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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bare Bones

Bare Bones
Collage + Drawing
8 x 10"

Early this week I made lemonade out of a lemon of a night's sleep. Too much caffine in my iced tea led to sleeplessness so rather than lie abed even longer I went to the studio at 3 a.m. and cut and glued 17 scrap pages, then later that day I spent an hour on the sewing machine getting them ready to be the substrate for more tree drawings.

I painted one of the collages with clear gesso, thinking that would add substance to the page and perhaps preserve some of the vintage papers, but it wasn't helpful that way and caused some of the papers to buckle. This afternoon as I was drawing this tree with a Pentel brush pen I realized that the rough gesso was probably acting like sandpaper on the fragile brush; it was certainly slowing down my penwork. I won't use gesso this way again.

I can't even remember why I bought the clear gesso. What use is it anyway?  How do You use clear gesso?


18 comments:

  1. I really dislike clear gesso!
    But I really, really, love this collage!!!

    Love the mixture of the background papers,and lone tree. I am drawn to trees lately!!

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  2. I agree -- I was disappointed when I used clear gesso. It seems so much rougher than the white. The only thing that I have used it for lately is to cover really slick paper in a datebook that I am using for an art journal. I can use pastels and acrylic ink over it and the pages don't stick together.

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  3. This is a fabulous collage Jo! I love it! I didn't even know there was clear gesso. I wonder what the purpose is?

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  4. I haven't used the gesso, but I had to tell you how wonderful this piece is..brilliant!

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  5. What a lovely tree, it looks good on your collaged background inspite of the gesso. I have never tried clear gesso and thanks for the warning, I wont.

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  6. I have never used clear gesso, but I love this collage!!

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  7. I can't think of a use for clear gesso, but thanks for the warning just in case I do. This collage is really great. Papers you used are so perfect with the tree.

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  8. don't you love how it all comes back to HIM!!! :)

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  9. Well, I just got done reading about how Martha uses the clear gesso, check out what she has to say
    http://marthalever.blogspot.com/2010/07/scraps-from-dina-journal-pages.html

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  10. Hi! I really love your blog and this image. What a fun way to manage that early morning wakefulness.

    I use clear gesso over my inkjet photos. I can then use a water based media on top of them. I havent had any trouble with it... maybe because I use photo paper so its heavy.

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  11. Jo, your tree collage is really nice in its simplicity. I use clear gesso over heavier collaged papers and computer printed photos so that I can paint over them in watercolors or acrylics. It has a heavy tooth and takes the paint well.

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  12. I sometimes use gesso when I want something with quite a rough surface/tooth.
    But your collage with the lovely tree DOESlook beautiful though!
    Ronelle

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  13. I have clear gesso, but I don't use it...and honestly don't know why I bought it...but, your page is incredible...and I love, love, love your new studio furniture!

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  14. This is a beautiful collage. Martha Lever's blog explains how she used the clear gesso.
    http://marthalever.blogspot.com/

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  15. Hi Jo, I use clear gesso. But first let me say how much I love this collage. it's just striking, the dark tree on the warm yellow whites. Lovely!

    i use clear gesso to prime my wood panels before i collage. I do this so that I give myself the opportunity to let some of the wood grain and striations show through in the final collage. It is so rough, that I have begun making my sketch on the raw wood and then putting the clear gesso on top of the sketch, rather than try to work on a clear gesso surface.

    however, once I paint in my under-painting (and I do like how the fluid acrylics hold to this rough surface) I like the clear gesso surface for gluing my collage materials on top of.

    Another product I use when I am looking to seal my wood panels with clear, and not have so much tooth is Golden GAC-100. This product has absolutely no tooth and presents you with a clear, slick surface. I find this surface hard to sketch on for the opposite reasons, and that the fluid acrylic under-painting does not react as nicely.

    So in short, I wish there was a product in the middle of GAC-100 and clear gesso!

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  16. hi, for me clear Gessy can seal something and yes it is gritty but you can lightly sand it will a fins sand paper and it's much better. Thanks for your comment!

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  17. I love clear gesso. It's great for pencil work on a page that needs more tooth. It also helps give a page more strength. Definitely not a sealer of any kind! A light sanding will help combat some of the grittiness of it. It's not really multi-purpose but it really does change the way pencil and water based media look on a page.

    I love your collage. Viva la Ice Tea!

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  18. I just love this - it is so sparse, and yet so much loveliness in the background.

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