Tuesday, May 24, 2011

bubble wrap, bubbled wax and heartbreak

"twigs tangle in feathery tails" 18 x 48

This is a story about lessons learned. The triptych above is from my 2010 'dogs eye view' series. I had it up in my studio for a month. Rather than sending it to another gallery, I decided to put it on display in my home for a while.

I only live five miles from the studio, so rather than bothering with the usual glassine and panel insulation, I wrapped each panel in it's own bubble wrap and loaded them in the car. On my way home, I parked in the shade and stopped by the gym for a quick 1-hour workout. As soon as I got home, I unloaded the paintings, and left them in their bubble wrap until I had time to hang them.

Three days later, I removed the wrap to discover that the wax had melted in areas of the paintings, and the bubble wrap had made serious impressions into the surface.

After the initial shock, I brought the panels back to the studio. My plan was to heat them up in these areas, and scrape them down to the base photo. Then I would rebuild the wax and apply new paint.

But after the initial burn (carefully, with a heat gun), I decided that the wax had smoothed out enough without scraping. The surface is still uneven, but after the new oil glazes are applied, I will live with it for a while and see if I like the new texture.

details of reheated wax surface prior to new oil glazing

I actually feel lucky that this happened now, before I inadvertently pack up a big stack of work to store this way. From now on, rigid foam box with nothing touching the surface!

details of the completed "fix".

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