Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First Bear...


I love that opening, don't you?
I do.  It's the first line of Seamus Heaney's Beowulf translation.
Thank you.
Not you, Heaney.

Anyway, so here we are ...

(insert photo of 5x5 canvas with newspaper glued on)

And here are these ...

(insert photo of yellow Playtex gloves)

I'd actually show you the photos, but my computer is running so slowly I don't have the patience to wait for it to process the files.  Neither one is particularly interesting, particularly the paint-speckled gloves.  The point is this:  I'm a man who likes to get in amongst my materials.  Last night I was ripping chunks of newspaper apart, slathering them with gesso, and slapping them on the face of the canvas.  More or less willy-nilly.

At some point I stood away, thinking I was done for the night and having no inkling that San Francisco was going to slap the Bears as hard as they did.  The idea was to go upstairs and join the game in progress.  But when I turned it on and saw it was already 20-0, I decided to catch up on the last couple of Homeland episodes.

Except that I couldn't get any of the stuff off my hands.  Something about the mixture of the acrylic primer (which I mistakenly referred to as gesso earlier) and the newsprint had created a sort of papier-mâché coating on my hands.  And let me tell you, it was mighty hard to get off.  In fact, it's still on.

Brief personal aside:  Look at how my auto-check formats the phrase papier-mâché.  Ha.  I could no more figure out how to do that manually than fly to the moon.  Lovely.

Anyway, even after a shower this morning I still have white stuff on my hands.  Thus the gloves.

Which I hate.

A woman in the group studio I belonged to in Brooklyn several years ago (see photo a couple of posts earlier) once told me I should not directly expose my fingers to some of the pigments in the paint.  That they were toxic.  That is to say, don't squirt paint from the tube onto your bare thumb and then rub it on the painting.  She suggested gloves.  Which is anathema to me.  How the hell did she expect me to achieve the thumb-rubbed effect without rubbing with my thumb?  I told her not to worry; I always licked my thumbs clean after applying the paint.


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