Thursday, March 20, 2008
A Spring Evening
A Spring Evening oil on board 10 x 10
Available at Hildt Galleries, Chicago
In this piece I'm jumping the gun a bit, meteorologically speaking. Most of the trees around here are still bare but there are a few tantalizing glimpses of spring- flowering trees, daffodils and iris and longer, warmer days. And besides, a girl can dream, can't she?
The big news, at least for me, with this piece is that I painted it on gessoed plywood board instead of canvas. I have pretty much always painted on canvas. When I first began to explore painting in a more indirect way- under painting, glazes, etc- I read a lot about how glazes work better on a smooth surface. I resisted that for a couple of reasons-the main one being that I didn't think I could use the dry brush technique I like to use in my under paintings as effectively without some drag from my painting surface. Another being fear. So when I found this silky smooth board in my studio the other day, I'm not sure why I decided to try it. But boy, am I glad I did! I loved painting on this surface and while it certainly made the paint behave a bit differently, I really loved the way it took glazes. The paint just seemed to float on top of the surface making this lovely atmospheric envelope. Now the problem is I have no idea where this board came from! I'm pretty sure it was handmade, not commercially prepared. So, Steve (my husband) and I have been experimenting this week with gessoed masonite. I found some good information on line about preparing these boards, but I still have lots of questions - like how many coats of gesso, do you need to sand in between or just at the end, whether or not you need to seal them in some way so they are not too absorbent and what to do about larger pieces. So if any of you out there have answers to these questions, I'd love to hear from you!