I decided it was time for a new challenge. Previously, the largest canvas I’d ever painted was 48″ x 60″. That’s fairly large and I’ve done several. I’m not sure what the definition of a large painting is in the official art world, but I don’t think 48″ x 60″ qualifies. What you see below are 2 canvases, each 58″ x 40″, bolted together to form a 58″ x 80″ painting surface. By making a larger canvas from 2 smaller ones, they can be separated for ease in shipping, they’ll fit in the car for transporting to shows and they’ll also be easier to store.
I had Fred Soto of Fred’s Custom Stretching in Tucson stretch the canvases for me. This was another first, as I ordinarily do the stretching myself. He did a beautiful job, perfectly stretched with lots of bracing in the back and the bolt holes in the right places.
I did the canvas prepping. First I used a coat of GAC 100, which is a Golden product that seals the canvas and prevents support induced discoloration. On top of that I applied 2 coats of Golden Gesso.
The canvas(es) are so large I needed Jim’s help to get them bolted together and hoisted up on the wall easel.
All set and ready to go. There they sat for several days. Creating a painting on such a large surface appears to be a daunting task and I was pretty intimidated at the prospect.
I looked through my files of reference photographs, thinking, thinking, thinking. I cropped and printed a bunch. Eliminated down to a handful. Taped them up on the canvas one by one and sat and stared at each one. Finally I made my pick and took the plunge.
Well, this was certainly a wimpy start. If you look closely, you’ll see some pale pinkish marks. Just trying to get a sense of the motion and direction of the water. And to get something, anything to break the vast white surface.
The next day, I got a bit braver. I can tell you that covering the whole area takes both a lot of time and a lot of paint. I mixed the colors with generous dollops of Golden Light Molding Paste, which both extends the paint and can be used to create textures, which I did. I love the consistency and feel of this stuff. It’s a good thing I just ordered a gallon from Golden, as it took almost 32 ounces of Light Molding Paste just to get a thin coat on the painting.
On another note, here are the official photographs of 3 new paintings. If you check back to previous blog posts, you can see the progression to the finished paintings.
Floating World Acrylic on canvas 24″ x 56″
Vision in Purple Acrylic on panel 30″ x 30″