Our first Featured Artist, Terry Strickland, creates work that is a combination of technical mastery and depth of content. While the paintings are highly realistic, they’re also thought provoking in their concepts and imbued with imagination and poignancy. We asked Terry to talk with us about her work as an artist, and why she uses Royal Talens products.
Where do you find motivation for your art? What motivates you to create?
When I am in the throes of a life situation, as I’m experiencing it and mulling it over, visual imagery will percolate to the surface of my mind. I will make note of it in a sketch book. If these images persist they will eventually become paintings. The process of designing and making the painting helps me understand the experience. During the process, my personal narrative is somehow transformed into a universal human story. They are common themes like beauty, love, life and death, and are experienced regardless of race, gender or income bracket. Viewers look at the work and think ”I know how he/she feels” and connect with the subject in the painting.
It’s magical and irresistible to me, this communication without words. We are born image makers and image lovers and have a cross cultural need to share our ideas and stories. Call it motivation or inspiration, but really I’m just doing what comes naturally.
What is your favorite part of being a Royal Talens Art Ambassador?
When I see an “aha” moment and a face lights up. When I have a student or a fellow artist asking for advice, maybe they are struggling with color, luminosity, or theyare having difficulty finding the right medium to make their paint the right consistency, I will give them some of my Rembrandt Oils. They try it, maybe for the first time, and get excited by the color and the workability of the paint when used straight out of the tube.
I have used Rembrandt almost exclusively for about fifteen years, so it’s fun to share my enthusiasm and see passion catch hold. Of course, the icing on the cake is to see them enjoy success in their painting
Old Color, New Love: Permanent Madder Deep and Royal Talens Rembrandt Oil Colors
Before I began painting full-time, a dozen years ago or so, I was experimenting with various oil colors and found that my favorite brand was Rembrandt by Royal Talens. I was drawn to the finely ground and dense pigment load, the many transparent colors, and the workable consistency from color to color. For my painting style, these oils were perfect straight out of the tube; no need to complicate things by adding mediums.
In filling out my palette, I discovered that Rembrandt didn’t carry one of my favorite colors, Alizarin Crimson. Instead, they made Permanent Madder Deep as a substitute for the fading, fugitive Alizarin. While I was willing to give it a shot, I wasn’t sure what the color would do. I was pleasantly surprised.
It will darken reds without killing the chroma.
This cool, semi-transparent red is not as blue as Alizarin Crimson sometimes is. That’s a positive quality because it can be added to other reds to darken them without destroying their high saturation or turning them too purple. This works beautifully for darkening Rembrandt Scarlet, my other go-to red. If I want a cooler red, I add a touch of a transparent blue like Ultramarine Blue Deep.
Pink and dark flesh tones are richer.
For figure and portrait work, I use it for mixing the pinkest areas of flesh, such as cheeks, tips of noses, lips, fingertips, knees and toes. Some reds lean more to orange than pink and that isn’t what I’m after. I prefer it too, for darker skin tones, because it eliminates the chalkiness that other reds, like cadmiums can cause.
I also mix it with transparent browns and oxides and then use that mixture to modify flesh tones as they transition into the dark side of the form. This preserves the transparency in the shadows, which is what gives oil paintings their stained-glass glow.
It creates dramatic, never murky, pitch-black darks.
When Permanent Madder Deep is mixed in various combinations with other dark transparent colors, like Rembrandt’s Phthalos, Blues, Greens, or Asphaltum, it’s possible to create luminous, transparent darks that seem to punch a hole in the canvas, making it appear deeper than the surface of the painting.
Sure, I was skeptical at first, but the versatility of this color surprised me and is now completely indispensable!