weirdly clumping paint
There is a strange thing I am experiencing with acrylic paint.
Early in the day on Wednesday September 22 I brushed a glaze of gloss medium and phthalocyanine blue onto an old canvas, and also did some collage with a different bottle of gloss medium.
That afternoon I was using Liquitex chromium oxide green that I had earlier transferred to a jar, and thinned with medium and a bit of local spring water (w/ iron and who knows what else!). The paint in the jar was creamy consistency, but when I put my wet brush in it, the paint on the brush came away clotted, like miniature cottage cheese curds.
I put that aside, put a bit of fresh tube chrome green in a clean dish, and used a clean brush with distilled water- the same thing. I tried a clean, dry brush, other paints, other brands, so far, everything immediately turns to clots.
I am trying to paint without brushes –or painting the clumps out with a stiff brush, as in painting on bare wood which I did last night. In the case of the gold paint suddenly skinning over – no. After a few minutes exposed to air, mixing turned it to a strange solid mass without any sticking power.
So far Palette knives seem ok.
So, What? Extreme heat this summer? dehydration? sunspots? redwood pollen? Three outer planets retrograde in Capricorn . . ? I had used windex on a sheet of glass nearby last week, and am feeling some kind of residue on my hands today.
I am pretty sure ash and resin from the crazy smoke and fires settled on my brushes, activated the polymers and caused them to clump, and/or quickly skin over.
I had seen a similar reaction once when I accidentally put rubbing alcohol in paint. I have a lot of (mostly) old paint, never had this happen before, except thickening through evaporation, often resolved by thinning w/ medium. Old paint just dries up.
So, cleaning all brushes, palettes, rags, glass working surface with clean water.
Meanwhile, cottage cheese might be a fine texture/technique, worth playing with, until I get this sorted, and/or, go shopping.