I wrote the following as a description of what I teach during my Oil and Wax Workshops, but it's also about my own work:This is a process-oriented approach to painting, ultimately a balance between spontaneity and control-- though the control is something that comes with practice and experience.... the basic idea is to observe and react to what develops in front of you...as the painting evolves, the best attitude is to be selective in what to emphasize and pull out for the final version, while at the same time, maintain an attitude of non-attachment and free experimentation. With these techniques, changes can be made rapidly...and while at times your work may seem to go from good to bad, nothing is really lost, and change is always possible.
Since I've been working with various cold wax and oil techniques for quite a few years now, I feel I've gained a very satisfying degree of control over the painting, but it can still be a wild ride with plenty of surprises--which keeps things interesting. The painting above, Coiled
(24"x18" oil and wax on panel) is a case in point. I had completely covered the surface of the panel in sepia (perhaps in frustration--I don't remember now.) When I went back into it with a solvent-soaked brush and squeegee, I was excited to see the multiple layers of pattern and color that emerged. (The layers below had also been built up with layers of solid color cut through with solvents.) A bit of selective tweaking of the surface, in order to create some variation in its thickness, and some additional scratching completed the painting.