Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Framed versus Unframed

The benefit of painting a watercolour on paper, taking it to the framers and paying for a nice frame means once you have a finished a work it is just that - finished. However choosing to finish a painting so that it can be hung without glass (or frame if desired) means there are many more hours required to seal a work that can stand up against the elements and it is also a bit scary. I used to be nervous about spoiling a painting that was really going well and now this fear has moved on from that and focused on the varnish process. Each step requires thought, practice and patience and a lot of fingers crossed that the varnish will dry evenly without brush marks, has the desired sheen etc. The cost of painting on a panel or canvas is not cheap so this is always at the back of my mind as I am in the sealing process. I have now completed the varnish process on six paintings and each time it was very different and I think it is going to take me many more to feel comfortable with the process. Snag being I don't intend on painting for varnishing anywhere near as often as just on paper for framing so I think my varnishing apprehension will be with me for some time. The overall costs of this type of presentation is about the same as framing so the reason for doing it is simply for variety. Guess the best thing is I can never say I am in a rut!
Wine and Song Series painting number two has been created on a 3/4" Cradled Panel 18" x 24"
This mixed media work is done directly onto the panel not like Wine and Song number one where I painted on 300gsm paper and then adhered it to the panel. The sides were painted with black acrylic. It has then been sealed with several layers of varnish ready to hang as is.
Wine and Song II
18" x 24"

20 comments:

  1. Love the complexity of this one. Great colour combinations. Interesting to hear the varnishing process. Not sure I would have your patience. Looking forward to seeing the next in the series.

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  2. I absolutely love this Lorraine!! The way you have built up the composition with the many different shapes and your choice of subject matter is wonderful. Have you painted all the grapes or are they part of the collage you've used? However you've done it I think it is superb and I could look at it for ages!!

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  3. Fabulous painting, Lorraine. It has a really holiday-ish feel about it. Love the colours and the composition - it's one of those pieces you can keep going back to and see more in it.

    Great to hear your experiences of the varnishing. I can imagine it must be quite daunting. I keep wanting to dive into mixed media but the watercolours pull me back every time. It will happen one of these days though. :-)

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  4. Good post. Thank you. Lovely happy vibe painting.
    Painting on panels has less shipping worries of a canvas being punctured.
    For watercolors, I'd rather roll and ship in a tube.

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  5. A wonderful work incredibly creative and with very good vibrations. Love the happy colors.

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  6. This is really lovely, Lorraine. I have never tried varnishing a watercolor but I have read posts from other artists like you who have been doing that so they don't have to use glass for hanging.

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  7. Beautiful Piece Lorraine! Loved reading about your varnishing challenges.

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  8. So glad you like this mixed media watercolour. I am really pleased with it. It takes a while to turn the collage and shapes into a finished piece and it never really looks anything until the very last minute

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  9. Wow, love this piece and the harmony of the colours. Love reading your progress and just how much you have to do to complete this type of work

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  10. Love your post Lorraine and your latest creation! I'm no music critic but this spring harmony reaches my soul.

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  11. I love the many layers and beautiful approach Lorraine- incredible piece! It's great to read about your varnishing experience, I have never tried it on watercolor.

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  12. Such an interesting piece, love the depth created. I understand your fears about varnishing. Have you tried cold wax?

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  13. Thanks Polly, Helen, Celia(hope you are going OK) and Maggie, I have used a wax varnish once last month but was a bit worried it might not be enough protection. John Lovett recommended it and said one coat should be fine. I might try again

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  14. Wow Lorraine - this is just stunning...love those gorgeous colors. I can empathize with your varnishing concerns. It would be such a disappointment to ruin such a lovely work of art. I like though the fact that you are always growing and reaching for something new or different. Take care and enjoy your day.

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  15. Oh, Lorraine, I just love this painting. I admire your courage to go through with the varnishing, and your ability to always forge ahead and push your boundaries.

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  16. I paint in watercolours and also do mixed media so I have so enjoyed looking at your beautiful art. I have never tried varnishing a watercolour..at least not yet. I find a lot of people don't like the glare of glass and many have gone to acrylics ... but my love is watercolour.

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  17. sounds like your time and hard work is paying off lorraine ...keep with it

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  18. Very creative design and nice color combinations. I would be terrified of varnishing my watercolors. Think I will stick to framing with glass.

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  19. Lorraine, I wanted this comment to be under your latest post ,, "hitting the brickwall" . For som reason I was unable to leave it there ,.
    As soon as I read it I thought that I had written it. Very familiar feeling , and where I 'm at right now. It does happen every so often and what do I do? Order art supplies!. As though that's going to jumpstart me.
    Just wanted you to know your not alone, and inspiration will come back.
    Your paintings are lovely and you won't forget how to do that.
    BJ

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  20. Hi Lorraine. Have you tried waxing your watercolours? It is a lot simpler and hassle free than varnishing. I've waxed quite a few of my paintings and they always look so good when done. If you would like, i can share my method with you. :)

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