Hah! Turpentine

Studio, winter.

A photo from January, 2011. Hah, indeed! 67 now, with a high of 77, and relatively low humidity of 54%, and clear skies.

I usually keep some turpentine around, as it has some unique properties. Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine seems to have gone down in quality, possibly having to do with changes in the Naval Stores Act. It should smell sweet, like freshly cut pine. My old mentor has taken to smuggling importing his from Canada; water white, the good stuff. He paints in oils, though, so has more of a need for it. I use turpentine as an additive to shellac, to retard the drying. A little splash to a half pint of ready to apply shellac. When applying toning to a frame, my usual solvent for thinning japan colors is VM &P Naptha. Again, adding turpentine will retard the drying, and on occasion, I will just use turpentine as the solvent, when the finish is going to be worked extensively. I also use turpentine as the solvent in the bottom of the containers that I use, for size and tone brushes. The brushes are suspended in the liquid, not touching the bottom, thus staying straight, and ready to be used, and not needing to be cleaned after every use.

Studio, spring.

There, now don't we all feel better. I know I do.

A corner of the studio, showing the brush "keepers" I use. The big blue one is for shellac brushes; next to that is the one for oil size brushes, for gilding. The quart container with the conical top holds the brushes I use for toning washes. The microwave is mainly for heating gesso. All the jars hold various colors of tones, mixed colors for the sides of frames, etc. etc. etc.