Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Fumed Silica in Linseed Oil Painting Medium

Still Life with Red Faced Warbler  9"x12"  oil/panel

It's been a very interesting start to 2016, and I find myself rarely having a moment to sit or have a peaceful moment.  Life is always upside down in the Siltala household, but always moving onward and upward!  2016 is looking like a very interesting year, big changes in store. Much needed fresh starts, letting go and leaving behind distractions and clutter--both mentally and physically. Pursuing less is more in a very active way, and getting back to what's real.  More news in future months.

As for what's on the easel, lately I've been playing around with a new medium: fumed silica and my own hand refined sun thickened linseed oil.  You can see the process for creating your own linseed oil HERE, it is unlike any oil you can buy at the art store.  

When fumed silica is combined with oil it forms a gel. Fumed Silica is used in modern industry as a thickening agent in paint, as an abrasive in toothpaste, in make-up for it's light-diffusing properties--and is found many other things around the house.  Fumed Silica is extremely light, powdery and becomes airborn very easily.  It's VERY important to wear a mask when working with it.  

As I mix the oil into the silica it is very thick, but within a very short amount of time the gel begins to literally 'melt' into a clear puddle.  I add more silica until I have the consistency I'm looking for.  It will gel up again after it sits in my jar due to it's thixotropic tendencies.  It is quite easy to mix with a palette knife and adjust the consistency w/out too much work.

Above you can see the pool of medium with fumed silica added after it sits and puddles.  I add more silica to this and wait, until I have the right thickness.  It makes a great glazing medium, I especially like to mix a little liquin into the fumed silica medium and add a resinous quality too it.  It's my new favorite glazing medium.