May 17, 2010

After letting the work rest and dry since Saturday, I have today only added a thin and diluted layer of Zink white (diluted with linseed oil only). Zink white is great because it lets me add almost transparent layers of white. Now the painting has a quality which is hard to convey in a photo, as there are areas of glossyness where the plywood has not been able to absorb all linseed oil – and other areas where the oil has soaked in, leaving a matte surface. The size of the work is 64 x 48 cm and I think I will name it Forgetting your mirror image. I will paint the sides and then let it rest. I don’t know if I am done… it does not feel like I am, but I will not force the process.

I will paint the sides in Monastral Blue (also Phthalocyanine Blue BN), a blue color I have hardly used. It is cool blue with a slight green touch to it. You can find some interesting information about this color on Wikipedia. Today I buy my oil paints from Ottossons Färgmakeri, a small Swedish company founded by Gunnar Ottosson 25 years ago. I visited his shop and factory in Genarp outside Lund a few months ago. Gunnar guided us on a tour around his amazingly clean factory. He has had to learn to manufacture linseed oil paints pretty much from scratch, by trial and error. Most of his products are used for painting of wooden houses, etc. Only a small portion of his sales is artistic colors. It is fascinating to learn about his story ( and his product is great!
The linseed oil I use is Cold Pressed and boiled. Right now I am testing the linseed oil which Ottossons are using and selling under their own name. It is a very transparent oil. I am not totally fond of the smell, but it works great. Normally I have been using the linseed oil sold by Claessons Trätjära ( This oil is not quite as transparent, it is somewhat lighter and more yellow in its color, it smells good and is really nice to work with. The mainstream linseed oils which you normally by in any paints store are not as nice to work with, not for me anyways – they make me feel “funny” as if they would contain some dilutant (mineral spirits or something else). One great thing with linseed oil is that I only need soap (grönsåpa, kristalsåpa, linoljesåpa, etc.) and water to clean my brushes.