I first learned about Dr. Martin’s Dyes in high school, back in the Dark Ages.
I was one of the select students in Mr. Gaynor’s art class that was permitted to never complete any class assignment. Dan Gaynor allowed me and Chris Duke and a few others to do whatever we pleased in his class.
In my senior year of high school, I had only English and Corporate Accounting classes as required courses to graduate. I filled the empty slots with three art classes. Mr. Gaynor gave me free reign to create whatever I wanted. He had Dr. Martin’s Dyes, a vibrant concentrated watercolor ink, tucked away in a closet. In those days I did a lot of illustrative art. For Christmas my mother bought me my own set of dyes, and used the hell out of them. After high school, I would sit in my room, secluded, and paint and draw. One of my favorite works was what would be my first bar painting. It was an illustration of a bar fight in a bar that I made up in my head. unfortunately that painting succumbed to severe water damage and is forever lost to posterity.
I was no stranger to bars even at the young age of 18. I had frequented a bar, the Crown Inn, that fortunately for me didn’t card customers during the day time shift.
One thing I learned about Dr Ph. martin’s Dyes, the early iteration of them, was that the color was vibrant, but also transitory. Within a year that illustration the pen and ink was strong but the colors became a muted wash of their former glory.
It was not long before I turned my attentions to purely oil painting. My style transformed from illustrative realism and surrealism to impressionism to abstract expressionism.
Currently I have hit a creative brick wall. I begin paintings with good intentions, only to stall midway through. To empty my head, I paint purely abstract paintings hoping to ignite a spark of creativity and to complete something I consider worthy of sharing or allowing to survive.
The newer Dr. Martin’s Dyes, I understand, are colorfast. I was at Michaels the other day and saw the dyes on the shelf. A set retailed for $42, but I had a 50% off coupon. $21 was within my budget, so I took the plunge.
Now I need to work up the courage to unpackage them, and go back to my beginnings.