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Monday, February 20, 2012

Smoothing Out the Wrinkles

I’m feeling celebratory this week. A painting that has been a problem child from day one is now starting to take shape. It is a modular painting. By that I mean it is composed of two canvases, a 40 x 60" placed above an 8 x 60". I’m using oil - primed linen, always a little difficult, but this time it was as if the linen was resistant to my every effort - everything except extreme patience. I stretched, waited, tightened, waited, smoothed and adjusted and retightened, over and over, coaxing the linen to flatten out. For a few weeks stretching linen became my number one preoccupation. One night I literally had nightmares about going to the studio to try to paint on surfaces made up of origami folds. What a relief to wake up! What a relief to see this painting co-operating at last.
Here are a couple of detail views from different sections:



As an imaginary composition there have been a lot of adjustments to get the balance and motion of the birds right and then to make sure the top and the bottom sections are cohesive.
It has a way to go yet, but has at last entered fun to work on territory.
Have you ever had a project that seemed to resist all your efforts?

8 comments:

anne m bray said...

Oh, can't wait to see this in person!

Kathryn Hansen said...

yes...when i use to paint in watercolors...very unforgiving!!

your painting is intriguing!! can hardly wait to see it finished!

Katherine Thomas said...

Ah, but you stuck with it and didn't give up. That's the main thing, and it turned out beautifully! What a great idea to paint a bird murmuration. I saw an awesome video set to music that was really mesmerizing, you might enjoy: http://vimeo.com/31158841

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Anne - I'm looking forward to showing it!

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Kathryn, Thanks!

Yes, I know what you mean - watercolors are definitely unforgiving!

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Katherine! Thanks, and no - I haven't given up. Thanks for the link, What a wonderful video that is.

jeronimus said...

It was worth the effort. Beautiful work.
How do you find working on oil primed canvas compares with acrylic primed?

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Jeronimus, thank you!
I like the way painting on oil primed linen feels. It doesn't resist the paint the way an acrylic prime does. I also like that the longevity of it is already known.