From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

new Skin Painting

with one comment


This is the one that came to me in a single flash.  It is part of a series I’m working on looking at skin and society.  The part I’m tracing onto the canvas here is the red layer that will be underneath the skin layer.

Stretching a canvas unevenly is a real trick.  You have to balance the tension between the canvas  that could be stapled and the bookbinding thread to keep everything even for gesso-ing, and even then I had to weight down the corners of the frame so it would dry flat, with even tension instead of warping.  Another layer of gesso and this will be ready to paint.  Then I get to do the second layer over it- same process, but this time while protecting the bottom layer from gesso as well as protecting the frame.

With things like this you have to be able to leave the piece unbalanced.  If you balance it when it’s only half a piece the second part will never look right with it.  It means constantly mentally over-laying the other part of the image in your mind.  The same is true of painting in stages and layer generally.  Intermediate stages of a painting are often very awkward because they depend on the balancing what will happen in subsequent layers.  The beginner’s instinct is to try to balance each layer, but you often get more potent results when you let it be awkward in the middle.

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Written by marycoreymarch

February 2, 2012 at 12:45 am

Posted in art, painting, process, skin, work in progress

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  1. […] » The latest image of my current in-progress skin painting.   Plans and earlier pics here.  It will get a double  top layer stretched over the red […]


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