Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gravity #11: It's a Step Up From the Normal Gravity Painting

After a long lull in this blog, I present to you, GRAVITY #11!!

This piece was a commission that I did for the highest bidder of the Make-a-Wish gala and charity auction!  I may offer another commission piece in their auction next year.  If they have room, they'll also have at least one of my paintings if you want to bid on a finished piece and take it home that evening.  This event usually takes place in March, so mark your calendar & keep checking their website.

Below is the same painting, same camera angle, but different lighting.  As always, click on each picture to enlarge!


In addition to the uneven support, this is the first painting I've made that has a sculpted signature, integrated into the painting. Here it is from one angle:

And, here it is from another.

More detail shots:


After making Gravity #9, I wanted to experiment more with different support thicknesses. This was the initial pattern.  Before painting it, I decided to turn this 180 degrees, so the thick corner would be on the lower left, giving the base more weight & a lighter upper right area.  (You'll see the change in the lego model that I built to help me keep track of each piece below)

I created a frame to house all of the supports.  The manilla file folders were put in there so the thinnest supports would not slip under the 2x4, which had a beveled edge.

Then I put them in one at a time, upside down.

After covering with plastic, I thought it would pretty easy to fill in the crevasses with foam insualtion.

After 4+ cans of the stuff, This is what I ended up with.  I then covered it with the board in the background & weighted all of it down.

After a few more days than was recommended for it to to cure, I then flipped it over, and took what was the bottom (now on top) off.  It was still squishy, like a water bed!  And, the pieces weren't level.  This technique was an expensive failure.  But this is probably a good thing, because this is not the most eco-friendly way to make a painting, and I don't want to repeat this process.

On the plus side, I had a pretty cool reverse sculpture.

So, back to the drawing board.  I ended up using CD cases, effectively locking up my CD collection for the next few months as I worked on this. As you can see, I used a Lego model to help make sure I assembled it correctly.

Then, I added the texture.

And, started on the underpainting.

Once it was done, I reused file folders to protect the garage from over-spray.

The view from this side, now colored.

Then, I applied the gravity lines.
 The piece was now carefully removed & laid upside down.

The pieces were cut apart.  I love this image: It shows how well they stick together by using this technique.  Hmm... going to have to explore this further for paintings meant to stand on their own on shelves.

All that is left is to paint the edges & mount to a single backing.

The original backing support was 1 1/2" thick.  The total thickness would have been 3" if I used the original wooden support that I had in mind.  So, I bought the most sturdy, non-warping, weather resistant plywood I could find.  To obscure the edge of the plywood, I trimmed it in about an inch on each side & also painted it black.  I then used the highest quality waterproof wood glue available and mounted each piece.  I weighed each piece down with 36 pounds of my wife's exercise weights.

Here's the final piece again: