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    All images are Copyright Protected and the property of Jamie Williams Grossman. Paintings and photos displayed on this site may not be reprinted, copied, downloaded, displayed elsewhere, or used for any reason without her written permission.

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    "Happy" with it is an understatement! My sister's husband said, "Wow, it's beautiful!" That's a lot of emotion coming from him! haha. And my adult daughter said, "OMG MOM, ITS GORGEOUS!". You have added to your fan club!

    "Jamie, your painting arrived in perfect condition! And, as I expected, it looks even better ‘in person’ than on the computer screen. Thank you so much for your careful packing and wonderful painting."

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    "I love the new painting! It's actually a little more golden and fluid than it looks in the pic and I love the movement; everything in my house is a little on the warm and yellow and gold side so it could hang pretty much anywhere. It's going to the framer shortly and I look forward to having it up :-)"

    "Jamie, it's lovely!!! Thank you so much for all the time and love you've put into it! You have no idea how much joy your work is bringing to me. I'm very grateful!"

    "I just wanted to share that my father-in-law absolutely LOVES your painting. He loves the frame and said that he's never owned a real oil painting. ???? But most importantly, he loves the subject matter and he and my husband spent a lot of time reminiscing this morning about hikes they took there years ago. This part of the Hudson is, by far, their favorite! Thank you SO much for making this Christmas gift PERFECT."

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    "We received your painting yesterday and it's really very beautiful. Thank you again very much."

    "Your beautiful "Autumn at Rockwood" arrived in perfect condition two days ago. It is even more lovely in person than I ever could have imagined. Thank you so much for your artistry and your many kindnesses to me..... I will treasure both of my paintings very much ..."

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    "Jamie, My painting arrived Thursday and I love it. I will definitely order from you again."

    "[They] love the painting. They were so surprised. They really appreciate it and the thought and artistry behind it. They received many [wedding] gifts, and said this was one of their two favorites."

    "[My husband] loved loved loved the painting! It is hanging on the wall in my great room. It's just beautiful!"

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    "Hi Jamie –I thought you’d enjoy seeing “The Red Barge” framed. Until I give it to my husband on his birthday, I have it hanging in my office. I LOVE looking at it all day!"

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    "Jamie, my wife and I love it. Thank you and great work. It was difficult trying to figure out a special gift for them......I'm very happy that I reached out to you. I know they will love the painting and the special touch you did with the card! "

    "Wow, it looks AMAZING! They are going to love it. I love the name too. Perfect. ... Thanks again!"

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    "Just a quick note to let you know your [miniature] Monet arrived in perfect condition. It looks fabulous!!! Thank you again so much."

    ------------------------------------------ If you haven't seen the two-DVD set, "The Impressionists", you don't know what you're missing!


    I rented it from Netflix and absolutely loved it. It is an enactment of the lives of Monet, Renoir, Manet, Cezanne, Degas, and other Impressionist painters living at that time around Paris. Fascinating and eye-opening!

Archive for the 'Varnishing Oil and Acrylic Paintings' Category

Art to Go from the Hudson River Valley

Posted by Jamie on February 1st, 2017

170131 Varnished Paintings 435

Email me at JamieWG@aol.com if interested in this painting.

The other day, I varnished ten of my new Hudson River and Hudson Valley paintings. They range from scenes overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades from New York City, to Peach Lake in Brewster, and Burger Hill in Rhinebeck, up to the ledges of Sunset Rock overlooking North South Lake (beloved Hudson River School site), and the Catskill Mountains. Some of these were started on location and finished up in the studio, while others were painted from my photos and other plein air paintings. They represent much of the terrain I’ve traversed over the past six months or so, in search of the best of what the Hudson Valley has to offer my muse.

The varnishing process takes time to set up, so I like to do large batches at a time. Usually that means about 17-20 paintings. Lately I’ve worked on some larger pieces, which has lowered my production in terms of quantity. Working on those big paintings has meant that the little ones tend to hang out in the studio longer, before they get photographed, varnished, and up on my website. As the weeks go by, they get more touchups and adjustments as I see them. I think this has led to an overall increase in quality. As I look at this set of paintings now, I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved in this batch. Here’s a photo that you can click on, and you can then zoom in on specific paintings.

170131 Varnished Paintings fs

The large, framed painting of the Hudson River and Palisades is already spoken for, and out the door. (I do miss that one already! But there is a smaller version of it available among the others, and I can always do another large one for you on a commission basis.) The smaller works above it are all available and in search of new homes. If you see one that interests you, send me off an email (or comment below), and I’ll get back to you with more information. They will all be posted individually as I adjust the single images. Some of those have already been posted with prices, and are visible by going to my home page and scrolling down.

How I Varnish Oil and Acrylic Paintings

Posted by Jamie on September 2nd, 2008


I have 22 freshly varnished oil and acrylic paintings in these drying racks. Over the past several days they’ve been getting isolation coats and varnish coats. Many artists who paint in both mediums have asked me for information on my varnishing process, so I thought I’d take some time today to describe my process.

There are several different products that can be used to obtain a variety of finishes depending on personal artistic preferences. I love gloss varnish. It pops the colors and values and gives a shiny, professional appearance. I have chosen products to yield that result. There are many other good products on the marketplace too.


I start with Golden Soft Gel (Gloss) and relatively soft, synthetic brushes to do an isolation coat on the acrylic paintings. Oil paintings do not require this step. I use the small container shown above to measure. The Gel gets diluted two parts Gel to one of water. I mix it up thoroughly in a styrofoam bowl.

I clean off the painting surface with a lint free rag to be sure there are no dust particles on the surface. Then each dry acrylic painting gets a thin coating, following the direction of the brushstrokes. One coat is generally enough to seal a relatively non-porous surface, such as my sealed, primed hardboards. Rag paper and matboard, even if sized before painting, generally requires 2-3 thin coats. You can tell when you’ve put on enough coats because the surface develops a soft sheen.

Many acrylic painters make the mistake of eliminating the isolation coat. That results in too much varnish penetrating through the surface of the support, and can cloud your painting. Also, it will leave an uneven finish. Putting on enough isolation coats to prevent penetration of the varnish yields a beautifully even gloss. It is well worth the additional steps! The second isolation coat can be applied several hours after the first if necessary. Be sure the first coat is dry, and not tacky.


I like the Soluvar Gloss Varnish a lot for both oil and acrylic paintings. Be sure your oil paintings are completely dry before varnishing. That will generally take 6-12 months. Acrylic paintings can be varnished as soon as the isolation coat has cured. In dry, room temperature conditions, that should only take a few days.

Soluvar varnish is removable for cleaning, non-yellowing, and gives a great sheen. I used to use Gamvar, but found I had some adhesion problems on sections of some of my oil paintings, and the varnish would bead up as it was applied. I have not had that problem with Soluvar. I use the large, natural hair brush above for paintings 12×16 and larger, and the smaller natural/synthetic blend brush for smaller works. You need to work quickly with varnish before it dries.

I pour a small amount into a ceramic pot that I reserve for varnishing. I dip the bottom section of the brush in and wipe some off on the side of the pot. Varnish your painting section by section, overlapping sections as you go. I lie them face up once done until they are tacky. Although varnish should be applied too thin to drip, I always take that precaution. It’s better to be safe than sorry!


I got inexpensive, small letter holders (above) at Staples, and each can hold five paintings upright. They are only a couple of dollars each, and about 4″ tall. I bought them a couple at a time as I needed more and more of them. Once the paintings have tacked up, I set them in the letter holders. The first photo in this post shows what the paintings look like when they are set into a series of these letter holders.

You can also see on that first image, that a fan above the paintings draws the solvent fumes out of the room while I work. I have another fan on the other side of the room, by an open door to the garage, that helps push air across the room and out. That way, my paintings will dry faster and I can simultaneously vent the fumes out of my work space.

Once the paintings are varnished, I give them a couple of days to dry fully (in dry weather) before framing them. I hope this little demo helps some of you who have been struggling with varnishing. If you’ve been avoiding it, you’ll find it’s a lot easier than you thought, and the result is well worth the little bit of time and effort. Your paintings will glow with a new life!

You can read more about varnish application techniques in this article on the Golden website.