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Longevity of Geneva paints and Virgil Elliot

please delete if too offensive. I responded to a question where “ what is your favorite paint ti use?” On a FB page run by the artist mentioned and this was his response:
From Virgil Elliott: October 2018-
"Please do not recommend any of Mark Carder's products or videos here. He promotes the use of clove oil, which is not a good thing to use with oil paints. I will find it necessary to delete posts with bad advice in them, in the interest of keeping this group free of bad information. I hope no one will take it as a personal slight if I delete something, but I cannot allow this group to be a platform for misleading or bad information. My purpose is to be helpful, and bad information is not helpful."
I love using Geneva Paints, can anyone address this please?

Comments

  • It’s well established that small amounts of clove oil extend the working time of oil paint without negative effect on the archival quality of the color or the toughness of the paint film.  It is also well established that if you use too much you weaken the binder just like using too much OMS.
    Re:Virgil, people have their opinions.  Wataya gonna do?
    cadia
  • To be fair it IS a group entitled Master Oil Painting Techniques and so by title doesn’t include newer techniques or “ science “. But still made me give pause.
    Julianna
  • edited November 19
    Virgil Elliot is a purist and has a lot of fantastic information, however he  likes to keep his information contained within very strict parameters on his Facebook page- which is fair enough, it’s his page. It doesn’t make him infallible.
    Reading his work, he is also critical of some of the mediums used by old masters so I wouldn’t say he is wedded to only “old” methods. He is very involved with various groups/committees that are science based around the composition of artist paints.
    JuliannaKaustavcadiaArtistMartin1
  • CJDCJD -
    edited November 19
    Apparently in some instances using clove oil can prevent the paint from hardening fully and it stays tacky and so if varnished this may make it impossible to remove the varnish in the future. Virgil cited some conservators who have encountered this problem. 

    Some geneva white I used on a painting finished 3 months ago is still tacky.

    Geneva is great and clove oil is definitely useful, but once you can mix colours quickly it isn't really necessary. After you have mixed a string of colours once it is very easy to do it again. I will eventually stop using clove oil completely.. I don't really need it anymore. Geneva paint is made specifically for people who are following the dmp method and need piles of paint to stay wet for several days. It is also mixed with lots ofother mediums as well which apparently creates a weaker paint film too.

    I do agree that Virgils advice isn't always perfectly sound.. And at times he seems pretty arrogant and closed minded.
    Kaustavcadia
  •  “It is also mixed with lots ofother mediums as well “
    @cjd Mark says Geneva paint is pigment, linseed oil and a dash of clove.  He refers to “medium” in the sales lit.  Do you know what else is in it?
    cadia
  • @MikeDerby there's stand oil too. The fluidity of Geneva just makes me think there must be more medium in it than in other paints.

    I've been using a mix of Rublev and Geneva for my current painting. One interesting thing about Rublev is you can immediately feel that there are bigger chunks of pigment in the paint as it feels scratchy on the palette. Another interesting thing is how each colour is a totally different consistency and texture. The lead white #2 is like really thick and sticky goo but still easy to handle and move with a brush. There isn't stabilizer in Rublev paint either so you do get some oil coming out ahead of the paint.. similar to what can happen with Geneva.

    @dencal there are legitimate experts whose opinions are based on strong, often scientific, evidence and first-hand experience over years of restoring paintings that are centuries old.
    cadia
  • CJD

    @dencal there are legitimate experts whose opinions are based on strong, often scientific, evidence and first-hand experience over years of restoring paintings that are centuries old. 
    Agreed. These ain’t the folks talking down clove oil.

    Denis

    Ephramcadia
  • I am trusting my instincts only and started learning to make oil paints from today. In future I'm planning to make some of my paints as it's cheaper. I guess oldest process doesn't produce bad oil paints. But I'll be doing away with uncertainty.

    @cadia I feel that if any of you have concerns over clove oil then you have to talk to some experts to convince yourself. Google or Fb won't help here. The amount that of data that I have through internet is mostly negative but manufacturers are selling clove oil. So nobody knows really. Better talk to a few restoration experts personally. 
    cadia
  • Virgil Elliott has been added to my "must read" list.  He touches on experiences with art materials I haven't thought about in years that rang true for me then and I am about to revisit now.  He is also quite a convincing speaker.  My enthusiasm, however, is tempered with the overdue status of Mt. Vesuvius and the Yellowstone caldera as far as the longevity of my paintings are concerned--haha.
    BobitalyJulianna
  • I am in Virgill Elliott's group. There was a high powered discussion about my new homemade oil paint. Most of the comments were supporting my ideas about pros and cons of this method. Virgil directly told me not to use pastels (which I'm not doing after this test), lamp black etc due to all valid reasons.
    But only thing that I saw was they are overtly concerned about materials. I'm not sure if they put same effort on content of the painting. Most of the stuff that I see everyday are amazing techniques and no appeal! One can't make a Raphael or a Monet or even a Pollock with most accurately made paints. It needs something else.
    Summer
  • Or was that just a load of Pollocks
    PaulBBoudiccaKaustavDianna
  • He does make some odd statements. Yesterday he said that he is friends with most artists who should be considered master artists of our age. I am not sure how anyone can claim such a thing.
    Kaustav
  • @Richard_P thanks. What you're saying is right. Since we have too many options we are spoilt for choice. We also get confused very quickly. I went through all of this and realised that Clove oil doesn't work during Indian summer beyond two days. And I tend to finish my paintings quicker so my needs changed. I went to my old ways of painting with linseed oil only. If anyone feels that its useful then use it. All my clove oil made paintings have dried throughly.
    cadia
  • To clove or not to clove. That is the question. A little goes a long way. How much is too much. A smidge in the paint and a smudge on the palette sounds about right but I'm taking Kaustav's advice; when I can paint fast enough that I don't worry that paint dries too fast I won't use clove oil. One less thing to worry about. Maybe by then I won't worry about using flake white either.
  • @BOB73 well...we can worry about the painting...that's for sure. But availability of flake white is a big problem zone. It is a very important paint and even Mark stated that. I could have used flake white; ilove its stringiness and strength but two years ago I found out that lead carbonate is banned and even amazon.in stopped selling it here online. So, I have to use whatever I get. I can't paint without white can I? Too many restrictions and the focus upon the main thing is gone :#
    BOB73
  • edited December 3
    @cadia I have been following what's in Virgil Elliott's group. The artists in there seem to contradict almost everything that we have been taught in Mark's method.  I believe if something works well for somebody then it is better to stick to it rather than get confused with other things. Stay focused on your work following generally accepted principles. That group is mostly about too much personal opinion and bragging about it. I choose to remain there passively to see what's going on in US artworld. Don't get confused with too many opinions.

    Also, I can't paint with lead white and have to use titanium white. But so does thousands of people including modern masters.
    BOB73
  • @Kaustav   that is his private (PRIVATE) facebook page about his book and it's teachings.  Of course it has nothing to do with DMP - I don't see people bragging about anything other than Virgil stomping his feet for people to please re-read his terms of admittance - it is about traditional oil painting techniques - someone coming there to say that someone else is better or act as an authority is absolutely not permitted there.  DMP is completely different from his book - I hope to learn from both and listen and take what seems true to me.  "don't get confused by too many opinions" is because so many new people are joining and spouting their "wisdom" - the page is about his book - "Traditional Oil Painting" = nothing more, nothing less.  
  • Julianna said:
    @Kaustav   that is his private (PRIVATE) facebook page about his book and it's teachings.  Of course it has nothing to do with DMP - I don't see people bragging about anything other than Virgil stomping his feet for people to please re-read his terms of admittance - it is about traditional oil painting techniques - someone coming there to say that someone else is better or act as an authority is absolutely not permitted there.  DMP is completely different from his book - I hope to learn from both and listen and take what seems true to me.  "don't get confused by too many opinions" is because so many new people are joining and spouting their "wisdom" - the page is about his book - "Traditional Oil Painting" = nothing more, nothing less.  
    @Julianna I don't mind if Virgil says something. I won't try to contradict him as I have neither the competence nor the knowledge that he possesses.

    There are many traditions apart from academic/historic. My point is that I am not trying to make a piece of furniture here but a furniture that may carry a piece of my life in it. Presently, I would have to go for the things that I can afford at this point because most of the traditional things are either expensive/unavailable. But I must continue following generally accepted ideas. BTW I would love to paint with lead white. :)
    Julianna
  • @Kaustav ; the thing for me on his page is that so many people are coming there thinking they can share other ideas...it would piss me off if that was my book.  How does Mark tolerate so many people here not respecting his Geneva oils or videos etc...   Imagine someone coming to this forum and saying that acrylic paint is the only way to go and list the reasons why....  it just is "off".    i 
  • @Julianna yeah. I do agree. I mean straying away from even oil paint here is like...doing something that we're not supposed to here. I do post some drawings, watercolors  etc. once in a while but my base remains true to oils here. Most of us have moved on to our own ways from Mark's method (as he suggested) but it's slightly painful for me to see that most newer students are not following the DMP method stringently.
    Julianna
  • edited December 3
    @Kaustav I think that you are a perfect example of what Mark would like in that you take DMP to your own method but still respectful of his teachings and videos.  He even showed watercolors of Sargent in one of his videos and he shows how he paints masterfully from his imagination.  I think most of us here are respectful and appreciative of Mark here - his videos are amazing. 
    cadiaEphram
  • cadiacadia -
    edited December 3
    Mark suggests using his method to gain an understanding of the process. For example he says, I believe, that he doesn't expect someone to have to go through all the premixing of color steps "forever"  after they understand the process and that he doesn't.
    Also Virgil's FB page is mostly for his own self promotion.
  • I'm learning and I'm sticking to one method until I gain some proficiency in that one method. I admire the other artists like Tichner and Bauman that also teach but I'm sticking with MC/DMP until I can produce something on a level of other DMP learners who have been following the course and are making great art on their own after several (or a few) months. taking from more than one method or teacher is ok for some people but I get confused when I have to deal with dueling concepts. Proportional dividers, Alaprima, dark to light, limited palette, limited blending, color checking, color groups, color steps and dirty brushes is enough for this old-timer to deal with. Along with @Dencal's wisdom and inspiration from @MikeDerby, @PaulB, @tassieguy and the rest of you, I'm doing fine thank you.
    Ephramdencalcadia
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