I recently switched from painting with oils to water based mediums – acrylic paints and mediums, gouache, inks, watercolors. I moved from a 3600 square foot house to a 900 square foot condo loft. Although I prefer the color depth and richness of oil paints – the linseed oil medium and the solvents are difficult environmentally for many reasons.
I mix acrylic and gouache paints, and inks with substances like beach sand, aluminum oxide grit and flakes, powdered graphite, cold wax. I use a variety of tools – old and new, bad and good brushes, palette knives, razor blades, toothbrushes, clay tools, wood sticks, pens, knives, sand paper, my hands and fingers. I use a lot of water in a variety of ways. And rubbing alcohol – which does interesting things to the paints. I work in layers, scrape, dab, wipe, wash, stipple, sand until I reach a point that feels finished. Sometimes I go past many points that feel finished. A finished feel is not necessarily something to trust.
For supports I use special hand made Baltic birch panels with 1.5 inch cradles, made by a woodworker named Josh Manahan in Brunswich, Maine. Also, handmade panels from Art Board in Brooklyn, NY, various papers including Yupo, and sometimes canvas.