Disaster or Blessing? Problems With Gesso.


Cracks.

Cracks.

I went into my studio to find everything had gone wrong. The gesso that I had poured on this canvas cracked, and my first thought was “oh crap!”

Cracks.

Cracks.

I thought about what had gone wrong. I’ve used this technique before but only on board, and it worked well on board. Maybe the canvas shrunk and caused the cracks?

Covering

Covering

I decided to continue working on it. I painted the gesso with acrylic, and I worked the paint down into the cracks. That didn’t fix it, which was not really a surprise.

Chipping away

Chipping away

After the paint had dried I chipped away all the loose gesso, but I left some areas that were well attached but still had cracks.

Covering.

Covering.

After I chipped away all the problem areas I painted another coat of acrylic paint over the gesso. What at first seemed like a complete mess might actually be working out fine. I’ve decided I like the broken surface that I now have, and that it works better as a translation of one of my Long Series paintings.

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