"Immerse yourself and be transported" *|MC:SUBJECT|*

Luscious Shimmering Colors, Yes!

2023 has gotten off to a good start, I have finally begun working with oil and cold wax and I'm in love!

"Persimmon And Mango", 12" x 12", oil and cold wax on panel

Working in oil and cold wax allows me to use my luscious oil colors, add lots of layers quickly and create all kinds of fascinating marks, all without the long wait time for layers to dry. They don't dry instantly, but I don't have to wait days between each layer.

This initial group of paintings has lots of thin layers of color. Nothing beats a brayer for laying down one color on top of another, building up a history.

Brayers for applying oil and cold wax

Marks are scratched into the surface to reveal colors shimmering just below. Patterns are rolled onto the surface to add another dimension. There are hard edges and lost ones to guide your eye around the piece.

detail showing marks scratched and scraped to reveal what lies below

I am forever seduced by color, juxtaposing one hue against another, layer after layer, until suddenly the piece sings. The wide color shapers, bowl scrapers, palette knives and other tools I like to use are perfect with oil and cold wax.

I love the uncontrolled marks created with these tools. I've been asked, what do you mean by “uncontrolled”? It's that I never know exactly what will show up when I scratch through, I never know the exact pattern a brayer will lay down, I can never repeat or copy a particular mark, this is the magic.

detail showing pattern rolled on

One color or mark leads to another, a back and forth dance begins. Each new mark brings a response, the initial marks are uncontrolled but then the response is carefully chosen. The piece develops slowly, until suddenly it feels complete. These new pieces are much simpler, I'm enjoying focusing on color and practicing “less is more”. There are color contrasts to add interest and just enough value contrasts to be compelling in low light when the colors fade away.

20" x 16", oil and cold wax on panel

These new paintings are not yet titled nor uploaded to my website. One of these days I'll tackle that job, but for now I just want to be painting!

If you'd like to see my works on paper, just click on the button below.


Here's a link to my Mini Gems and Jewels on paper.


If you'd like to see my larger paintings, this link will take you to them.


All the best,

Lydia Johnston's Fine Art
"Immerse yourself and be transported"