Artist Bio: Christopher Vidal

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Artist Blog - Christopher Vidal


The painting process

Today I am going to talk about the painting process and about the materials I use for my artworks. I give a lot of importance to the quality of materials I use as I want to give a guarantee to the buyer that the painting they buy will last for their entire life and beyond. My background in science helps in this as I am very choosy about what materials I buy and to use and I always try to use the best archival materials.

So starting to talk about the creative process the first stage is inspiration, or what motivates the artist to create a painting. The creative process starts with a spark of inspiration about a subject which could be either a physical object or an emotional feeling towards a subject. My love to the environment and nature through what I see around me inspires me. The subject matter that I choose is usually a place or object to which I relate. Painting the landscape helps me to relate to my inner love for science and nature. The landscape subject matter is of places where I've been to. While traveling I might simply do a quick sketch either in pencil, watercolor or oils accompanied by a series of photos trying to capture the subject at that moment in time. Depending on the situation I occasionally paint on location at least the initial stages. Recently I started again doing still life paintings for which I have to find different objects to create a composition for a painting. Same as for the landscape the subject matter has to mean something to me.

Going back to the materials I use, the quality of the surface onto which I paint is very important. For this reason, I now prepare my own stretched canvases and boards. Most of my paintings are now painted on linen which is sized and primed by myself and either attached to board or else stretched.

All the paints I use are of a professional artist grade. I use a selection of brands depending on the pigments used by manufacturers. My palette selection is based on knowledge of these pigments in order to ensure stability and longevity. All paints contain a high pigment content and are blended in linseed oil that gives the strongest adhesion to canvas when dry.
When the painting is dry I apply a protective varnish. If an oil painting is sold before six months two layers of retouch varnish are applied. Varnishing always gives the painting protection from any environmental factors (including UV) that can damage the paint or stability of the pigments.

All materials used are guaranteed as archival. My scientific background helps me a lot to constantly research what is available in the market and new products. However, unless evidence is given that new products are better than previous ones I always adhere to the traditional methods of painting using traditional materials that have been time tested for hundreds of years.