Friday, October 13, 2006

Somebody Should Have Stopped Me


















Why didn't anyone stop me from buying, not just one, but 2 FOUR FOOT BY FIVE FOOT PANELS???????? I know Doug has this whole supportive art spouse crap going on but really, when I am about to do something so insanely crazy, he should be stopping me.

In the section where my work will be displayed in the Carrie Haddad Gallery, there is one wall that is at the end of the long narrow space which is 80' wide-perfect for one large piece. So in a moment of complete and utter self-confidence, I ordered two 48"x60" wood panels, and then a 48"x48" and a 36"x48" panel just for good measure. Doug picked them up at Soho Artists Materials yesterday and they are just beautiful. It's a shame to muck them up with a bunch of paint. I unloaded them this morning and managed to get one of the 4'x5' panels into my studio and onto an easel but I have no idea where I will keep the others (they are leaning against the wall in the dining room where the cats are very carefully inspecting them right now). I don't know where I am going to prime them-I guess if we have a warm day this weekend, I can set up a spot in our uninsulated and terribly messy garage, full of bugs and critters who will either run through or get stuck in the gesso. Otherwise I may have to take over the dining room, which poses it's own risks, such as paw prints or damage inflicted by children.

Even if I do manage to get it prepared, I have no idea how in the heck I am going to paint that large. I have only one large brush, (yes, the one that cost $205.99), and I don't know how I am going to get a decent light source on a panel that size. The natural light in my studio sucks so that's no help. Good grief.

But I have to admit that despite the pressures of priming the panel, storage, time and material issues, I am totally looking forward to the challenge of doing a painting this size. Kind of a good stretch for me, you know? Well that, or we will end up with several lovely new tabletops.

24 comments:

Ed Maskevich said...

Fear not! 4 X 5 is a nice size, a human scale. You would be surprized at how man house painting brushes work well as art brushed. I think that you'll also find that even a 1" brush will make a wider mark than you think (at least it does for those of us with heavy hands). The problem I always encountered was getting the same feel of the smaller pieces because now the scale had increased so much. Have fun.

James Wolanin said...

Tracy,

Don't you just love those panels?! I hope the panels I ordered will be ready so I can pick them up this weekend. You'll get used to working large! Very exciting!

Tracy said...

Ed, I am worried too about getting the same feel working this large. I think I will be playing it a bit on the safe side with the imagery on these for the time being. I wish I could use house painting brushes (I have one for the prep part) but I prefer to use sable for the glazes, the soft brushes get the look I want.

Jim I should give you credit for this fiasco, heh, seeing your large panels inspired me to try it and your mentions of Soho Artists Materials led me to get the panels from them, so thanks, (I think).

Angela Ferreira said...

I love painting large! The largest the better...
At least you look like you have pretty good studio size.
I can share the excitement with you, lovely panelssss!!!
Look forward to see your paintings...

Lisa Call said...

This is very exciting! Big - I love big - I can't wait to see what you do with it.

My work gets near 8 feet wide much of the time these days. Course it also folds up nicely to keep the cats off.

Just the logistics of such a large panel are a bit mind boggling. Good luck with that part - if your cats are anything like mine they are unlikely to leave it alone.

Thanks for the tips. I think I'll be doing some shopping soon.

Lauren said...

Just start painting, you'll find it's not as bad as you think. Everything just takes a lot longer. I would be more worried about what you are going to do with them if they don't sell!

Lesly said...

Hi Tracy ... how wierd ... on Thursday I went out and did the very same thing! Only mine are four canvases and not as large as your panels - but still far bigger than I usually work on!

I too am feeling a bit shocked and shattered at the prospect but - Yes, it IS definitely exciting!

I look forward to seeing how you go .....

meno said...

If this happens again, we'll stage an intervention.
I'll bet you will surprise yourself with something cool and unexpected. I look forward to it.

Tracy said...

Angela, you must have missed the previous 97 posts where I constantly complain about how small my studio is! I did reorganize a bit in there last weekend,, but still, it's a tight fight having the panel in there and I sure can't do the prep part in there.

Thanks Lisa, glad you are feeling enthusiastic about all this. Maybe I will show this piece in progress on the blog, so you all can watch me flounder!

Thanks, Lauren, I am preparing to dive in. And don't worry, I have already spent most of the day totally stressing about where to put it, and the others, if it doesn't sell.

Tracy said...

Meno, Ha! Great idea-instead of rehab you can send me to a How To Paint Miniatures class.

amber said...

All Right can't wait to see what you do.From my experience painting large has a disadvantage of not seeing the entire picture until you are very far back so keep steppin back to take it all in
Have Fun

Susan Constanse said...

You know you'll do fine. Your paintings will look great bigger. And you need more bigger brushes. And hey, more space to work in!
Go for it, Tracy.

Tracy said...

Thanks, Amber, I sure can see how important it will be to stand back from it often. I can get a reasonable distance away, I'll just have to watch my step though, for all the junk in my studio.

Hi Susan, I figured out today that if I were to sell about 20 paintings this size, I would have almost enough money to build a new and much larger studio. Guess I better get started....

Angela Ferreira said...

Hey Tracy in the photo it looks rather spacious, much bigger than my tiny conservatory studio...

Tracy said...

Angela, It does looks larger in the photo than it actually is, it's about 16'x16', 256 square feet. Which would be a good sized living room (that's what it is supposed to be) but for a studio, well I could definitely use more space, especially for storage and I would like to have a separate area for drawing and pastels. Also the room has 3 doorways, plus another door to the front porch, so it is broken up very oddly. In our last house I had a room over the garage which was about 700 sq ft, although my kids weren't in school so I didn't have as time to paint. So we move and I have time now but not so much room. Th irony has not been lost on me!

Bob said...

This reminds me of when I bought a giant slab press that required four men to put the roller in place. And for weeks I wondered if I had lost my mind.
Bob

Tracy said...

Bob, Four men, wow! Gotta wonder about us artists sometimes.......

karl zipser said...

Changing the scale of work can lead to unexpected complications. I think it is good that you are aware of the potential difficulties. Large scale work can end up consuming a lot of time, without necessarily looking better than a smaller piece. And of course, on the web the size will be of little help. That said, a good large painting can be very powerful, can transform a whole room. It's worth the risk, I think.

Anonymous said...

I paint exclusively on panels. I prefer it actually. I enjoy putting them together as compared to stretching canvas. For good meauser you may want to slap a little paint on the back. The paint has a tendency to make the panel bow. I like to go to the Home Depot throughout the week and look through their scrap bin. I once found a 4 x 5 sheet of birch in the bin and only paid $4.

The Epiphany Artist said...

Ohhh Just be quiet and paint!!! Haha! how wonderful and gorgeous they are!!! I have a couple of big ones too I have yet to pull out of the corner.... so white pure and clean...

Anonymous said...

sorry I'm so late in the comment mix
Are you hoping to paint bigger, or more complicated?
Bigger is easy = restrict yourself to bigger tools. You have to start using four inch house brushes. The question is how small are you willing to go?

Tracy said...

Hi Karl, I have been interested in working large for awhile but the logistics have seemed a bit overwhelming. I decided to do them specifically for an upcoming show because it is an appropriate place to show a large-scale piece. I will have to limit working at this size for specific opportunities, until I have a larger space to work in. A constraint to work with and to kick up against, wouldn't you say?!

Brian,
Do you build your own panels? Great bargain you found! I didn't realize you work on panel. Love those new pieces up on your site.

Hi Terri, Glad you are back! How is your husband? Hope you have a chance soon to work on those large sizes too.

Steve, I am just planning to paint bigger for now, I wish I had more time to go out on a limb here, but I will have to do that some other time. Actually, the limb is the scale, I guess. And I will struggle with just one large sable brush-those house painting brushes are too stiff for my delicate little glazes. Though I may pull out that China bristle brush and see what happens. Nice pic, by the way.

Martha Marshall said...

Tracy I can so empathize with your trepidation at the size -- not the execution of it but the physical requirements of moving, storage, hanging, the whole thing. But it's so well worth it all!!

I can't wait to see some of them.

Tracy said...

Hi Martha You are so right. At first I was nervous about the actual painting of such a large piece, but now I see that the rest of it is what is so difficult. At least so far-I may have to change my opinion once I get further into the painting!