            Fortunately/unfortunately, they were. šŸ™‚ But, you know, the sunflower is nice too. šŸ™‚

            xox

            On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 11:21 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

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  3. Saskia

    I took cello lessons while in college, obviously what, 15 years too late to become really good, but I didn’t care. I had to quit them when I graduated (and became unemployed), but I’m hoping to pick them up again post-defense.

    Reply
    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      I would LOVE to learn to play the cello!! I’ve never attempted a string instrument (piano doesn’t really count when compared to the violin-viola-cello-bass family) and I love the sound of the cello so, so much!!

      xox

      On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 10:07 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

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  4. San

    Oh, I love it. I used to paint (well, draw) when I was younger but haven’t really put any effort in for a while… I knit and crochet (as a form of relaxation). I also cross-stitch and do paper-crafts and stamping and occasionally sew. I want to do it all šŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      I do some sewing, costumes mostly, not crafty things. And I know how to crochet but haven’t done it forever. I tried knitting….it…well, I made one square-ish piece of, uh, knit (?) and I was done. I couldn’t keep track of the needles!

      xox

      On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 6:13 PM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

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      Reply
    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      I recently inherited a small set of oil paints from my grandmother, my aunts and uncles told me she painted a little and I wish I knew where an original was I could look at. I had no idea she painted at all, and I love having those little tubes on my desk (they are small, pinky-sized). šŸ™‚

      xox

      Reply
  5. Problems With Infinity

    These are beautiful!! I loveeee the first one!! I always wanted to learn to paint, and I’m forever buying paints to start learning and then I never follow through with it! I also really love windmills lol- one of my hobbies is doing jigsaw puzzles of houses/landscapes and I have quite a few with windmills in them lol!

    Reply
  6. Kelsie O

    I’ve always wanted to try out oil painting. I used to work with acrylics a bit, but it seems like centuries ago. Hopefully once we’re a bit more settled into our new house I’ll pick it up.

    Your work is really great, and I’m feeling inspired. (But also, sick in bed. šŸ™ )

    Reply
    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      Sad that you’re not feeling well! I just bought a pad of cottony-vellum-like paper that I can put oils on (instead of canvas or a panel or something) and I love that it’s so much easier to play and experiment when I don’t feel like it’s as much of an investment (canvas isn’t cheap!). So, if you start up again, I’d totally recommend giving yourself a LOT of room for having fun with it. šŸ™‚

      xox

      On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 12:17 PM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

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