Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Long Does it Take?

I am often asked how long it takes to make one of my oil pastel drawings/paintings. I never really know how to answer that. This piece I did this afternoon--about 4 hours. But, that doesn't include taking the photograph from which I derived the painting, ordering the panel, storing it until I am ready to prep the panel--that includes sanding down the edges and adding a layer of red gesso. Then, once the image is on the panel, I have to use a spray fixative until it is no longer tacky--that means going outside to spray as the stuff is noxious, when the snow isn't clumping off the trees, or when the pine needles aren't blowing all over the place. Then there is drying time in between coast of the fixative. Next, I have to use my brush on-varnish --2 coats minimum, with drying time in between. This, of course, assumes that the varnish is in stock and that I have some. I'm down to my last inch of it and just received word from Jerry's Artarama that it is finally on its way to me (I got smart this time and ordered 4 bottles rather than 1 or 2.) Do I count the time I'm online re-ordering my supplies? Then once it is dry, I need to photograph it on a sunny day, outside, when the sun isn't shining on that side of the house (I found out yesterday that that has to be before 4 o'clock--at least this time of year.) Then I cut foamcore to fit the piece and cover that with glassine--it is how I protect the surface while traveling. Then Rees puts wires on the back--no other framing required!!! Yeah--no glass cleaning. The image gets uploaded into the computer at some point as well--although if you have noticed my website has not been updated in quite some time--On my list! So, you could say it takes 4 hours to do a 6 by 24 piece but in reality a lot more goes into it!


  1. I always love that question. And there is the time to create and draw up new images to be transferred.

  2. It's always amazing how much work goes into a piece. Sometimes the actual creating time is only an hour or so but it's all the pre and post work that is so important and sets the artwork in the right direction.

    I found your site through Paula Carter-Bass. I'm glad she told me about your work - it's stunning.

  3. hey from 32,000 feet! Yes, I'm on an airplane. I just wanted to add to your "how long does it take?" post. What about how long it took you to get where are, to paint what and how you do? It's path, and not so much a process. It's lifestyle and not a "job". It's a journey inside, outside and upside down, in every piece.
    that's my take. Plus, I wanted to post a comment from 32,000 feet. (hee hee)

  4. What type of spray fixative and varnish do you use on your oil pastels?

    Just curious as I have heard that you should always frame under glass.



If you've got a comment or a question, let me know, I'd love to hear from you.