Sunday, 19 May 2013

Progress and Process in Montana: Part One

Wallace arrived last week at his studio in Montana, escaping the humidity and bustle of the city. He plans to spend the rest of the summer here.

"It's a perfect day, 60 degrees. There's still snow on the mountains that surround the property. It's always somewhat surreal to have it be so warm, but to see snow on the peaks."

Upon arriving, Wallace began the five day process of building supports for the paintings and oil pastels he plans to create this summer, aiming to build enough to last him through until his return to Chicago - around 20 pieces altogether of varying sizes. Since the process of building one or two stretchers is the same as the process of building a larger number, Wallace prefers to build his canvasses in large batches. "That means I can just paint continually, without having to break the flow of painting and build."

Having assembled 14 stretchers for canvasses ranging in size from just 9 x 12 inches up to 56 x 78 inches, plus 7 mounts for the oil pastels he plans to work on, Wallace adds a coat of gesso to the canvasses. "This is a thicker coat that's very gestural in nature. It's a way of keying in the images that I want underlying the actual painting."

Return next week, when we'll share the next steps in the transformation of these blank canvases.

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