Sunday, November 17, 2019

Plein Air and the Requisite Adjustments

Green fields, ominous clouds

In August, my friend Steve and I spent a plein air day on Route 30 in Westborough (proving that you don't have to travel far in order to find subject matter). The stretch between Nourse farm and Tufts Veterinary Hospital offer some good views (as well as spots to pull off the road safely).

Now that winter is approaching, we re-visit those pleasant plein air excursions by taking out the paintings, evaluating them and doing any necessary (or even un-necessary) finishing touches.

I find that my paintings are impressive when out in the field, but when they come inside the house they are lacking something. Perhaps it's the change in light, or the passage of time.

These excursions do provide material for painting indoors over the upcoming winter.

Steve packing up His works are far more vibrant with more exciting color than I dare to use.

I like to paint in style.

It looked good in the field

As painted outdoors

Some later reworking 

As painted in the field

With later work at home. Not that much was done; major differences due to lighting when photographed.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

End of the Season

Bringing the doorstep pumpkin home for the winter. Well, for the compost pile.

When fall arrives, it's time to start thinking about when to close up the house in Maine. Usually, there are spells of weather so good that you keep saying "well, maybe I'll just wait another week". And invariably, immediately afterwards the weather turns bitter and cold, usually with some freezing rain in the mix. Once again, I had planned a long close-up weekend, and then the forecast was for a week of record cold. So I made the one day journey to close up, take home the things that I needed back home, as well as those that should not be left in the cold, cold house.

You'd think after all these years I'd learn my lesson and not keep trying to extend the season.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Regilding an Oval Victorian Liner

Gilded liners for picture frames usually suffer from overzealous cleaning of the glass, where abrasion, combined with ammonia based products removes the protective shellac and then the gold.

Damaged are

In this case, the damage appeared to have been caused by the frame standing in a wet area. The gesso had become friable at one end, and the clay and gilding gone from that area. The concern with water damage is whether the rest of the gesso has been compromised.

The glue holding the joint together had also dissolved, so the first step was to re-glue and clamp this joint. The liner was gessoed, smoothed, and a grey clay applied. 

Grey clay applied

As it would be difficult to have a graceful transition, the entire liner was re-gilded with 22K. After burnishing, a light distressing, then shellac applied.

Water gilding


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Tropical Sojurn

On a cold, windy Saturday it was a nice respite to go a few miles up the road to Tower Hill Botanical Garden. While it wasn't a day for the outdoors, their indoor spaces were warm and tropical. We picked this spot for sketching, primarily because their was a convenient table and chairs to use as a workstation.

Not wanting to haul in any painting equipment, I took some photos and made a couple of sketches.

A Bacchante hiding in the foliage (at least from this angle)

He looks a bit like Harpo Marx in this sketch.

On Tuesday, made one of my sporadic appearances with a local painting group. Since a storm was imminent, wanted to paint something, anything that wouldn't include snow.

My watercolor version