new Series Behind the Scenes / by Melissa Carmon

Two of the twelve panels, ready for painting

Two of the twelve panels, ready for painting

This marks the beginning of my next series! 

This project has been in the planning stages for months, and it's exciting to finally enter the production phase.

The first problem that needed to be solved was the issue of a suitable substrate.  My vision for this project required a large size, and initially, it looked like the only way to do it was to build the canvases by hand (in the same way that I did for the RECLAIM show).  However, I was able to find a company that makes panels in the dimensions I'd hoped for--  an unusual size I'd never seen sold before anywhere else.  

Gessoing is patient work.  

Gessoing is patient work.  

These panels are made of birch wood, and are unprimed, so careful application of several coats of gesso is necessary to separate the oil paint layer from the wood.  However, every brush stroke leaves a bit of dimensionality, so for a smooth surface, I have to combine several techniques.

Have questions about the series or the priming process?  

Feel free to ask me on Twitter at @melissacarmon or comment below!