Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wasted Week

By now I thought I'd have a few more paintings to show you but I've been struck with a week of frustration albeit down to my own lack of observation.

The idea was to make a number of paintings based on some of the lessons learned on my last trip to Norfolk. The subject matter was to be based on my sketches and drawings from a trip to Switzerland earlier in the year. Having made decisions about what and how it came to the time when I had to prepare the supports for the work.

I'd decided to make the pictures on MDF board which required preparation by covering them with gesso. To increase luminosity in the ground I put marble dust into my gesso mix and this is where the problems began, although I didn't realise it at the time.

A couple of weeks ago I bought some supplies to make my gesso mix, the marble dust being amongst them. My lack of observation in filling in the order form failed to alert me to the fact that there were different grades of dust and I just ticked the one that said ' Marble Dust Medium'. The order was accurately filled by the vendor and I thought no more about it. Last week I prepared my gesso and treated the boards. A couple of days ago I put up the first board on the easel and began my coloured beginning and this is when I first fully realised the error of my ways. I'd noticed a little more texture and tooth when putting on the gesso but thought to myself that might provide some extra interest in the finished picture, but didn't expect the impact on my brushes as I attempted to place a thin delicate layer of paint as a first stage. Painting on and wiping back ripped the heart out of my brush and my wiping cloth. I was painting on really course sandpaper. The thought of working my way through all the boards with the collateral damage to my collection of brushes had me concerned about both my temper and my bank balance.

There was nothing left for me to do but scrap the boards or rescue them. Rescue became the task and a morning spent with sand paper smoothed the surfaces ready for the application of more gesso. The lessons learned had me off to the art supply store to acquire the stuff I should have ordered in the first place - Marble Dust FINE!

I'm happy to report that the afternoon I've just spent redoing the boards appears to have me well organised with supports that won't shred my brushes. They should be ready for action tomorrow. Now I just need the time to get on with the work.

Every day a learning experience and anyone desperate for some medium marble dust it's sitting in my studio gathering dust and looking for a new home.

Hopefully the next post will have some evidence of artistic endeavour.  


Ray Maclachlan said...

Mick, 10 out of 10 for originality in an excuse for non painting. Nil marks for output. You can do better son.

Caroline Simmill said...

Hi Mick, what a frustrating time you have had with the medium grade marble dust. I haven't used this before and hope now you have sanded down the boards the surface will be better for you to work on. Don't despair all will be well!

Mick Carney said...

Ray - A lifetime of narrow escapes has generated a certain creative facility when explaining the universe. But you are right I can do better.

Mick Carney said...

Caroline - Thanks. There are just some days when the world doesn't work in the way you expect.Boards are feeling good and I'm ready to get working.

Yvonne Harry said...

I know the feeling Mick. I have been careless with orders too. If the boards are really like sandpaper, maybe they could have been used for some pastel work, or do you not use that medium?

Mick Carney said...

Yvonne - I've sanded the boards down and given them another coat of the sort of gesso I originally intended. As to pastel, I've never given it a thought never mind a try out. It's a medium I know nothing about. It's tempting but the struggle I'm having at present it might not be a good idea.