Friday, March 6, 2009

Studio Tip for March

I missed posting a studio tip for February, so you get double the tips today.

Do you ever buy those small, individual servings of applesauce or fruit for your kids or yourself? I save the little plastic cup afterward, wash it thoroughly, and use it in my studio. It's perfect to hold small amounts of medium, odorless thinner, or, if you work in watermedia or collage, things like your GAC or clean water. After a while it's time to pitch them, but if you clean the cup after using it by wiping out with a paper towel, these little things last a long time. Yogurt cups work as well, but are a little too deep for what I do, so I generally recycle them.

Here are some of my favorite oil painting surfaces right now:

  • Masterpiece Vincent Masterwrap stretched canvas. This is an oil primed linen canvas, with a surface that I absolutely love. There is virtually no brush drag. The paint sits on the surface and the colors retain their intensity, rather than sinking into the gesso.
  • Pintura Cotton Medium Grain , double primed good for oils, acrylics, and gouache. This is also a beautiful surface, and not as high end as the Vincent Masterwrap. I like that there are brass tacks holding the canvas along the sides of the stretchers, with a few staples on the reverse, plus wooden keys already inserted. There's a wonder mystique about this canvas that I really enjoy.
I would like to try Charvin's stretched linen canvases, and Raphael's stretched linen in the future. Of course I do love Ampersand's gessobord panels, although their recommended method of attaching the cradled panels doesn't seem to work for me. I will be picking up two large assemblages next week because there seems to be either shrinking or - over time - torque has created some gaps. I will need to come up with a framing solution and I'm working on that.

I also just ordered some materials recommended by a fellow artist - far more accomplished than I - Margret Short...some canvas scrapers, a priming knife, Rabbit Skin glue and Utrecht oil priming material. This is the first time I've ordered from Utrecht, so I'm curious to try out their products. I also ordered some hardboard flats. I have several yards of fine linen which I was going to stretch onto a rather large set of stretchers. I've since decided not to do that, and instead try my hand at adhering linen to a hardboard surface, which I think would not only be fun to do but also open the door for more options regarding my painting surfaces. I've discovered many good instructional sites regarding how to do this, so I will keep you informed of my success...or failures...I guess rabbit skin glue can be a little tricky, but I'm optimistic about the process.


VickiRossArt said...

don't want to bring the wrath of the art gods down on me, but several professional artists I've studied with say Elmer's works great, archival, and easily removed. AND, a whole lot easier.

Lori Quarton said...

Hmmm, I use Miracle Muck and love it! It's easy, reliable and definitely archival. I was amazed recently when an artist told me he uses "contact cement"--don't think I will try that one!