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Old 02-10-2002, 10:21 AM   #1
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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question A No-lead Maroger medium?




I recently got some info. from Gamblin. It seems that they have manufactured a new medium called "Neo Megilp"and here is what they say...

"Neo Megilp is a 21st century formulation of one of the Old Master's true secrets. This soft gel impasto, originally called "Maroger" medium, can create a unified atmospheric, dimensional layer into which low viscosity color can be floated. Painters in the 18th century knew that this combination of lead boiled in oil and mastic varnish darkens significantly over time but still used it."

"New Megilp, based on alkyd resin, is made without lead, turpentine or natural resins. The soft silky gel has less drag on the brush than the Galkyds."

"New Megilp 90% + oil colors 10% make a soft glaze impasto that is slow drying."

Neo Megilp is listed as having medium cohesion and moderate drying times.

I have always wanted to use the old Maroger medium but have avoided it because of its lethal content. I am really anxious to try this new medium....has anyone else used it yet?
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Old 02-11-2002, 02:07 AM   #2
William Whitaker William Whitaker is offline
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Karin,

I
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Old 02-11-2002, 11:06 AM   #3
David Dowbyhuz David Dowbyhuz is offline
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Sounds great. I was disappointed with Galkyd precisely because of the "brush drag". The **** stuff tacks up so quickly, it's very difficult to achieve consistent glazes over large areas, even when thinned out with OMS. I immediately went back to Liquin.

Since I haven't yet found a Gamblin distributor in my area I'll have to mail-order. Whoever uses Neo Megilp first, please post your thoughts!
 
Old 02-15-2002, 07:48 PM   #4
Douglas Drenkow Douglas Drenkow is offline
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It's Great!

I finally got my hands on a (small) sample of Neo Megilp (One local art store is giving away perhaps 1/2 oz. bottles of either Neo Megilp, Galkyd, or Gamsol with the purchase of two tubes of Gamblin oil colors), and it seems to be everything it's advertised to be (as in the new Gamblin "Oil Painting Mediums" brochures in art stores): A soft, silky gel that -- at least in my LIMITED experiments -- "melts" away brushmarks and leaves an "enamel-like" finish with color glowing from within.

I can appreciate what Turner and others saw in such stuff (My favorite term is "Ruben's Jelly").

And like the thicker true gel mediums, Gamblin says (as Karin quoted) you can add up to 90% Neo Megilp to 10% paint for an impasto glaze -- you're not supposed to add anywhere near that much of any other medium to your paint (the standard advice is that the strongest paint films are pure paint, although the Old Masters used handground paints that were much more fluid than today's tube paints).

It's truly "thixotropic" -- it looks like a stiff gel (which may hurt its sales, "off the shelf"); but it liquefies upon stirring or brushing, and then sets back up when left undisturbed (Amazing!).

Over at least my small test area, the "pull" was nice, not tacky (like gloss medium, for fellow former acrylic painters); and it doesn't "puddle" like more fluid media.

David, here's an idea I just read for reducing the tackiness of Galkyd, although slowing its drying somewhat: Add 10% stand oil (but no more, to prevent wrinkling). Just an idea from that new brochure.

Neo Megilp smells about like Galkyd (which has less "bite" than Liquin, to my nose), and includes Gamsol (which is virtually odorless, as opposed to the equally safe Sansodor).

It's not yet in our Los Angeles area stores, but I understand from Gamblin it's on its way (maybe in a week or two).

By the way, when asking for it, it's pronounced "NEE-oh muh-GILP" (Don't be surprised if the sales people laugh -- tell them how it's spelled).

The information about Neo Megilp can be found on the following page of the Gamblin website...

http://www.gamblincolors.com/mediums/mediums.html

As far as I'm concerned, as long as it's from Gamblin, it should be as safe as can be for us artists and also of conservation quality, based on his alkyd resins.

And here's some information (Please see a later post) about the original megilp and maroger mediums...

http://www.jamescgroves.com/meguilp.htm

Good luck!

P.S. Hope you're feeling better, Karin (Get lots of fresh air whenever you can)!
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Old 02-19-2002, 02:54 AM   #5
Douglas Drenkow Douglas Drenkow is offline
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From Mr. Gamblin

Mr. Robert Gamblin, President of Gamblin Artists Colors Co. and
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Old 04-16-2002, 12:21 PM   #6
Douglas Drenkow Douglas Drenkow is offline
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It was worth the trip!

I really enjoyed working with the Neo Megilp!

The only problem is that it dries slowly (typically two to three days between coats); and if you try to rush it, the topcoat will lift some of the undercoat -- you'll start "rolling up" little "pills" of paint film.

But properly handled, the paint blends and levels beautifully; and the glazes glow!

Here's my first effort, for Downing ART Auction Ltd., outside of Chicago (Mr. Downing & I are very pleased)...

Thanks again, Mr. Gamblin!
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Old 04-16-2002, 09:49 PM   #7
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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I tried the Neo-Megilp and LOVED the way it felt on my brush.....BUT......the drying time (days - maybe more) is much too long for impatient me.

Liquin makes me sick and I can no longer use it. Dang. But Gamblin's Galkyd Lite seems a good substitute and it drys overnight.

I am using it to finish up all the paintings that I started with Liquin....and it is working out well. Whew.
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Old 04-17-2002, 09:56 AM   #8
Leopoldo Benavidez Leopoldo Benavidez is offline
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William,

I am also intimately familiar with maroger and also have made it and used it for years. I love the handling of maroger for pieces particularly when I want passages to dry overnight. The smell is wonderful!

I received a sample of Gamblin's product called "Neo Megilp". It doesn't say what's in it except for a warning for petroleum distillate. I used it test swatches only. This stuff smells like model airplane glue - nasty! I am not a big fan of Gamblin's products so there is little chance I am going to slather this stuff on any of my work. It takes about 3 days to dry! BTW, for all of you paranoid lead users, Titian lived to the ripe age of 91, but there again he might have been using Gamblins products!...L
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Old 04-17-2002, 12:23 PM   #9
Douglas Drenkow Douglas Drenkow is offline
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I still love Neo Megilp (and all the other Gamblin products I've tried).

Based on alkyds, it does have a distinct odor. However, to me, it is not as strong as Galkyd (which is much less "acrid" than Liquin); and being "thixotropic" (gel-like when undisturbed, liquid when agitated), I only notice the odor when I first dispense it from a squeeze bottle onto my palette -- after it sets a few minutes, the initial odor dissipates and any further significant odor seems to be trapped within the substance. Overall, the slight odor has not bothered me; and I am VERY sensitive to chemical odors.

As far as the working time (2 to 3 days between coats), I find that I can alternate working on different sections of a painting, or even on different paintings -- something that Titian et al. often did (He'd even leave a painting for weeks or months and then come back to it for a "fresh look").

As far as the original maroger and megilp mediums, they eventually caused paintings to darken and crack -- which I've seen no evidence of alkyd mediums doing.

Finally, I wouldn't wish lead poisoning on anyone -- it is an insidious, cumulative poison of the nervous system, including the brain, notoriously (but not exclusively) of children. If you wish to work with lead, that's your perogative; but a person's got a right to know the real-world risks (a luxury Titian and others in the days before modern science did not enjoy).

Along those lines, I also like Gamblin's "flake white replacement" -- a mixture of titanium and zinc whites with the "stringy" handling and other famous qualities of the original, lead white. Note, however, that with a significant zinc content, it does not have the tinting or hiding power of pure titanium white (which tends to be more chalky).

Back to the easel!
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Old 04-18-2002, 10:11 AM   #10
Leopoldo Benavidez Leopoldo Benavidez is offline
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Well, lets clear up a few points here.

The desire by artists to make a thixotropic light colored medium, lead painters to mix mastic varnish with
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