The Monitor Wreck, on this day.

Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863, depicting USS Monitor sinking in a storm off Cape Hatteras on the night of 30-31 December 1862. A boat is taking off crewmen, and USS Rhode Island is in the background.

United States Naval History and Heritage Command, #: NH 58758

The Wikipedia article.


And .... again.

And ... better .....

A little more of the aluminum leaf is showing, and the color is closer. I may be done?


Once again ...

Well, that was quick ...

I like this version a lot; it's "dry", it has the colors of the painting, but isn't the color of the painting ... it's on the wall, maybe I'll let it sit for a few days.

Wiped all the previous toning, and scumbled an acrylic wash, with some rottenstone and cerulean blue pigment, dusted on after the wash was dry.

The photo is more 'intense" than it is in person, though the painting is pretty accurate ....

Changes in frames

Both of these paintings have had the finishes on the frames modified. I'm pretty happy with the top one; a stippled on wash of raw umber, then some rottenstone with yellow ochre added. I'm a little more ambivalent about the bottom one; I like the "dryer", duller feel, but the scumbled on color ... I may need to soften it, though I will hang them back up and see how I feel in a day or two. Both of these finishes have antecedents in the modernist frames of the 1940s and 50s, such as this one: Peter Blume at The Art Institute.


Repairing a broken ornament.

This ornament is the only one of the four corners still there, though it is broken and loose, held on by the nails that the composition was anchored too. Sometimes I can get the ornament back in position but this one was stubborn.  In the next photo, below, I've removed the broken part so I can clean the fracture and remove the nails.

These last three photos show the back. For reinforcement, and to replace the now missing nails, I cut some slots using a saw blade in a Foredom tool, (a fancier Dremel tool) Thin welding rod will be cut, and glued into the slots, cyanacrylate, both to glue the ornament and the rods. The next photos show masking tape in the perforations of the ornament, and the the slots and lacunae being filled. I'm using catalyzed polyester resin, more commonly called Bondo as the fill material.

Once that is cleaned up I'll do what repairs are needed to the face so I have a corner to make a mold from. The next photo shows the top of the ornament with its undercut. This would have been cast separately, as will the replacement ornaments.

The last photo shows the top of the ornament ready to be molded, with a plastilina dam surrounding it.

Mold material will be alginate; ornaments will be cast from Bondo, thinned with liquid resin.

Float frames

Some samples of "float" frames.


Another Painting

And, another painting that needs a little something to the frame.

More trees

How exciting, more trees!

A close up of the tree from yesterday showing its scabrous bark. It appears to be a brand of Oak.


Painting ReDo

I've done a little more work to this painting, and changed its title: "What?" This was prompted by some thoughtful and sincere critiques from friends and relations. Of course, being the decider, I decided Shrek was more appropriate than the "Mother Ship" from Close Encounters.

Diseased Tree?

The morning walk sometimes takes us past this tree. From that first limb on the left, almost to the top of the photo, there are strange growths, burls, accretions. iPhoneography; maybe I should take a "real" camera next time. I should also try and figure out the species. I would be very curious to see what the wood looks like.


Another painting


Another painting and frame, though this is not completely done, as the frame is a tad too bright; I need to tone it down, and make it more matte. Egg tempera on panel, with a basswood frame, carved and aluminum leaf gilt. 

Painting based on an older watercolor. I'm very pleased with this version.This is darker, more brooding, with much removed; a minimalist version. Edward Hopper called this "cannibalizing".
I think of it as just part of the process, especially if I feel the earlier version could be improved upon.

If you've come here from my main site, you'll notice the frame is quite different. Other versions. Here. And again,


Painting with frame. By Me

Painting is egg tempera on a gessoed hardboard panel. All traditional, though I use an air brush for the smoothly graduated sky. Painting is SW Lake Michigan, looking at the dunes with a lowering sun, very loosely based on photographs. I'm trying more for a "feel"and emotion of place than an accurate depiction of place.

Frame is butt joined basswood, with floating mortise and tenon construction. (Biscuits). The shape was done with a bandsaw, including cutting the "rays", then carved. The bottom has had an additional 3/8 of an inch extra laminated on, as it was unbalanced at first. Feels better now. Gesso, acrylic color as a base coat, shellac, metal leaf, shellac and japan colors in VM&P Naphtha, as a wash.

Photo of painting is not the best, but egg tempera is, probably due to it's luminosity, hard to photograph accurately, as are frames ...

Frame is loosely based on, loosely being the operative word, inspired by might be more accurate, by the bottom front frame on the book cover above. It's the only frame of those six not in the book ... ???

Edited 12-13, changed picture for a better version.