Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alkyds Again

"Kolob Canyon Snow" 12x24, oil

We are due to leave Sedona for Campobello Island this weekend, but I wanted to get one last painting in before cleaning up the studio and packing. I felt like doing a large studio piece that I could put in our new workshop space. Because the space will be open to the public this winter (read on!), the painting needed to be dry enough by the weekend to avoid being damaged - and that meant using alkyds. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am now using Gamblin's FastMatte colors.

The scene, by the way, is from the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park. I really liked that little triangle of snow between the cliffs, and I took many photos of it while we were there.

A moment ago, I promised to talk about the new workshop space. Pumphouse Studio Gallery ( will be my winter studio and workshop space. What about summers? you ask. It'll be the studio of Gerry Quotskuyva, a noted Hopi sculptor. I'm very happy to have Gerry holding down the fort while we are gone! He's in major art collections across the country. The painting above will be at Pumphouse this summer, and Gerry will direct interested parties to Windrush Gallery down the street. Windrush represents me in the Southwest, so if you're interested in "Kolob Canyon Snow," please contact John there at 800-323-0115.

My next post will be from on the road. First stop, Santa Fe!


Randy Smith said...

Wow, Michael! This is spectacular. What light!

Have a safe trip back east.

Bill Cramer said...

Kolob is such a cool place! You did it proud.

Stacey Peterson said...

Gorgeous painting! We just drove through the corner of Utah down into AZ, and you're really capturing the mood of the place.

Have you worked with other alkyd paints in the past? Just wondering if you had any comparison between the new Gamblin ones you've been working with here and any others (W&N?) as far as consistency, drying time, and pigment load?

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thanks, Randy, Bill and Stacey! Stacey, I've used some of the W&N Griffin alkyds in the past. The Gamblin paints don't seem to smell as much, seem to dry about the same (24 hours) and the pigment load is very dense. The Gamblin paints are a little stiffer in my mind than the non-alkyds Gamblin puts out, and perhaps a bit more than the W&Ns. I like them.

Stacey Peterson said...

Thanks for the input on the alkyds Michael! Sounds like I'll have to give them a try - I've never loved the smell or the pigment load of the W&N's.