My Birthday Gift to You!

My Birthday Gift to You!

It’s my Birthday next week. To be honest I’ve kind of been dreading it. Birthdays used to be my absolute favorite. My mom always made them so special when I was a child growing up. But the older I get, the less excited I am.


With each passing birthday I can feel myself getting more contemplative, thinking more about the expectations I have for myself, and feeling anxious about becoming all I want to be in the next year. Birthdays have changed.


This year I’m going to try and focus outward instead of inward. To be more intentional with the outside world and with others instead of on my inner dialogue that tends to take over.


In focusing more outward, I’m hoping to minimize my anxiety about age and become more excited about how others are being served. 2018 is the year of intentionality for me. Being more intentional about relationships and more intentional about trying to bless others. More intentional about who I am and who I’m not.


In the pursuit of focusing outward and being more intentional about blessing others, for my birthday I’m marking all originals 40% off February 2-4 with code “happybirthday” at checkout. May this birthday discount be a blessing and add a little joy to your February.



Picking a Palette

Picking a Palette

I am in the habit of evaluating my palette every few seasons. When I say palette I mean the colors that I am painting with most on a regular basis. It is very easy for artists to get stuck in color ruts or rely on the same colors over and over. While familiarity is good the question I want to always ask with each new work is, “are these colors portraying the feeling and the mood I’m seeking with this piece?”


In my opinion, colors, shadow, and depth communicate mood and feelings more than almost anything else. With each new season, and each new development of a theme, I should ask “are these the colors that represent these ideas?” What colors on my palette are adding to my mood, detracting from it, or merely are stagnant on my palette?


This coming season, I feel that white is a color that portrays the moods I’m seeking. A mood of purity, a mood of thoughtfulness, a mood of openness.


I think choosing paint palette colors extends to the colors in our lives, our clothing, our homes. I think when choosing palettes for our lives cultivating and being thoughtful of the mood altering energy of each color is important.


In 2018 I what this to be a year of deeper intentions. When picking the colors of my works as well as the colors in my life, each color will be selected for its inherent beauty and what it means to me in my life as well as the feelin it evokes.


What color would you say 2018 is for you? And what does that color mean to you? Tell me more below!

Oil Mediums

Oil Mediums


Last week on my Instagram story I took a poll to which more than 70% of you didn’t know that adding water to thin down oils was an art “no no.” It’s not because the all-powerful art gods said so, it’s mostly just really frowned upon. Here’s why adding water to oil paints isn’t the best choice for your art.

Adding water to oil paints has a lot of negative impacts to expensive oil paints. This makes sense when we remember that oil and water are, by nature, repellants. They do not mix well. Have you ever made a salad dressing and noticed how the oil, vinegar, and water all separate at different levels? They all have different weights and chemical components. When we add water to oil paints a few things happen.

  1. The oil paints will become foggy and lose their luster in color. Oil paints are known for being exceedingly rich in pigments and when water is applied it destroys that bright rich color by making it foggy which destroys its intended luster.
  2. Water on oils gets clumpy and difficult to work with. If you’ve ever tried to wash an oil brush with water (as I once did at 10 years old) you’ll realize that it is impossible to clean the paint clumps up and the mess just spreads.
  3. It will not bond as well to your surface. When water is added to oils, being that they are natural repellants, over time this combination will break down faster and cause your work of art to dissolve over time much more quickly than with a medium applied.


What mediums should you use to thin or thicken oil paint? I’m glad you asked, here are some options for you! I will break this down into oil thinners and oil thickeners.


  1.  Neo Megilp
    This medium increases transparency & flow and makes if feel silky when you brush it across a canvas and it gives colors a satin gloss. It takes about 3-4 days for this medium to dry.


  1. Solvent-Free Gel
    This medium makes the paint move through your brush and on to the canvas with an ease of flow. It also makes the colors more transparent while still maintaining the shape of the brushstrokes and increasing the gloss. It will take about 3 days for this medium to dry.


  1.  Galkyd
    This oil medium will thin and increase the transparency of the colors. It will also smooth out brush strokes depending on how much you use and what your desired affect is. This medium dries the fastest in about 1-2 days.


  1.  Galkyd Slow Dry
    This does the same thing as the regular galkyd above, however it takes longer to dry. Why would someone want to take longer to dry, some people like long drying times so they can continue to work on at their piece over a longer period of time. It will take about 4 days for this one to dry so you can take your merry time!
  1. Galkyd Lite
    This one is the same as the first galkyd but it will also keep your brush strokes if you don’t use too much. It’s more fluid and has less gloss than regular galkyd. It will dry in 1-2 days


  1. Refined Linseed Oil
    Linseed oil will increase flow across the canvas and majorly slow down dry times. Increases flow and slows dry time. Use it sparingly and use with gamsol. This medium will dry in 4-6 days.


  1. Cold Pressed Linseed Oil
    This medium slows the drying time and increases yellowing. (booo I hate this one because of the yellowing) but that’s a personal choice. Will take about 4-6 days to dry.


  1.  Poppy Oil
    Poppy oil is probably the slowest drying medium. It is great for wet techniques. It should also be used sparingly and with gamsol. Will dry in 4-6 days


  1.  Gamsol
    This is probably the safest medium, it thins oils and used to clean your utensils. It is reusable and non-toxic, this is probably what I used the most when I was doing oils in high school.




  1. Cold Wax Medium

    This medium makes oil paints thicker and more matte. It also works as a varnish if you’d like to make your oil painting more matte. It takes 4-6 days for this medium to fully dry.


  1. Galkyd Gel
    This medium dries quickly and increases transparency. This is a thickening medium and holds brushstrokes and increases It will dry in a day or two.



I’m sure I missed a bunch, but essentially what I am trying to say is, almost anything is better than water to thin your oils. Please do not do it. It hurts my heart to know that people out there are thinning oils with water. Have any questions about mediums? Or do you have a favorite of these mediums? Tell me below!

Pieces of Cheer Originals

Pieces of Cheer Originals

Pieces of Cheer are Originals that are an extension of the of the Fragments of Reality Pieces I released in November 2017. These pieces are made with with acrylics, graphite, and rose gold. Each piece comes sealed and framed in a glass floater frame with a black rim. Each piece may be hung or stood up with the kickstand included.

These pieces work great in series on the wall, or scattered through a room on a coffee table, night stand, or desk. These pieces add a pop of sparkle and form to a room. I love these loose pieces as they are so cheerful and still elegant. Each piece is sold separately.

These pieces are always a pleasure to create. What I loved about creating these pieces is that each one is made with gold pigmented acrylics, they sparkle as the light shimmers across them. The jagged lines bring an elegant edge to each work guiding the eye across each piece. And the Rose gold leaf on each piece catches the light as it focuses your attention to the focal point.  These pieces symbolize the lightness, simplicity, and raw nature of beauty all around us. For all that is beautiful, is a little raw, a little imperfect, and has a little bit of sparkle.

The 5 pieces in this series are below. Check them out.

Piece of Cheer 1, 8″x10″PiecesOfCheer1_O_Christine_Olmstead


Pieces of Cheer 2, 8″x10″



Pieces of Cheer 3, 8″x10″


Pieces of Cheer 4, 8″x10″


Pieces of Cheer 5, 8″x10″


Do you have a favorite among these 5? Let me know which you like the most below!