Thursday, February 28, 2013

Holliston Antiques Show

After what I think was a 15 year hiatus, I set up at the Holliston Antiques Show - and of course, another "monster storm" was predicted. The weather fortunately was not quite as bad as predicted, but I now remember why I don't get tempted to sign up for things in the winter.

At start of setup, it feels like it will never "come together".
All unpacked and displayed.

The show wasn't too bad, and in spite of the weather, us hardy New Englanders came out. My gilding/restoration samples got a lot of attention, which was one of the goals for my participation in this show.


Mirror re-gilded and with replaced eglomise panel by JPR


Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Paint Job of a Paint Job

Since the last painting attempt was going nowhere, I revisited a subject that had also been giving me difficulty in watercolor format, to see if it would work out better in acrylics.

I had taken some reference pictures of workers at the Wight House in Old Sturbridge Village, as they were readying it for use as a research center operated by the Historical Society of Early American Decoration (HSEAD).

The initial steps for this painting went so quickly it seemed as though my brushes were flying; of course, this usually means that in the end I will overwork it, so I have to be careful of a promising start.


 And finally, finished and framed!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sometimes you just have to give up

Every time I walked the dogs to the top of the hill near  Castle Tucker in Wiscasset, the village scene below seemed just made for painting. The idea of painting the village in spring had long percolated in my mind, and I would often take photos for reference.

I knew that that the painting I wanted to do would involve a great deal of artistic license, as some of the areas and landmarks I wanted to show cannot be simultaneously seen from a single viewpoint.

After a number of false starts and reworkings, I was forced to re-evaluate where this was going, and the answer was "Nowhere". So, rather than painting myself further into a corner, I admitted temporary defeat, gessoed over this false start (not out of pique, but because I didn't have another canvas that size and I was simultaneously building a frame for that canvas).

A future post will show the (happier) outcome of this experiment.

Frame with Gilt Decoration

There is a name for this decoration (which has fled my mind at the moment) that is often seen on old European frames. Likely a less expensive and time consuming option than sgrafitto, inlay or applied/carved ornament, it has its own charms.

I had long wanted an example of this, and as I had to make a fairly simple frame for one of my paintings (as yet unfinished) it seemed like a good time to try it.

I drew up a simple scroll design, scanned and mirrored it in Photoshop to make the patterns.

These were transferred to the flat of the frame using transfer paper, and gold size (tinted with a small amount of ochre oil color) was applied by brush.

After leafing, skewings were brushed away. After completing layers of tinted shellac, casein, and a final waxing/rottenstone application, the design looks as if it is part of the surface, not merely applied. Will certainly do more of these in the future.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A New(ish) Book for Reverse Glass


I had seen information about Frances Federer's efforts to publish a book about gilding on (under) glass.  Even though it was available directly via Frances last year, it is now available on Amazon which is a boon to those of us who seem to live on the computer,

Frances is certainly expert in her field, and her book, Gold Leaf, Paint & Glass contains much information on the history of the craft, as well as some interesting tips/techniques I was not aware of  - so it will be fun to try them on my traditional work. In addition, seeing some of the more creative projects might inspire me to move out of the antique world for a change.

This is probably not the best book for the novice - particularly if you require a great deal of assurance or hand-holding, but careful reading should keep you on track. She does offer the pattern for a project, but rank beginners should probably start with some small sample pieces until they get the hang of the technique.