Venturing into Oils

Kindness - New Oil Painting by Jed

Kindness – Jed’s first oil painting.

After years and years of painting solely with watercolors, I have completed my first oil painting. Whew. My perfectionism characteristics had been setting me up for possible failure, but the better part of me reminded me that this was the first step in learning, and even failure can lead to development of  style and technique. I guess there are lots of life lessons in that as well. If I only proceed with the assurance of success, or of a predetermined outcome, the borders of my universe are going to be fairly narrow and confining.

Many people have asked why I would I dive into the world of oil painting when I have achieved pretty good success with watercolor. The simple answer is “scale”. I’ve been wanting to expand my scale of expression. Watercolors seem to be more limiting in this regards – not only from the size of the materials, l.e. watercolor paper, but the medium itself. Watercolors can have a life of their own, and painting with them is often a race against the clock.

How nice it has been to work on a larger “canvas” and with paints that dry slowly and allow me to work in greater subtleties and detail. The flip side of that is that working in oil has required great patience on my part, since the paint dries much more slowly. Another life lesson there – the process of building, of taking one step at a time, and then trusting in the end result.

I’ve titled this painting “Kindness” because that is the overwhelming sense I get when looking at this man. I remember meeting him on the island of Tinos, in Greece, several years ago, and he was peddling his homemade wine. Those of you who know me and my work, know that I have a love affair with older faces and the unique map of lines etched in them. These lines convey so much, particularly in regards to a person’s history and their character.

Now I am taking a breather, as I begin packing my art supplies for the move back to Umbria for most of the spring and summer. My next canvas will be even larger, and I am contemplating my next subject matter. I’ll let you know what I choose, and how my next oil painting is progressing.

For this and other paintings and photography, please be sure to visit my online gallery.



By |2015-03-28T16:29:13+01:00March 28th, 2015|Paintings Posts|12 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Kathleen LaRusso March 29, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Well done, Jed!!! So happy you are moving into this “more lasting” medium. I had the luxury in 1985 to spend six month using the south coast of Crete as home base for travels in the area. I loved the people and their constant joy with life! Thanks for keeping this face for us all. xoxo Kathy

    • Jed March 29, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Kathy. I ‘m glad you have experienced similar faces in Greece, and you understand why I’m drawn to paint them!

  2. Tom Contrino March 28, 2015 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous Jed. Bravo!

    • Jed March 29, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      Grazie mille Tom. This is high praise coming from you!

  3. Nancy March 28, 2015 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Really nice Jed. He does have a kind face and you captured that.

    • Jed March 28, 2015 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      Thanks Nancy!

  4. Nancy LeMaster March 28, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    oh, wow! I really like this painting, I love the warmth in his face and fantastic blue eyes. Your mom would be very proud of your adventure (and success) into this different medium! Great job, Jed.

    • Jed March 28, 2015 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Grazie Nancy! I’m so glad you like this painting. I think Momma Liz would approve. I would love having a critique with her, like we would always do when either one of us would finish a painting.

  5. Misti March 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Wow! It turned out beautiful! I love your work Jed!

    • Jed March 28, 2015 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Thanks Misti! I’m so glad you got to see it in the “middle” stages.

  6. Ann nelson March 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    I love reading your blog and applaud your move into oils. Hope we see you in Umbria. This painting is dramatic and beautiful.

    • Jed March 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      Grazie! Can’t wait to see what comes next (gulp!).

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