The solve went right along with relative easel despite some clever clues designed to mislead. I liked "Buds that are very close" (BFFS) and "Letters at a bar" (IPA) as well as "Leaning to the right: Abbr." (ITAL) and its near neighbor "One leaning to the right" (TORY). I particularly liked "Make wise through experience" (SEASON), and Long ride? (LIMO) was cute. Although there never came a point where I thought to myself, "oh gouache, I don't know," I did take advantage of the theme for a little assist with TENNISCAMP ("Where you might find love away from home") - har har.
I enjoyed the new-to-me clue for our old friend OREO. I wonder how many different clues that word has had. I bet XWordInfo knows! PIP is a good word. And SWABBIE. On the other hand, JELL with a J looks unfinished to me, like it's missing an O. :)
Overall, I think if we canvassed the group, I think we'd find agree that this is a creative theme that portrays the artist with style.