My daughter before her ballet recital, painted more than ten years ago… it is my one and only acrylic painting. I still had young children then and had frequent interruptions in painting. I complained about how fast the paint dries and my husband suggested I try oil painting. At a later time I did, and I’ve never stopped since. Even though my children aren’t little anymore, the family is active and almost more distracting. I appreciate how oils allow me to stop what I’m doing and go back to it hours or even days later. That’s really the only way an art vocation can work into the balance of my life.
But, beyond the practical nature of oils, I prefer them for many other reasons. I like the feel, glide, and ability to create texture, even light sculpting when the paint is especially thick. I also prefer the vibrant hues and reflective nature of oils. I like the connection to classical and renaissance art of old. I feel a part of something that pines for enlightenment, an affinity with those who paint to express the longing of the human spirit to be known, loved, and elevated to goodness.
I am happy though to have used acrylics for this painting of my daughter in her dance costume. The nature of the paints make this look almost vintage, and as the years pass, the memory of it feels longer and longer ago. She says this is her favorite painting I’ve done, and she adds “of course it’s of ME”, but she is drawn to the softer hues and subtle lines, so acrylic appeals to her also.
I don’t know if I’ll get back into acrylics ever, but I doubt it. I do prefer oils and they feel much more intuitive to how I paint. If you enjoy art but haven’t yet found your way, it’s possible that you haven’t hit upon the medium you’d be natural for. Maybe you prefer the more flowy style of inks and watercolors? Or you are choosing between acrylic and oil? Pencils? There are so many differences, and that’s without exploring styles of drawing, painting, and creating. So if you’ve become discouraged, perhaps you should try something new.
Note: There’s no video to watch me paint this. I wasn’t filming my sessions yet. Also, I could only find a low resolution photo of it after it was hung on the wall. I’ll keep digging for a higher resolution photo, but I may have to resort to taking a new photo of the original, which is still wrapped up after our move to Georgia. When I get my act together with this piece I’ll create an art page for it on this site.