Canada Balsam - 100% pure
True Balsam, "unequaled in clarity"!
Canada Balsam is used in oil painting, and even as a cement for optical lenses. It enhances colors and permanence, and since it does not crystallize with age its optical properties do not deteriorate. Our Canada Balsam is pure, direct from the fir tree. Read more HERE!
DRYING TIME: ALKYDS & COBALT IN ART
At the Art Treehouse, we often receive questions about the drying time of paints. Some artists prefer to keep the drying time “open” so that they can work on a painting over several days. Some may even add Clove Oil to the paint medium in order to further extend the drying time. Other artists prefer a quick drying time, if for example the paintings are to be sold within a short period of time. In their natural states, walnut oil and linseed oil dry with very solid films in three to ten days, depending on the pigment. To speed the drying time, some manufacturers (not The Art Treehouse) add cobalt alkyds to their paints and mediums. Recently there has been significant concern about cobalt driers, due to their toxicity as well as ethical issues related to the mining of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The entire paint industry has been working overtime to find a less toxic alternative to cobalt alkyds. MORE HERE!
BEST OF SHOW - Two artists recently won Best of Show awards for the paintings using colours from The Art Treehouse. On the left, Bill Martin's Waterfront measures 16" x 20". Bill made use of his new technique where Buff Titanium replaces Titanium White with a touch of Burnt Umber, or Raw Umber, creating a rather “taffy” color, or “putty” color. On the right, Samuel Shelton's painting was completed in just four hours at a "paint off" competition in Texas. Samuel is in the final stages of completion for his new professional artist instructional video covering the process from beginning to end.
BILL MARTIN'S LAYERING & PAINTING MEDIUM
Because of the quality of his work, Bill Martin is often asked about the medium he uses in his painting. He has created his own formula that enables him to use a single medium for both the layering of paint and the glazing, while adding a uniformity and consistency to the overall image. His paintings are widely recognized and respected by other artists, and his painting "Biff" was recently awarded "Best of Show" at one of the galleries where he is represented. HERE!
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH SPIKE LAVENDER? In Mark Balma's technique, a mixture of Oil of Spike Lavender, Walnut Oil, and resin serve as the medium which allows for many layers of hand-ground paint to be superimposed upon each other. Mark is reclaiming an early Renaissance technique pioneered by Leonardo da Vinci. This technique creates an exceptional depth and richness of color that complements the soul and character of the painting. Mark refers to his approach as metaphysical realism, where the artist paints beyond the reality of the subject toward the spiritual. Two of Mark's paintings are in the Vatican’s permanent collection, and his work can be found in the Museum of Spiritual Art, Assisi, Italy, the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Saint Paul, Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis Campus, Minnesota. He has done commissioned portraits for four U.S. Presidents, and multiple European Heads of State, as well as many celebrities and public figures. Clearly, Mark Balma has made great use of Oil of Spike Lavender as part of his overall approach to painting throughout many years of successful art!