December 03, 2007
Not the case with the above painting. The bones and much of the original paint remain. Whether or not it's an improved version is up for grabs... at least it's different and gets another chance at making the rounds. I think there's a unity the first one didn't have but looking at both versions now, I see a few nuances were lost in the transition. So be it... other nuances were gained.
I've moved away from my usual modus operandi in the last year or so... to the point that I was having trouble reconnecting with a style that had served me well. Working with this painting again, in it's original context, has helped me understand where I was going wrong in both composition and technique.
I've mentioned that I like to thicken my gesso with dry spackle powder to create just the right texture. Without this particular ground, my techniques just don't work. Well, donchaknow I've run out and they've taken it off the market! Can't even find it on the web! I'm no chemist so figuring out the magic in the compound has been a trial an error affair. I just know that dry spackle worked and other powders didn't. I did start comparing the makeup of spackle and I think plaster of paris might work... I'll let you know. It's got to be tough, anything as soft as joint compound is disastrous... big time chipping at vulnerable, unframed edges. With big canvases, bumps do happen. Even many layers of paint won't protect.
Anyway, working again on this painting reminded me that I have to get back to that surface or forget the whole process. Funny... I hadn't realized it mattered that much... naturally I'm in the mood for some really thick, squishy texture!