The Project in Purgatory: it’s graduated


Progress is being made. The 8 cedar planks have all had their first coat of paint. The slight bulge in the center that somehow started out concave has be sighted and corrected. The curve of Winter Ridge has been located and shaped at each end of the playa. Color has been laid down and more is contemplated. Let the wild rumpus begin.

Here’s my earlier blog on the subject.

Here are photos of a couple of the planks and the sweep of the first four (from the right) of the eight:


plank3planks1to4Fixed[Photos by Susan Monti, January, 2014]

As the photos of the single planks show, I am trying to make use of the wood grain and wood defects; hiding these would make using these old planks from the Playa property rather silly. Why bother using such materials unless you use them.

I find it necessary to work back and forth across these long pieces as I continue the process: each stage has to be brought into harmony together: no single plank becomes the touchstone for the next or the rest. As Papa Cezanne said, you must paint the whole canvas simultaneously. I haven’t quite mastered that trick yet, but I keep working toward it.

Besides having to work the whole “simultaneously”, I find it necessary to have other work going on at the same time. This relieves some of the tension when I get stuck and also relieves my eyes from looking at the same (at times) stupid problem over and over.

So I did attacked two other painting surfaces, one another 12 x 24 inch plank, a different wood, possibly oak. The color was too different from the 8 cedar planks to be used successfully in the pano, so it was set aside. I returned to one of the scenes that I had painted on canvas and on part of the panorama, and reprised it.

Here’s the original plein air version:


Here’s a portion of the panorama that uses something of the same scene:

plank3Below is a overpainting of the version above:

StandAlonePlank1PSD2PlankPlayaStandAlone1, 12 x 24″ Oil on cedar, 2014

I liked the color in that painting but felt it lost the charm of the wood grain. So I’m working at restoring the grain. We’ll see how that goes.

And here’s the other single plank painting that I’m working on.

StankAlonePlank2WLI love the grain lines in this one, brought into focus by painting the board heavily with opaque paints and then taking the electric sander to it. However, it’s not yet a painting. It’s really just a way to start into the process. But it also gives me ideas for my panorama, which will be fun to play with.

So the PFH has become the Pip — a far better category. It might even graduate to being a WIP — a Work in Progress. But I don’t want to get my hopes up for this panorama too soon.


8 thoughts on “The Project in Purgatory: it’s graduated

    • You’ll have to drop by and see it in person some time. I mistrust web images, particularly my own, as I know how far short they fall from actuality. But it’s coming along and has been fun (challenging? Frustrating? Maddening? — yup). But I’m liking where it’s going, myself. jou

    • Hey, thanks Beth. I didn’t know you were among my audience. I’m honored. And glad you like it. It’s fun to know another soul is out there, listening.


    • Sheila, textiles. Yep, that occurred to me. And like textiles, wood has a mind of its own, particularly when not well trained like commercial Masonite. It’s been fun (in spite of what I said to Clairan, perhaps because I don’t have many boundaries between fun and challenging:-))

      Thanks for checking in.

    • Thanks, Clairan. “Exciting” is one word. I have several others, but not in front of the children –snort–

      Thanks for checking in. I’m working on March 2, RCC.

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