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Old 28-01-08, 01:37 AM
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jpohl jpohl is offline
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Default To Cradle or not to Cradle

As I'm fitting my painting in while my little ones are sleeping, I've decided to order some "realgesso" panels from Georgia to optimize my painting time (this seems like a worth while investment at least until they are school age), and am trying to determine a good size. The panels will be shipped long distance before and after the paintings are done. I understand that keeping them boxed for a couple a days after travel will minimize warping due to climate change. I would like order un-cradled to stretch my shipping budget which could add up, but what would be the largest size panel which would be safe to paint on uncradled?

I'm also starting to experiment with various types of toned paper sized with gelatin to do some egg tempera studies, and quicker paintings. How far can the paintings be worked up on this, or is this best left for thin dry brushed tonal drawings, rather than full fledged paintings? It would undoubtedly also help safe on my shipping budget to galleries if I could send works on paper. I've always loved the feel of painting on paper.

With two little ones under three years old, and having moving way across the country my easel and track lighting went up again a few days ago. It feels good to have a studio space again, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of egg tempera. Wish me luck. I'm praying for the patience...

btw. Do more people work on a table or an easel? I thought the easel would be easier on my back, but is the table more often used?

So much to learn...

All the best, jp



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Old 01-02-08, 06:25 PM
Alexandra van Cruyningen Alexandra van Cruyningen is offline
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Hi, Jpohl,

For what my information is worth, I also order panels form Georgia, real gessso and I do not work on the craddled ones. They come from Georgia all the way to the Netherlands and nothing happened to them although I can assure you that our climate is as damp as can be.
As for size I do not work on very large ones, I prefer 8x 10 inch and 9 x 12 inch but I have larger ones also for my oilpaintings. 50 by 60 cm (sorry do not know Inch size).
I have never worked on paper so I can not give you any information on that subject. But I am sure someone else on this forum can.
Liked your painting of your sister reading Dorian Gray. (Great book also.)
Well, hope your little ones will not keep you away from painting, that would be a waste.
Greetings, Alexandra.
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Old 02-02-08, 08:35 AM
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jpohl jpohl is offline
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thanks so much for your feedback. I know most egg tempera are smaller, and like to do a few around that scale, but thinking of a series around 14 by 18 or 16 by 20, which is probably crazy starting out. If anyone can tell me that it is safe to work on without cradles at that scale I'd really appreciate it. We live in a very arid climate (essentially a snowy desert. Can you believe it dipped to 63 below yesterday.) I have to ship to and from very wet climates. The RealGesso people seem very nice.. or at least the person who e mailed me actually said she was proud of me for what I'm attempting to do.

I'm up now wondering when my little guy will start falling to sleep early enough for me to carve out a few hours to work. Did I say I live in hope?

Funny thing about that painting. Today I just gave permission for it to be used in an exam in Europe (I better not give more away)... but there's a captive audience. I told my sister it must be her enigmatic face. (-:
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Old 02-02-08, 08:54 AM
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jpohl jpohl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandra van Cruyningen View Post
Hi, Jpohl,
but I have larger ones also for my oilpaintings. 50 by 60 cm (sorry do not know Inch size).
I have never worked on paper so I can not give you any information on that subject. But I am sure someone else on this forum can.
Liked your painting of your sister reading Dorian Gray. (Great book also.)
Well, hope your little ones will not keep you away from painting, that would be a waste.
.
I just noticed this part.. that would be times .39, so around 19.5 by 23.4 inches... (or so says my laptop calculator).. so it looks just about right. Thanks so much!

Well if the baby doesn't start sleeping more consistently soon, I can always work when I'm 85. Or so I keep telling myself. They are more inspiration or motivation (at least in terms of getting over romantic notions of being a starving artist, and seeing the world with new eyes) than a drain in the big picture...

And encouraging. After I set up my easel we turned down the lights to eat (my studio is doubling as the dining room) and my three year old said "but now I can't see the beautiful water!" talking about the painting on the easel. I had to laugh.
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Old 05-02-08, 11:21 AM
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JeffG JeffG is offline
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I'm using the RealGesso panels now, but I have made my own. The largest panel I've used ET on is 18" x 24", (1/4" thick). With no cradling, I notice that it does bow inward by about 1/4 of an inch as I paint on it, and then flattens out again when i put it in a frame. I paint relatively thick for an ET artist, and I have not noticed any cracking on the paint surface whatsoever.

I plan on going up to a 24 x 36" size soon and was wondering if cradling was a good idea at that point.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:06 PM
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jim jim is offline
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while i have done a few egg tempera pieces on paper, i have never been willing to leave the paper in a loose portfolio or certainly to roll it after it has been completed. i feel fairly sure that the thicker passages of tempera would certainly develop some cracks, altho how can one say how thick is chancy.

i believe you are fairly safe if you simply mount the paper down to cardboard or some other rigid surface. i have been reading, of late, of several rennaisance and baroque artists who did tempera painting on canvas, and apparently quite a lot of it was done. once again, the trick here probably is to keep the canvas unrolled and flat, or to mount it on a rigid panel, probably before it is painted.

as for cradling, i have done tempera on masonite, 36x48 inches, with the panels uncradled. once they're framed, the warping seems to be held in place. quite a number of times, i have used cradling on a large panel, up to 6 feet, not so much to eliminate the warping, but to allow a rigid wood surface on the edge so that picture moulding can be nailed around it, which eliminates the need for very large, heavy moulding on that big a scale.

i've just noticed in my reading this week, that a lot of tempera paintings from the rennaisance were done quite large, 6, 8 or 10 feet. some were on canvas, and some were on cradled wood. and in pretty good condition. so a big scale is certainly feasable, but it might not work so well over a couch.

jim

ps, from the wife. when my kid was small, i was lucky to set up a painting on the kitchen table while she slept. i even experimented with getting up at 4 am, for awhile. but basically, i painted very little while my girl was not yet in school. but you live past those years, which from a larger perspective seem very short, and then you'll have more appreciation for wasted time once you are able to devote most of your waking hours to your work. it'll pass, and you'll still have your art supplies. so take heart.

Last edited by jim; 06-02-08 at 03:09 PM.
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