Untitled, 2017, 122x82cm, oil on canvas

It’s been a little over a year since I last updated this website. A lot has happened and it’s been a hectic year. Lot’s of ups and downs; emotionally as well as financially. That means I didn’t accomplish as much as I had hoped. But that’s OK, there are new projects underway. I’ve added content to most sections of the website and plan on updating it more regularly in the future.

I finally got around to refining my own linseed oil following Tad Spurgeon’s directives. Ran into a few technical pitfalls,but Tad had some helpful advice and everything worked out in the end. The oil jars are sitting on the windowsill of my studio now, getting further refined through the action of heat and sunlight.

Next step: use this oil to make my own paint. This paint will probably come closest to what pre-industrial painters used with the exception that the pigment particle size will likely be much finer than what could be achieved with muller and slab. This is all experimental at this point; I’m mostly motivated by curiosity and I don’t know yet whether or not I will transition away from tube paint entirely. It’s interesting to me to know more about the materials I’m using in the studio. I’m conscious that this knowledge won’t necessarily lead to better paintings and I’m convinced that one can be an excellent painter without knowing much about paint itself apart from the intuitive knowledge gained through experience of how paint handles and reacts under different conditions and with different additives. Nevertheless,  delving deeper into the craft aspect of painting does have an inevitable effect on how I perceive and practice painting as a whole, for better or for worse (My only fear, in this regard, is that my paintings become ‘too technical’. Technique should always remain subordinate to the idea, the narrative goal, of the picture)

As a greater and greater portion of the finished physical painting becomes a product of my own work with raw materials in the studio rather than the product of external industrial processing, a sort of intimate relationship takes shape between myself and the craft.  However, it’s still too early for me to describe exactly how this relationship is affecting how and what I paint.  For now, it remains interesting. And that’s enough for me.

In other news, I’ve been studying a lot of earlier painting and drawing by Bosch and Bruegel – among others – which has rekindled my love of drawing. I’m currently working on a copy of Bruegel’s Beekeepers which is turning out to be very pedagogic especially since I’ll be using real quills for the final copy. (I decided against making my own oak-gall ink. One has to draw the line somewhere!)

Moneywise, my budget has been pretty tight lately which has forced me to finally take the first steps toward getting my name out to potential buyers. I hate dealing with this aspect of the art world, but it’s an unfortunate necessity… Business cards are on the way, and I’ll  be contacting galleries in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for more!

-Veo