(part 1, so here are the first 5 – in no particular order!)
- Big Squeeze
- i-pad stand
- Double sided industrial tape
- Aluminium Sub-frames
Of course, I have ruined work then given it a turps-wash or a total sandback – but that is just one use of sandpaper.
Monterey Pines (above), started well, but then I ruined it by getting too literal with the green It simply didn’t work, so I sanded it. Top right has an overall greenish tinge from the sanding, and in bottom left, I decided to introduce some sea and mist.
Bottom right is the final version – which I did not get to look at for too long as it sold almost immediately!
I began to really value my sandpaper again after I attended the exhibition of Helene Schjerfbeck. She left all sorts of scratchy marks on her self-portraits. I have started to sand back when paintings don’t really need altering; but to add some texture. It takes courage to sand over quite a ‘nice painting’ I sand back by hand to maintain the tooth of the board – if you use a sanding machine it gets too smooth. I learnt this the hard way.
As part of my NPS diploma I did an active study of this unfinished self-portrait of Helen Schjerfbeck’s: i.e. a copy, trying to work out her process of painting. As with Michelangelo’s ‘unfinished slaves’ I’d like to think her portrait is only ‘unfinished’ because more of a finish was expected in the day – but that to Helen Schjerfbeck; (and Michelangelo) it was a completed statement!
2. BIG SQUEEZE
Ahh this nifty little tool… for when those tubes of paint get all mangled and you hurt your fingers trying to get the last bit of paint out. This happens more when you are a ‘middle of the tube of toothpaste squeezer’ or you let your students help themselves to your Titanium White! Available at www.jacksonsart. There are a few on the market, but this one looked really strong and I thought would last a long time. I have now retired my wooden rolling pin which did the job, but was rather unwieldy.
3. i-PAD STAND
When you find yourself holding four brushes in one hand and an i-pad in the other and it is becoming painterly, it is time to invest in an i-pad stand. This is called a WER Universal Tablet Holder (sold by KENO), but there are many on the market that are excellent.
4. DOUBLE SIDED INDUSTRIAL TAPE
This is a fairly new discovery of mine. It is super-strong and you can use it in numerous ways.
You can use it to mount your work on a sub-frame if you like an unframed look to the finished piece. The sub frame is glued onto the back of the painting using this tape.
If you google ‘Heavy Duty Bonding Tape 6918, 6919, 9885’ you can find out more. It is pink, but that is the peel-off backing tape. The actual tape is clear in colour.
5. ALUMINIUM SUB-FRAMES
The aluminium subframing system which I use, is designed for photographers to frame their work. The aluminium frame is made up using pre-mitered steel and is glued onto the back with heavy duty double sided tape (No.4 of my very useful things).
I make sure the surface at the back of the painting is absolutely smooth by coating it with PVA glue and sanding lightly between coats. My frame was 8mm thick and it means the painting casts a slight shadow if it is flush against the wall.
Still life on a fine Day is 100cm x 80cm and is very heavy as it is almost 2cm thick. The subframe gives it a contemporary look (and so does the red wall!)
In due course I’ll give you the rest of my 10 Very Useful Things, but I have a couple of other topics I’d like to blog about first!