February 23, 2009

Buckle on the Horizon Line

Buckle on the Horizon
There was this beautiful hand made belt in a remote antique store. It was exquisitely woven with threads of gold around small baubles and touches of fabric. Although I admired it and the price was very reasonable, I didn’t get it because it looked like it would require the loss of about five pounds of midriff fat. Nevertheless, the woven belt and the buckle inspired the way I painted my next "Domicile." The building in the painting above, with its crisscrossed fencing, layers of interwoven paint, and parts of machinery aligned itself like a belt on the horizon. A painted patch of emerald green on the cement exterior seemed to form a buckle, tying together earth and heaven. This completes painting number one hundred and four in this series.
"Structure with Green Square," was painted in oils on a gesso panel. The panel was prepared by coating wood or masonite (in this case masonite) with three coats of rabbit skin glue. Then I added six to nine coats of marble dust gesso, sanding between coats. I used a very fine sandpaper, about 220, for the final surface. The extra fine surface was like ivory. But since gesso is porous, I had to seal the surface. There were commercial sealants available for that purpose but I instead used a homemade ruby shellac with the ruby leaves imported through Kremer pigments in New York. I then troweled paint onto this surface with a small palette knife, like a construction worker, slurrying cutting and smoothing my way into the house.

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