The Painting Process
Please know that in my paintings I do not use toxic paints to prime the canvas, harsh solvents when thinning paints, varnishes over the paintings or toxic chemicals. I use costly linseed oil, poppy oil and quality mineral spirits instead of turpentine or other cheap, harsh and toxic solvents to thin my paints and this gives them a brilliant and permanent brightness and shine. My paints are not completely free of all chemicals but they are much safer than many types of paints. I do not need to go outside at any stage of crafting my paintings because the air that my sons and I breathe is safe. I care about my family, my customers and the environment very much. This way the paintings can dwell in your homes or offices with you and your family and not release toxins into the air that you breathe over time. Depending on how thick that the paint is applied to the canvas it can take up to a year or longer for an oil painting to fully dry and months for an oil painting with thinner layers of paint to fully dry. My paintings have been drying for quite some time. I do not list them unless the paint is dry to the touch. Since some of my paintings are impasto style – they will continue to fully dry over a long period of time. In my impasto paintings, the thickness of the paint and how it is applied give the paintings an aliveness of movement. It is important to me in these impasto paintings for the viewer to not only see the subject matter but to experience that movement along with the vibrant colors. I truly believe that the textures, aliveness of colors, brush and palate knife strokes and materials used can significantly improve the viewer’s experience with my paintings. An artist can create the illusion of texture with the brush stroke or that artist can make those textures a reality that can be experienced.
I primarily paint on canvas with unfinished edges. My edges are unfinished because the paints from the artwork on the edges of the canvas tell a story. You can see what colors I began and ended with and how complex or how simple the color scheme is based on the amount of fingerprints and brush strokes of different colors there are on the edges. Because my paints are very low in toxicity, those paints are ALL over my hands when I am painting. I get so involved in the experience of painting and creating texture within the painting that my hands often touch the paint and that paint transfers on to the sides of the canvas after I involve my hands in the painting and then grab different parts of the edges. I want to be able to do things with the canvas like pulling it very close to me when I am creating a reflection of the surrounding colors into the eyes of the subject. The eyes of the subject are very important to me. They are the windows to the soul of that person that I have created. Sometimes, I like taking a subject that has no dimensions or depth and then screaming at the viewer that they are really alive with their eyes. At other times I will purposely paint flat eyes that reflect nothing because the subject has no soul or because I want the focal point of the painting to be something other than the eyes, such as the lips or what the subject is wearing. Many of my subjects are African American and what they are wearing is sometimes the focal point of the painting. All of my subjects in the paintings come from my imagination.
I do not use an easel very often. I hold the canvas when I paint to get up close and personal with the paintings. My fingers slide up and down and across the edges of the painting so the sides are multi-colored unless I am painting a monochrome painting and then you will see different shades of the same color on the edges. As for the paints, I mix every color that I use with linseed oil and mineral spirits if the color is darker and poppy seed oil and mineral spirits if the color is lighter. I mix each color separately on a plastic disposable plate. I do this because I mix my colors extremely thoroughly and in doing so I need a wide space with each color while I am turning the color over and over again with a large palate knife if it is a predominate color in the painting and a small palate knife if the color is used sparingly. I never mix my paints with the brushes because I get much more thorough control over the mixing process with a palate knife and also because bristles absorb too much of the paint when you mix with them and then when I go to paint, the paint is too heavy in the bristles and that detracts from detailed control of the paint. Sometimes, I will add a different color to the same plate when I want to blend the two colors into the background and as I use the palate knife or my fingers, I will go back again and again to that same plate while I am creating the background mixing the two colors. Because of this, my work-space is covered in paints, brushes, oils, palate knives and many plates.
The paintings come to you with hardware included separately. I do include a certificate of authenticity with the name Janice Marie Alexander “Panny” as the artist and this certificate comes to you with all of my paintings. Thank you very much for viewing and purchasing my artwork. ALL paintings will be signed by me with my nickname: “Panny.” No expense will be spared in packaging my paintings that will travel to you safely and securely. I do not use tubes to mail my paintings leaving you with work to do, unless the painting is unusually extra-large. I mail them using glassine, corner protectors, layers of foam board, air-tight, high-quality encasement and the most expensive boxes for mailing paintings sold. Whether the painting is mailed to a U.S. buyer or has to travel through customs to a far-away destination – my paintings will arrive at your door unharmed. Just know that when you purchase a Panny – a lot of time, experiences and expense went into the artwork.