my crazy busy week

Jan 18, 2013

I have a pretty high tolerance for stress, but this past week proved to be one of the more challenging weeks in recent years.  I was simultaneously working on three major projects: the completion of a third painting for a London gallery, the fulfillment of a large wholesale order of art prints, and the launch of my first sample sale in my Etsy shop.  There wasn't much room for error with such a tight schedule, and yet, some things went terribly wrong.

I could rant about all the ways my printer gave me grief this week, but the lowlight of my week was the varnish drying unevenly on my painting.  Some imperfections can be fixed with additional coats of varnish, but I knew in this case the varnish needed to be stripped.

Stripping varnish is always a nerve racking process.  And this was the first time I have had to remove varnish from a painting with gouache.  Here are some photos capturing the process.

I used cloths soaked in mineral spirits to remove the layers of varnish.  It actually ended up going better than expected, but I did have to eventually repaint the top portion of the painting. . . 3000 gold dots and all.  To say that this was tedious would be an understatement, but I tried to have a good attitude about it.

I ultimately decided to leave this area unvarnished, because I prefer the chalky matte look of the gouache.  Here is a look at the finished painting.


It's titled Alpine Reverie.  I'm happy to say that the painting, as well as two other works, are now en route to London.

I also have 80+ prints headed to Dallas, Texas.  We Are 1976 is restocking their shelves with more of my art.  Yay! 

Even though it's been a crazy busy week and my patience and fortitude were tested to the nth degree, I am very grateful for it all.  And I'm so thankful for a husband who was willing to take on the role as art assistant for the week- scrubbing dried paint off of palettes, cutting cardboard, running errands to art stores, and making me tea.  Thanks, honey.  Now, do you mind tackling the mess on my art desk for me? 

5 comments:

only daydreaming said...

Cathy, you continue to amaze and inspire me with your artistic talents and level of skill, your character and just how genuine you are and choose to be on your blog...a place where many try to appear perpetually perfect.

and this painting is extraordinarily beautiful.

Cathy said...

One of the nicest comments I've ever gotten. Thank you.

Megan said...

Cathy that painting is beautiful! Love it! And love the print I ordered from you last week.

I had a horrific week myself - slam packed with projects and also no room for error. My printer had issues, and then as I was 90% done with a commissioned project, I realized I'd done it wrong and had to start over.

It actually comforts me to know that other artists are going through some of the same struggles along the way - just to know I'm not alone! So here's to a smoother week for us both!!! Happy Monday!

Megan Wells

Louise said...

Hi Cathy. My vocabulary is failing me, for want of words to describe how much I admire this painting! I come back time and again to your blog to look at your wonderful works and processes, but this has to be my all time favorite (so far!). Wow.
Congrats also on emerging victorious from such a hectic week!

Cathy said...

Megan, I'm so sorry to hear about the bummer week! Hope this week is going much better for you : )

Louise, thanks so much for your encouraging words. This painting is a personal favorite of mine as well. I was in the French Alps in '98 and absolutely loved it there. I hope to go back one day soon.

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