Margaret the magnificent

Sketched with paint

One of my portraits in mixed media (acrylic and conte crayon)

My partner has a new painting teacher this semester. Her name is Margaret. I’ve decided to name her ‘Margaret the magnificent.’ I’ve not met her yet I like her!

She has told the class if they paint in oils, they must complete at least one project in acrylic and vice versa. Bravo! Yippee! Hallelujah!

Anyone who makes Andrew paint in acrylic, is owed an almighty cheer. It’s worth it just to see the sneer on his face.

Now he will tell you that he doesn’t look down upon us acrylic artists. That look he gets on his face – as if he’s been force fed a wet boiled cabbage – that isn’t oil painting snobbery. He would have me believe it’s something else. Yet I know the truth. It escaped one day. It was when he used words like ‘real paint’, simultaneously deriding collage as ‘decoupage’ or worse, scrapbooking.

I do my best to point out that some of the most famous artists of all time, like Picasso, have used collage. (I wish I could put into print the way in which Andrew pronounces that word. Perhaps I should only ever write it with italics. Collage. Insert sneer here). Each time he says it, I feel like collage is a tiny little grub of a man who dared to set foot on a pristine, historic, landscape. Mr Collage and Mr Acrylic are small minded men who had the ridiculous notion that they could compete with Master Oil. Big, pompous, Henry the Eigth sized OIL.

I’m sure that I’m not the first mixed media artist who has been told that acrylic is inferior; it’s only for those who can’t paint in oils; it’s not for real painters. The galleries don’t help. The word acrylic must be shunned in professional practice. Whenever I go to  gallery I discover ‘polymer’. Translated, I think that’s acrylic for pompous people.

The weekend Andrew undertakes this piece of homework I shall ensure I am struck down by a ‘sudden chill’ – Importance of Earnest style – so I do not have to bear witness to his dissatisfaction; his glum face; his annoyance with this inferior material.

With beautiful buttery mouthwatering paints such as those made by Golden on the market, I’m surprised that this ‘class system’ of painting continues. I’m delighted to see that Margaret the Magnificent is helping to break it down.


Posted on February 8, 2012, in Art and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Ralphie´s Portal and commented:
    Magnificent painting! Btw, I’m an oil painter.(a little one though, teehee!)

  2. Hooray for Margaret! I love the effects of acrylic and although I don’t paint I understand that it is a versatile medium to work with. Your portrait is stunning.

  3. Has he actually tried acrylics before!? May be he’ll like them, but only be able to use them in secret in case you laugh at him. Might they be easier to wash out of a ct’s fur?

  4. Just wondering, as a non artist where does watercolour rank in this? Is it a runny version of acrylic?

    • Watercolor gets a pretty bad rap in some circles as well. It’s got a reputation for being done by women for making pretty soppy flower paintings. I’ve seen some fantastic work with watercolor though and it can be as dark as any other medium.

      Answering your question is probably a whole blog post in itself dad! You’ve given me food for thought.

  5. The critics and public are raving about the Turner watercolours at the current exhibition here in London.

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