Thursday, 15 October 2009
While I'm at it ....
.... I'll just update my activities on the exhibition front.
Well, not quite. Part of the run up is deciding what to exhibit. I've decided that if I can't exhibit a painting, I don't really need to conserve it either! Not that I will show them all, but anything not worth exhibiting (even theoretically) is really not worth the canvas it's on! And I don't need a reminder of my failures, so like old clothes that have outgrown their usefulness, out they all go!
So yesterday I got round to destroying a number of old bad or unfinished paintings. This was a major undertaking. Some of them were started shortly before I gave up my studio and were too cumbersome to set up in my new quarters. Several of them were painted on inferior stretched canvases I had bought on the internet years ago (I've stopped doing that now!). Those stretchers were not slotted and wedged in like good quality ones; they were stapled and nailed (cobbled) together and the wood was as brittle as crispbread. But they still needed quite a lot of energetic bashing with a mallet before they condescended to fall apart. Previously I had cut the respective painting out with a craft knife. I kept a few for re-stretching, but I'm skeptical. When it came to getting rid of the canvases off those cheap frames, I discovered that they ripped very easily so I don't know if they will let themselves be re-stretched (by drenching the back). I taped the discarded wooden bits together so they wouldn't fly round the cellar, and was gratified to see them in that state at long last. I also destroyed bad paintings on good quality stretchers. These I kept and used some of them to re-frame the painting below, which was too wide to transport in my little car (that being a major priority if my large paintings are ever to see the light of day). Despite or maybe because of shedding a bit all round, the painting looks more concentrated than it did before. It now measures 90x150cm (instead of 100x160cm).
That was a good day's work, but there are still a lot of paintings I don't need or want waiting to receive the same treatment!
The oil painting below is actually quite spectacular.