Friday, April 29, 2016

The Old Oval Finally Finds a Home


This oval frame came with a domed glass, and is typical of the 1890-1910 era. I don't recall how I acquired it (I think someone just gave it to me), but when it arrived 90% of the outer band of ornament was missing. I didn't even bother to photograph it.

While it was not financially worth-while to replace this missing molding, I did do it for purposes of class demonstrations on how composition ornament is steamed and bent to conform to a shaped frame. Once the ornament was applied, it remained in the workshop in a state of limbo, as I had no further use for it, yet it was now too good to discard.

Out of the blue I had an inquiry for domed glass, and this frame and glass (which I had left up in Maine, intending to discard) was just what was needed. I finished the band of compo with mica powders (which I now use in place of traditional bronzing powders, as they will not tarnish over time), and a casein wash.

Now that is done, I almost wish I had kept it for myself.

Composition molding, gessoed, then tinted shellac.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Old House in Need of Life Support

One of the blogs I look at, Old House Dreams, posts real estate listings featuring old homes, often as candidates for restoration. Many of these feature low prices (at least compared to other areas), prompting any number of "Oh, I would love to buy that and fix it up if it were only (in a place I actually wanted to live, wasn't in an economically depressed area, wasn't adjacent to a sewage treatment plant, etc.)."

One recent post was particularly intriguing, because I was somewhat familiar with the area, and was going to be traveling through it in the near future. The house is outside of Sharon Springs, NY (a town whose main activity seems to be the Instagramming of the abandoned spa and hotels from its heyday). This particular house had a gloomy, mysterious appearance. I thought it would make a great subject for a painting.

This house does take "fixer upper" to a whole new level, but the fact that you see little evidence of post-1900 material about provides it with a time-capsule, derelict atmosphere.

A better photographer than I am could probably do a good photo essay on this place. Will I ever do a painting? Who knows, but I am afraid anything I attempt would just be a "forlorn house" cliche.

Front view

Rear Left Corner

Side with missing chimney

Front door

Front and side. Guess light bill was unpaid.

Gable end

Rear view looks like someone tried residing with manufactured board

Looks like another missing chimney; probably a small porch was here as well.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Time for a Garage Sale?

Last fall I was poking around the mid-coast Maine area and saw a vine-covered garage that appeared to be on the verge of falling down. It had various signs posted, including "Beware of Dog" and "Beware of Owner". During the month of March I have been trying to do a painting of this, and seem to be going down many dead-ends.

 I think I need new inspiration, or a radically different approach before trying again, but it seems that simplifying and eliminating is putting me on the right track.

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Version 4

Version 5

The April 3 version trying a different format.
One person thought this version resembled Donald Trump. Now I do too.