Friday, February 19, 2016

Big, Bold and Beautiful

Finally done

This is one of my favorite styles of mirror - nothing subtle about this, and you can imagine this on the wall in a large Greek Revival house.

purchased this several years ago, and due to the size (26" wide, 46" high), it was immediately disassembled and placed in storage. As my workshop seems to be shrinking, when I finally had some space during the past year it came out of hiding for its makeover.

Little concern is given to eventual repair or dis-assembly when things are made, so dismantling was a bit of a challenge.

Since these massive corner ornaments projected out from the frame they were quite susceptible to damage, particularly when the mirror must have left the wall and was placed on the floor.

Corners suffered

Most of original leaf detail was gone
 As usual, molds were taken from surviving elements in order to cast replacements. The leave ornaments were gessoed, then water-gilded.


With leaf and "turrets" corners are very three dimensional

When putting mirrors back together, I try to use screws instead of nails, just in case it needs to be taken apart again.

Back in place

Once the lion's share of work was done, it was occupying a corner of the workshop awaiting final re-assembly. That last step was this week's accomplishment.

There was only a small piece of the original backboard available, I used a piece of birch plywood to create a new backboard. While the originals functioned as dust covers and protection for glass, plywood replacements also offer additional structural support.

Installing mirror plates

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Try, Try Again

So often with my painting I have difficulty translating what I visualize in my mind onto the paper or canvas. When I kept looking at this fallen tree trunk in the back yard, I knew I could do something with it (and that I had better do so before it rotted into the ground).

While we were having one of our unseasonable warm spells this winter, I went out to photograph and sketch. And while in the house during a more typical stretch of winter, attempted a watercolor version.

My sketch

The first one  made me wonder if I was drinking or something. Then I realized that the perspective was off, since my viewpoint while outside was looking down towards the trunk, so my background was incorrect, making the trunk look like it was floating.

(Tree trunk seems to be in style of Rene Magritte)

The second one was better, but somewhat dead looking.

At least we have the trunk back on the ground

The third one was done on a smaller scale, while trying out some new watercolor board I purchased a while back. I think this one was the most successful, due to the smaller scale fitting a simple subject, reducing the number of elements in the composition, and being a bit freer and leaving more white.

Version 3

Still not completely happy, and may return to this subject later on.