Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Love Big Art And I Cannot Lie!

Lots happening in the studio the last couple of weeks!

For one, both of these beasties...

... two 30"x40" deep cradled wooden panels got covered with absolutely lovely, heavy Canson printmaking paper that measured 31"x44". I'm crazy about working with this paper, and knew I wanted it to cover these two cradleboards.

I demonstrated in detail how to laminate paper onto wooden cradleboards in this post, but basically it means using gel medium on the wood to adhere the paper. With paper and a cradleboard of this size, I was a little worried that it would prove to be too fiddly to laminate by myself and kept my husband on stand-by just in case I needed another pair of hands. Fortunately, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. The hardest part was laying the large sheet of plywood on top by myself! Here you can see that I use it to weigh down the paper as it dries.

The edges of the paper hung over the edges of the cradleboard just slightly (enough to give me some room to be sure the whole board was covered!), and those edges needed to be cleanly removed. I have this annoying habit, when trying to use a sharp blade to cut away excess paper from a cradleboard, of actually slicing into the wood, itself. Even when I don't, the edges I cut are almost always wavy and uneven. So this time, I tried something different.

Once the paper and board were fully dry, I creased the paper sharply along all four edges...

...and then - using a watercolor brush - soaked them with water.

After giving the water a couple of minutes to saturate the paper, I used a rough sanding block to sand the excess paper away.

It worked like a charm, and left me with a sharp, clean edge all the way around the cradleboard.

Ready for paint!

The first cradleboard got treated with many layers of acrylic paint. I painted, and removed paint, and painted, and removed paint, until I was happy with the result. Then the entire surface was covered with a large monoprint of Stacked Journaling. Sorry, but I didn't get photos of that process. It involved cutting a sheet of plastic larger than the cradleboard and covering it with one giant block of SJ by squeezing black paint from a narrow-tipped bottle. Once I had the paint onto the plastic, I had to move fast to keep from allowing the paint to dry, so I didn't stop to take any pictures. I overturned the cradle board onto the plastic with the painted SJ and pressed down to make sure I was transferring the paint, and then peeled away the sheet of plastic. After the whole thing had dried, I modified the SJ by tracing its negative spaces with a refillable paint pen filled with Golden hi-flow acrylic in white. Again, the entire process can be found in great detail with many photos on this blog post.

Once I finished the entire piece, I sealed it with a coat of fluid matte medium, and buried it in about half a bottle of pouring medium to give it a high gloss surface.

This photo was taken right after applying the pouring medium, and you can see that it goes on milky, but will dry to a clear, hard, glossy finish.

Here is the finished work.

(Acrylic on wooden cradleboard, 30"x40", currently for sale)

Also on the table in the studio this week were these little guys...

These are copper oil lanterns to go around the pool and they needed a few coasts of clear Rustoleum before they could hazard the fierce Texas weather.

After three coats and time to dry, they sat their shiny selves on the water wall.

Oh, I do love summer!

Next week, I'll tell you about some neat little paper samples I received from a company in Spain!

In the meantime, paint with a lust for life.

Rest in sweet peace, Robin Williams, you will be sorely missed. 
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