Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Making My Mark

Making painting panels in my studio ...

This week I prepared acrylic gessoed hardboard panels in my studio (photo above).This is about the most cost effective support to make and it's so simple, too.  I set aside a day or two in which to do this, making panels in varying sizes.  In this case the panels are 6x6 and 6x8 inches.  These panels, as many of you know, are great for plein air painting and I often glue a piece of linen to them for a variation in the surface.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing these pristine little panels lined up in my studio, patiently awaiting a beautiful brushstroke.

In previous posts, I've described my process of stretching and preparing oil lead primed Belgian linen from scratch. As an alternative, I will add a trowelled coat of oil lead primer to the oil lead primed Belgian linen that I keep on hand (such as Fredrix, 'Kent').  And once in awhile, to mix it up a bit, I stretch a canvas and do nothing to it!  It just makes me appreciate the surfaces I create all the more.

While it certainly would be a time saver (I'm told) to purchase a ready made canvas, for me there is nothing quite like putting my brush to a hand-made surface, knowing that every mark is my own.

As long as I live, I shall vividly recall the enchanting and precious moments spent in front of a Rembrandt original painting. How incredibly thrilling it was to discover areas of his linen surface, there for my very own eyes to see; wobbly, uneven surface areas where, I surmised, the hand-pulled tension was greater; areas where the irregular weave was so beautifully more evident.  Transfixed, I imagined Rembrandt standing where I now stood ... and knowing that every mark was his own.

I will write more on this topic in future posts.  In the meantime, if you'd like to know how to make these gessoed panels, simply send me an email at bobbi@bobbidunlop.com  and I'll send you my written instructions.

Or perhaps you'd like to comment on your own approach. I'd love to know how you make your mark.

If you'd like to receive news of my newest paintings, workshops, processes and what's new,  please sign up for my "Rembrandt, Etc: Making My Mark"  blog in the box provided at the top of this page, and sign up for my website newsletter, here. 

Happy Mark Making!

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