Posts Tagged ‘Gesso’


My head’s been swirling lately with things I thought I would never have to know, things that I never could imagine would impact my life-  derivatives, Credit Default Swaps, leveraging and deleveraging, etc.  There seems to be a huge disconnect between how the media generally portrays what this financial crisis really entails and how the people who are embroiled in it lay it out.  The story from the guys who know is much scarier than what the media or politicos feed us.  We’ve been living in a house of cards for much too long and there will be a change coming.  A return to building and living on a real foundation…

That being said, I thought I would talk briefly how I prepare my surfaces for paint, how I build my foundation.  Whether I am using paper, masonite or canvas ( the canvas above is 24″ X 48″), I start in the same way by laying down layers of gesso.  I splatter, trowel, brush, knife and push with my fingers, anything to create a deep and interesting texture.  The whole idea behind this is to create a surface that has an interesting and abstractly sculptural feel.  Basically, it has visual interest before I even lay down my first brush of paint.  I find that this forms a textural depth in the painting, one that may not register immediately but ultimately gives the piece life .

I also find that this textured surface works best when completely chaotic and undirected.  Trying to create a pattern underneath that drives the piece above more often than not comes off as contrived and clumsy.  It becomes too much a product of thought, losing all sense of natural grace, which is what I think the surface prep adds to a painting.

I will show how the canvas shown turns out in the next month or so…

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