When I got back from Seattle last week, I found that a classmate in the June plein air workshop had arranged an exhibit of the work we did in the class. The exhibit is to be hung today (Monday), which meant I had to hustle. Getting paintings on hardboard ready to hang requires a frame. Unlike canvas on a stretcher, the boards can’t have a wire stretched between two screws across their backs. The screws have to be attached to something besides the painting itself — ie, a frame.
Fremont Bridge Stanchion, 2008, 12 x 16, oil on board
Having the work framed by a professional would cost more than the paintings are (currently) worth. So off I went to search for reasonably priced (under $20 a piece) frames for four 12 x 16 inch works.
I went to five stores to find the frames, although the ones I finally found were “natural” colored, meaning they made the paintings look as washed out as the frames. So I trotted to our local hardware store to get spray paint (which leaves no brush strokes). Did you know that in Portland, you have to show ID and sign off on a government form before you can buy spray paint? And then you have to pay for it?
Mt. Hood from Across the Gorge, 2008, 12 x 16″, oil on board
The paint, with its toulene and xylene and whatnot, had to be sprayed outside, so Jer moved the car out of the driveway, I put down a large drop cloth, layered newspaper over it, and then laid the frames out. I sprayed them — back, front, back, front, and front again. I detected lots of oogy smells, even though I held my breath until I got dizzy. I got a big pain in my behunkum from bending over and twisting around. And, although there were no brush strokes, there were, alas, paint drips.
The Fremont Bridge at NW 16th, 2008, 18 x 36″, oil on canvas
So there you go — we must labor to be beautiful and also suffer for our art. Shown here are 3 of the 5 pieces I’m taking down to the Pacific Northwest College of Art to be hung. I’m showing only 3 because I know I already showed the other two on an earlier blog. I probably showed these, also, but they have been touched up, redone, mucked over, and generally reworked since I last (may have) talked about them.
There probably won’t be enough hanging room for the last long one at the exhibit — it’s 3 feet in length. Nevertheless, I thought I’d take it with me, just in case. I think it’s my favorite piece, but that may be because I like grandiose and silly, and this has both attributes. –June