Last weekend, Galerie Q hosted an afternoon event about oil painting techniques delivered by Toronto-based artist, Linda Woolven. During the two hour session, Linda demonstrated how to paint with cold wax medium and oil on board, guiding her guests through her painting process from start to finish.
With quick brush and palette strokes, the artist quickly created moody, impressionistic pieces on wooden board. She began her first piece from scratch, recreating one of her existing pieces using a different colour palette. A soft paste wax was blended with various shades of oil paint on a sheet of waxed paper as the artist applied layers of paint to create depth and shadows to the image. Using a palette knife, she created raised ridges of luminous paint and wax, smearing more of the medium or scraping it away adding movement and vibrancy to the piece. Between each stroke, the artist wiped her tool with a paper towel, leaving just enough wax to blend the previous stroke into the next one.
With her first piece finished in less than an hour, she moved on to apply her skills to an understudy painting provided by Cavan Arts owner Valerie Kent. After expressing some discomfort with altering another artist’s work, Woolven began with quick brush strokes to apply thin coats of lightly tinted wax and moving to the palette knife to add lines and ridges of colour. Her techniques took the strong, underlying image of water and trees and softened it with messy shadows, moody ripples and striking reflections of the trees in the water.
Cold wax is a relatively new medium in the painting world. Its viscosity makes it very forgiving while offering a depth and luminosity to oil paint. The substance takes more than a day to set, and Woolven often takes another look at a piece the following day making adjustments before the image is set in stone.
Linda Woolven, obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from York University, and also attended George Brown, The Toronto Art School, and the Avenue Road School of Art. Linda works with oil paints and cold wax medium to convey more sculptural, and expressionist elements of her work. She draws her inspiration from the natural landscapes of Northern Ontario where she spent most of her childhood.
In addition to practicing art, Linda is a published poet, writer, cookbook author, master herbalist, acupuncturist and solution-focused counsellor. In addition, she is the organizer of Gimme Shelter (an annual benefit art event in support of the Toronto Humane Society and Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary).
Her work will be featured in Galerie Q’s sister outlet, the Millbrook Gallery, scheduled to open on King Street later this month. KG