Thursday, November 18, 2010

This must be about the dumbest post I have ever written

But maybe it will be useful to you. I have cats, cats upon who the fur does not remain. They are nice enough cats but there is hair everywhere. They just walk away out from underneath it and leave their unwanted hair lying around. I am thinking about varnishing the cats to keep the hair on them.
But until I do, I am routinely faced with the same problem, cat hair all over my paintings. The hair is electrostaticly charged so it doesn't just brush off with the side of my hand. But today I hit on a solution, my wife has these lint rollers positioned at strategic points around the house to get the hair off of her clothing and food, so I grabbed one and viola! it took the hair off the painting and left the image behind. Problem solved.

I also received this question via e-mail;

I have been painting on 18 x 24 canvas panels because they are inexpensive and my continued pile of paintings don't take up much space. I was having problems painting larger sizes so I thought it best to progress from 12 x 16 to 16 x 20 and now to 18 x 24. It seems to be helping me because I want to paint larger sizes. What are your thoughts on when it's time to go to canvas or quality panels?

I paint lots of 18 by 24's on panels I make myself. Here's how I do it. I think that is about as large as I would go on an uncradled panel. You could use larger panels but they would have to have a little woodwork on the back to keep them from getting floppy. So above that size I paint on canvas. You should learn to stretch your own, by the way. I don't think the quality of panels you buy is any better than that which you can inexpensively produce at home.

And I have this quote;

success is the result of good judgement
good judgement is the result of experience
experience is the result of bad judgement
- Mark Twain

Announcing a three day workshop to be held in Charleston, South Carolina. It will be fun to meet those of you who read this blog from the low country. As usual the workshop is open to all levels of experience and will run from Saturday, December 11 until Monday the 13th. I will teach outside and will demonstrate in the morning and then run from easel to easel teaching for the afternoon. I can save you years of screwing around learning to paint outside.
Here is the link to sign up. Class size is limited to 10 and given the short notice on this one might be very small indeed. People are starting to sign up, so reserve your spot.


billspaintingmn said...

I've always admired Mark Twain! He was true to himself.
Cats, ya gotta love 'em~

Unknown said...

That is a great tip. I have the same issue with dog hair.

Thomas Jefferson Kitts said...

Is the painting wet when you do this?


Mike Thompson said...

Actually, you want that cat fur in your paintings. When your work finally enters the realm of being worth 'serious money' DNA testing of the cat fur will be used to authenticate your work before the sale becomes final.

Of course, the half life of cat fur on visitors' clothes is something on the order of 47.9 years. Don't invite any forgers over for a few brewskis any time soon.

Faith said...

Timely post as I was just thinking about this. My dumb question is: Is a little dust/lint/brush hairs/hair allowed in a painting or do buyers and collectors think that artists are unkempt or unprofessional if their work is not scrupulously clean?

I try my best to keep my work clean but I still find impurities after the paint has dried. Maybe I nitpick too much? I wish I can see more paintings in person so I'll know if this is "normal".

Philip Koch said...

Now that's a winning smile on that warm-hearty little kittie. I've always been amazed at how few hairs I can find stuck to the paint in 19th century paintings in the museums. Guess the old painters were pretty careful about that.

Especially if you like to varnish your paintings when they're done, those hairs have a way of catching the light perfectly and making nasty little sparkling reflections right in the middle of some otherwise great smooth passage you've painted.

Deborah Paris said...

I'm sure PETA will be around soon to punish you for this shocking bit of kittie exploitation... said...

Another successful artists friend, Robert Ferrandini, had a cat for 22 years. Having King Fisher's cat fur in a painting was considered an honor. A lot of textured helped too. And that 's another way to "skin" the cat."

Great twain quote.

Early on I found that eventually even the 18 x 24 panels i made needed bracing.

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Good post, Stape! I have the problem with dog hair. Usually, I don't find it until the moment after I've varnished a painting. I usually am able to pluck it out without messing up the finish, but this is a good trick to know, the lint picker-upper-roller.

Joe Winkler said...

Girl I just married has a cat. So now I have a LOT of those lint rollers!

I don't let the cat in my studio.

But um just sayn'.

Unknown said...

I've heart of people who teach their pets to like the vacuum cleaner & give them a good vacuum every morning...Cat's are so testy but worth a try, I suppose?

Unknown said...

I can't believe you posted this.. it is an ongoing problem I have. IN our new house, I have tried to forbid the cats and dog entrance to the studio but still that pesky hair migrates into the studio somehow.....

Barbara Carr said...

Shave them.

Philip Koch said...

I used to have a cat who spent all his time in my studio as it was the warmest room in the house what with all the spot lights I use.

He would actually wake up from time to time and glance at what I was painting. I always imagined he let out a silent sigh and thought to himself before drifting off to sleep "so sad, I could do it so much better."

Stapleton Kearns said...

More people logged on and read this post than any other I have ever written. I have no idea why.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Cats are true to themselves in a way that Mark could only hope for.

Stapleton Kearns said...

A hair of the dog is my recommendation.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I have done it before varnishing and on tacky varnish. It might work on wet paint, I don't know.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mike; My cats came from the pound. Their DNA is probably not very pretty.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think a painting should be made as well as you can. A very smooth finish shows hairs. Rougher paintings don't

Stapleton Kearns said...

It makes me want to never paint with a slick surface.

Stapleton Kearns said...

No cats were injured in the making of this post. But one was IRRITATED.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I have been OK on the 18 by 24's

Stapleton Kearns said...

I know it was a dumb post but maybe it was useful.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The cat can get hair on your painting from the next room. They do it on purpose.

Stapleton Kearns said...

My cats would rip your arm off if you tried that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You need a gelatin filled airlock between your home and studio.

Stapleton Kearns said...

But they struggle so.

Sakievich said...

The roller was one of my great unshared painting secrets for several years now. Now that you've let the cat out of the proverbial bag, what contribution am I supposed to make to the art world now?