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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pulled in two directions

If you doubt the adage “time and tide wait for no man,” take up painting boats.

Late Winter at the Shipyard, unfinished, by Carol L. Douglas
Yesterday I was in Home Depot picking up a cabinet when I noticed a bin of ClosetMaidTie and Belt Racks. I ran to my car, got a few painting panels, and fitted them in the hooks. Voila! An easy, fast, and available panel drying system that takes up a fraction of the space of the system I’m currently using. They’re $7.98 each, and my local store had lots of them. One rack holds a dozen paintings. I’m stopping for more today.

Easily available, small, light and cheap. Each one holds a dozen paintings.
I paint everything smaller than 20X24 on canvas panels. They are stable, easy to transport, and less prone to go airborne than stretched canvas. The professional needs to ask whether they are made to archival standards and whether they will warp in extreme conditions. After that, it’s just a question of how much tooth (texture and absorbency) you like.  Any good board costs an arm and a leg. If you’re making work to sell, you should be prepared to pay. Art buyers should ask what substrate work is painted on. Think of it as a warranty question. (I use Raymar, which is just one of several good brands.)

There is no way I could have done my Canada trip using stretched canvas. The newest paintings were in PanelPak carriers. When they reached the tacky phase, I moved them to pizza boxes. When they were surface-dry, I bound them together with waxed-paper spacers and put them in a plastic tub. In this way, more than forty paintings made it back to Rockport with almost no surface damage.

There are more than 50 paintings in the dry phase in my studio right now. They take up a lot of room.
Here, however, they needed to dry thoroughly, and once dry, get their final matte varnish coating. That means they’ve been taking up a lot of space in my studio. Since my classes start Tuesday, I don’t have time to order a set of drying rails, as nice a product as they are. The tie racks were perfect.

It’s finally dawning clear this morning. That figures, since my day is bookended with meetings.  I need to finish my painting of the Jacob Pike before she floats out on the tide on Friday or Saturday. If you doubt the adage “time and tide wait for no man,” take up painting boats. The tide is an inexorable mistress, as is the fitting out schedule in the boatyard. On the other hand, there’s the equal and opposing need to finish preparing my studio for classes.

Here's another angle I'd love to paint, but I'd be in the way.
I’ve got the boat pretty accurately limned out. It’s the boatyard that’s not finished. Of course, the star of this painting is the Little Giant crane in the background.  It was moved since I started this painting last week. Captain Doug Lee offered to put it back where it was, but I kind of like the hook dangling over the boat. I asked him to leave it.

I might get to sneak an hour or so over there today. If I don’t, I can finish the background without the boat. These things have a way of working themselves out.

2 comments:

Leslie Piercy said...

Clever girl!

Carol Douglas said...

Thanks. You should see how nifty it looks now, when ALL the panel paintings are in those smaller racks.

So many of my friends have come up with so many ingenious solutions... this is my one contribution to the practical business of painting. Everything else I do, I've borrowed.