linen prep - part 5

So the prep is done as best I can, the ground layers of paint applied, and the fun started.  It developed into this figure holding a letter saying "dear artist" - why, I have no idea.

And here the painting has stopped. It's at a point where I feel it should be restretched onto smaller stretcher bars. It's not quite flat and I'm beginning to have serious doubts whether it will ever be absolutely flat and taught... so you can see why I don't want to do too much further painting in case I fall in love with it and it breaks my heart! I need to sort the ground first, so watch this space :) we might even be in for a dramatic conclusion of major destruction... which would be a serious shame for all the hours that have gone into this. But that's life/art, right?


the linen prep - part 3

We have been fortunate to move to a lovely little country town in the Kaipara called Maungaturoto and I have been blessed with a whole room to myself, that I can call my studio. Can you imagine? After living on a boat for 3 years, with art-making (on a real scale) near impossible, this is like putting my head into a tumble drier with all the ideas and fluff going around in circles. Where to start??

First, we're enjoying the beautiful view from our back porch. Next, I thought I'd work on the linen canvas to see if I can make something of it. So on went some acrylic paint in a wild flurry, with me dancing around it and revelling the space... The plan is to take it off these stretchers, find smaller stretcher bars which might fit better, then stretch the linen for the final time, ready to start a painting - I can already see things in those colours, can you?

the linen prep... part 2

So after drying on the line I stretched it again on the temporary stretchers. Temporary as they actually are just a tiny bit short on one edge, so that I can maximise the area prepped for later stretching onto slightly smaller bars..

I found the stretching pretty difficult as the fabric seem to be stiff and ungiving, even brittle as a result of the previous layers of size still present.

It turned out better than before, but still not the flat, taught surface I'm after. So I decided to gesso the thing as suggested by Paul Hutchinson - a master of all things art. 
This is what the first layer of gesso looks like now - and the outcome seems a lot more positive than the previous try, but it's early days still. I do seem to notice the linen actually drying tighter - and not relaxing as before when drying. So holding thumbs here.

It's surely taking a LOT longer to do than I anticipated and it's not the end yet.. will I do it again? Too early to say ;-)