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Evanswood Home, 20" x 16", Oil on board

Traditional Dutch oil painting in the manner of Jan Van Der Heyden, 1637-1712

https://flic.kr/s/aHskBY9ag9 has the detailed images of the work.

Working on a complicated four month long painting makes for mixing things up a bit. Herman Melville and William Adolphe Bouguereau would be in their studios all day and others did not really know what they did in there, Tom's wife thinks the same thing. It is fun to think they were working all the time on the work but they were not unlike Tom, answering letters, cleaning, working on peripheral things; spending a lot of time working on refining the craft, researching, making new devices and procedures that make the work fun and easier. After years of wanting to make videos of painting it was not until now Tom set up a technique to do just that. It came together when he found a contraption to hold documents while typing, similiar to a desk top lamp that clamps on the table and allows you to move it all around. It makes it possible to sneak into the painting space with a USB cable video camera.

In painting a complicated work the question comes up, “Is it worth it?”
Working to duplicate the old masters, taking time to study and produce, is the resource which is bottomless. Money may be in short supply but there is always plenty of time. Giving the work all the time it needs to achieve success is the least the artist can do. Material goods may be in short supply but never to the level of preventing work. No one askes how long did it take? They think the artist took as long as he wanted.
If an artist is attempting to emulate an old master work wouldn’t that mean he would spend as long as he needed? The artist is not setting the standard, the standard is already set.
Though it takes six months to paint such a work and the payment is a fraction of the time spent, is this a good use of the artist’s time? He enjoys matching the level of work and spending hours in front of a charming painting, albeit to him; not unlike sitting in a museum.
Tom learned that the painter he is emulating, Jan van der Heyden, created paintings for the market. He was an engineer and inventor of gas street lighting and firefighting equipment. Tom was disillusioned at the painters work, creating paintings that seemed fads in Dutch society. It may have well been a fad at the time and he was encouraged and rewarded to produce as many as he could. The resulting paintings do not have a heart and soul in it as Tom understands. Tom searched for personal commissions Heyden produced that had intimacy but found none. Though known to paint every brick and leaf, resorting to making a stamp you could apply to the wet paint to set up the painting of leaves and bricks, Heyden’s work has failed to inspire Tom though he has been a vehement follower for twenty years.
In the end, painting “Evanswood Home”, Tom feels the only take away is to continue to paint in transparent medium since it gives the painting an extra oeuvre. In the future Tom seeks to use transparent mediums with phosphorescent paint.

Fine oil painting of a home in the old Dutch manner by Tom Lohre.

July 20, 2016

Detail of a painting showing the full home, done in the old Dutch manner by Tom Lohre.

July 20, 2016, detail

June 21, 2016

Now in the seventh month after starting with plenty of stops, the painting is nearing completion. Three months were idle and getting back to the painting showed the full extent of the drying qualities of castor oil and powdered pigment. It dried in a gel way. You can scrap it off the scrapped gessoed surface easily. The four month dried surface could have been varnished by spraying or quick brushing once.
Distilled turpentine is the only solvent that softens the semi dried paint. You can remove the semi dried paint with several coatings of solvent. A straight edge or mal stick is used extensively creating straight lines. Pains are taken to keep the surface as transparent as possible. The semi dried paint can be scraped off revealing the white canvas ready for new transparent paint.
The mission of this painting is to duplicate the old master Jan van der Hayden. He differs than others for his use of transparent surfaces. Many times the surface is opaque. This is not acceptable. Looking at his work you think he had only a few dark colors. The diverse palette of pigments available today gets in the way of producing the charming grey colorful paintings of past.
The time that goes into such a work boggles the mind. It would be better to think of it as a hobby than a trade. Painting two square inches a day makes for 160 days work or 5 months. 160 days making $100 a day means such a work for a living wage would bring the total to $16,000. More like you would make $1,500 and get paid $10 a day. The advantage is the artist gets to be greatly rewarded by sitting up straight at the easel. Painting in deft careful strokes in the manner of a danseur. The manner not unlike meditation rewards the painter with serenity. Of course the opposite is true. When there is trouble in the painters head he cannot work.

Clifton Family, 24" x 20", oil on canvas, December 2009
Started in April 2008 after a hiatus of two years waiting for the baby to grow up. Sketches were agreed on and work commenced with Tom painting in the side yard of the neighbors home for the summer. Work progressed from right to left. The dogs were painted first then the master and his wife. Painting has recommenced at the Cincinnati Sports Club where Tom had a show of paintings in the lobby in March and April 09 and took advantage of a invitation to paint there to paint the children. He has been spent a week on each figure. Tom has changed his medium, the oil he paints with during this painting. Since it was started in April of 2008, Tom has changed from 1/2 Demar varnish 1/2 stand oil to 4/5 stand oil 1/5 poppy oil. Stand oil is thickened linseed oil that does not yellow as much. Both mediums had oil of clove added to retard drying. Toms new medium has a longer drying time and does not thickened as much before setting. Tom manner is to paint with this medium tinting the medium to create the color. Most colors created using the white of the canvas as the white. Only in the darkest parts of the painting does the saturation of oil colors prevent the white of the canvas from showing through. Tom does this because of his fascination with the surface of painting. This manner allows the most exciting surface. The final painting on the home done in the summer of 09 and the new baby added in December. This is the next level of Tom's work with little people. Three years prior he started with a series of small works each with an individual of about 6 inches high. In this work, the 6-inch figures are actual people.

Evanswood home painting in the traditional method second pass by Tom Lohre.

Evanswood Home, 20" x 16", Traditional Dutch manner, January 9, 2016

After 29 days, using a medium that does not dry quickly enables you to take your time and get it right. A long time ago I saw a painting of a woman that defied execution by Jean-Baptiste Greuze : : 1725-1805 : French Painter, now that I have this medium I can see it happening. You do have to watch your dust.




Detail of a traditional  Dutch landscape painting by Tom Lohre.

Evanswood Home, 20" x 16", January 9, 2016, after twenty days



Evanswood Home, 20" x 16", December 16, 2015, after fourteen days

Evanswood home  painting in the traditional method, the first pass by Tom Lohre.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 after eight days

Second Sketch Friday, November 20, 2015, received okay

Started Monday, November 16, 2015

First Sketch Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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