Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Studio work... and old canvas' get a makeover...

Pond - oil on board - 12 x 16 - $450
available at Gallery on Gore, Perth, ON
So I finished this oil on gessoboard painting a few weeks ago. As you can see from the 'in progress' shot a few posts back, I did do a fairly major re-jig of the composition. It wasn't sitting right with me.  Now I feel it 'reads', allowing the eye to wander through the painting in a more tranquil pleasing way. 

First decisions when I begin a painting are never written in stone for me.  I like to sit back; give it some 'mantel time', work out what the painting needs/ is asking me for.  The ability to be able to change my mind, follow a different direction than perhaps my first impulse is very satisfying.  A way for something stale to become fresh again.  Speaking of old becoming new again...

varnish removal is an outside project
scraping down the lumpy impasto bits
VERY carefully, dont want to cut the canvas
this morning, I removed the varnish from some older works.  So liberating!  There is something so freeing about utilizing a canvas that has sat around annoying me for too long!  This work needs to be done outside, as a rag soaked with Gamsol has a lot of fumes, even if you cant smell the odourless mineral spirit.  After removing the old varnish, I gave the canvas a light sanding, then scraped down lumpy paint bits carefully with a blade. 

unbleached titanium acrylic covers the old title
One thing I used to do was write the title of the work on the back of my canvas after completing them.  However I have now learned this is NOT a good idea, especially if the work eventually gets a re-work and becomes something entirely different!  How do I get rid of the old title?  A little canvas coloured (unbleached  titanium) acrylic paint does the trick applied thickly with a palette knife on the back of the canvas.   I now write the titles in PENCIL along the top canvas covered stretcher frame, so that I can erase it down the road if I decide to recycle a canvas like this.

Recycling old canvas's in this way seems to work fine for oil impasto methods because the 'fat over lean' rule can still be followed on the new work.   However, it DOES NOT allow smooth thin oil washes...if I'm going to be working that way, I usually reach for a pristine new canvas!


  1. Sad to see that one go! Those haybales got me through alot of long days working! It was a beaut! Really really like the rework though..completely different feeling, but equally as captivating! Love it!

    1. thanks Holly! It's good to know it gave you enjoyment while it hung in your office. The rework I posted, isn't actually from the haybales painting, it's a much smaller work. I am currently working on another large painting though on one of the canvas's I de-varnished...I will post it when done.


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