I have 19 chemical compounds I can add to the paints to create different properties and finishes. Three of these are mineral-based thinning agents, two are latex derivatives, four are based on a chemical similar to caustic soda, three are retarders, two are extenders, one is a gloss enhancer, one is a dispersant, and the remaining three I dare not talk about.
I never gloss or varnish my work because the finished effects are always built into the paint mixes. I can make anything matt, semi-sheen or gloss – sometimes all on the same painting.
I prefer to do this because it won’t be prone to yellowing (as many varnishes are) and it’s one less job to do.
In 2014 I used 624 litres of paint; it’s a fair amount to use but then I throw much away because my experiments and my application techniques go wrong. In fact I throw away at least half of everything I do because I feel it’s not right or that it’s good enough to put my name to.
Adding things to my paint allows me to push the limits of what they can do. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do make some colossal fuck-ups on a regular basis but through practice comes learning and we all know what that can do.
The paints are useless if you haven’t got the imagination to use them. Science is wasted if you do nothing with it. Go and question the world and you’ll be amazed at the answers it provides.