Experimenting with M Graham Paints ... and still using Walnut Oil

Hello Everyone,

I've been switching over to M Graham paints recently and am loving them. Particularly the yellows and reds.

About two years ago while pregnant I was concerned about fumes (something which frankly have never bothered me ... on the contrary, I find studio smells very welcoming ) because I was painting every day and wanted to be cautious about the baby. So, on the advice of artist/friend Wendy Higgins, I temporarily stopped using OMS and any varnishes, alkyds and mediums to painting exclusively with walnut oil.

That move immediately made some positive changes to my working process as well as the environment in my studio. I started using a dash of OMS again this summer in a cup alongside the oil but have found that I don't use it as often as I used to now that my habits have improved (brush cleaning, paint loading, knife mixing etc.)

Like most artists, I prefer different brands of paints for different pigments/colors. Right now, I'm using fresh new tubes of M Graham's Napthol Red, Aza yellow, Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange. I still love my Winsor Newton Cad Red Bright and the colors work very well together. I do like to occasionally dab some pink into my yellow and use very little yellow in my paintings so the quality of that color is really important to me. I haven't settled on an all time favorite Quinocridone (I sometimes use Quinocridone Red or Quinocridone Magenta) but working with such a clean, bright yellow has been helpful.

I haven't gotten into my new tube of cobalt blue (still squeezing the remaining life out of a 5 year old tube of another brand) and will let you know how that goes.

If you're an artist and have any favorite colors, send me a note - I love trying new things.

Oh ... and if you know me personally, you know Transparent Red Oxide has been a favorite for years. That hasn't changed but I have decided not to buy the rembrandt product anymore. Something happened and it seems thinner and weaker now (which kind of defeats the purpose) so I'm finishing up an old tube given to me by a friend if I want it smooth and a tube of Vasari if I like it gritty. When I run out of those it will be time to reassess.

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