Saturday, January 19, 2008

back in it

18/366: back to work

Yesterday was something of a 'shaking off the cobwebs' kind of day. The distractions of the holidays and jury duty are over, so I'm in a much better position to get the ball rolling on a consistent basis again. I only spent about three and-a-half hours working, but it was enough to get the juices flowing.


I started re-working a panel piece I began a couple of months ago by sanding down the thick paint and mostly acrylic gel surface. As I went along, I noticed a bit of the white clayboarad surface had apppeared along one edge. I stopped sanding to inspect the surface and noticed that the paint was peeling away from the panel's surface. I picked at it for a moment and soon had most of the surface peeled from the panel (see photos above). Luckily, this wasn't a piece that I really liked and I'm glad that it hadn't left the studio yet.

Before using the panel, I think I sanded it a little bit and that seems to have loosened the clay surface to an extent that the acrylic gel and paint couldn't adhere. There was too much dust so the gel and paint dried without forming a bond with the surface. Not a good result for archival purposes. I have other clayboard panels that I've used which are fine, but those also didn't have the same amount of gel medium that i used on this one. I"m wondering if the heat from the sander also contributed to the peeling. If I hadn't disturbed it, the painting *might* have lasted a good while, but there's no way of really knowing.


redredday said...

oh shucks. good thing this wasn't a favorite piece. but still. can be frustrating not knowing for sure what the cause is.
i got into a bit of a frenzy when i saw some chipping of the surface layers as i was scratching into this oil painting i was working on. still trying to figure out if that is the nature of dry paint when you scratch too deeply or the application of the paint i was using. i guess i'll just have to do more testing.

btw, that b/w photo of your painting is beautiful. i just love those white loops you have in many of your paintings. and thank you for your comment on my blog. :).

Kesha Bruce said...

Sorry your painting's face fell off, but like you said, better now than while it's on the gallery wall! Can you even imagine?

Also, congrats on surviving jury duty. Was it a weird experience?

Also, who takes the cool shots of you in your studio? Do you have studio mates or neighbors who just happen to be photographers?

Lucky duck!

Tim McFarlane said...


Thanks for your comments. The chipping could be due to any number of things, first amongst them is that the lower layers have dried to the point where any disturbance on the surface is too much for the layers to remain intact. There's also the possibility of extreme temperature changes uneven drying in the paint layers... Good luck with finding the cause.

Kesha: I don't want to even imagine that scenario.

The photos of me in the studio are all taken by me. When I do them, I usually use a 10-second delay, sometimes a tripod or I'll just hold the camera myself. The swivel screen helps a lot, too.

redredday said...

hey Tim, thanks for pointing out those things. i work a lot in layers so does that mean that i shouldn't wait too long for the layers to dry before applying new layers of paint on it?
thanks for any tip you could give me!

Tim McFarlane said...

Depending on what you want to do, it might be a good idea not to wait too long between layers if you're plannning on making a lot of changes. Oils usually remain workable for a good while, though.

If you're using a ton of mineral spirits or driers on earlier layers, then that might be part of the problem. There might not be a good bond with your support could be something to watch out for. It might be helpful to keep in mind that when working with oils the general rule of 'fat over lean'-early layers should be thinner than top layers.

Thinner paint (paint with more mineral spirits added) usually dries faster than the top 'fat' (more paint and oil mediums) layers. This has been traditionally recommended because there's better adhesion to the support and the later layers remain easy to manipulate for some time.

redredday said...

hi Tim, never got a chance to thank you for this. saw your 'new works' painting the other day and then off i went and got distracted over it. just love your whites!
so, i've been putting oil painting on hold for a bit, trying to work it out through other mediums back and forth sort of thing. know about the fat over lean procedure, so it may just be because i do wait a long time between layers on some pieces. you are right maybe i shouldn't do that but can't help my slowness. :\. hope today will be a moving-along day, like you with your super 3 clones. yesterday i barely did anything except got a bad paper cut. :). :(.