This is a large experimental 2-sided painting of some basalt rock formations up near Whistler.
Our assignment was to construct a piece at least 4′ x 8′ as a lesson on scale.
Because I did the piece 20 plus years ago, it had been languishing in the basement all those years and was slightly damaged. I applied Albinene, an archival, semi transparent drafting vellum over the tears in the paper.To stabilize the piece enough to hang it I had wanted to use rusted metal strips but couldn’t find anything appropriate. I then remembered an oxidizing solution I had been using in jewelry making. I had been primarily using the copper oxidizing solution on copper or brass to get that aged green patina.
But I knew there was also a rusting solution out there. And I had heard that there was actually ‘metal’ paint in the form of copper or iron oxide that could be used to turn anything paintable into a piece of oxidized metal. Down at Opus (everyone’s favourite art supplies store) they headed me in the right direction to the supplies, and then out to Windsor Plywood for the masonite since I needed a piece at least 8 foot long.
First off I tested the iron paint & rusting solution on an old piece of painted illustration board which I had torn off in strips. I didn’t use these pieces in the final but I was very tempted…Here are the three strips of masonite painted with iron oxide and rusting solution. Once the strips were painted I drilled some holes in the top pieces to use to string rusty wire through. In the process I marked where the holes should go with a pencil. The silvery tone of the graphite looked so cool I decided to scribble over the strips to carry through the scribbling on the actual painting. I found scribbling with the tip of a pair of scissors on top of the iron paint created a similar effect and didn’t rub off on everything as pencil tends to do.Because the place I was hanging it only allowed one side to be shown, I decided to make this the back side of the piece – the part nobody sees. But I think that the rework made this side even better than before. This is the final watercolour & pencil scribble side photographed while it was lying on the floor.
The other side piece when hung – I used some of the same rusted wire to string it up that I used in the original piece…