Grand Procession was one of the first of my large paintings inspired by the canyons of Utah and Arizona. Everyone seemed to want it but nobody bought it though it won prizes as it went from exhibit to exhibit. Then one day it came back from an exhibition with a huge tear in the canvas. I cut the canvas off the stretcher bars, cut off the damaged portion and rolled it up for possible future use in the collage I keep talking about.
When I painted Grand Procession I was working with stock sized pre-stretched canvases and this one was 24 x 36. Since those days I stretch my own canvases in sizes that fit the subject. I pulled out the original sketch one day and decided I might like it better square. A friend had given me a 24 x 24 wooden frame that needed some repair. It seemed perfect to be painted creatively to match a painting.
|Black frame in process of sanding and repair|
But first it needed sanded and repaired because of nicks it had suffered before it came to me. I rather like working with frames. I have in the past repaired some very ornate and antique frames for clients and small museums.
|Frame painted and gesso applied|
I wanted to paint the broad flat gutter of the frame and I wanted to use liquid watercolors and inks like I paint with on canvas so I had to apply and sand and reapply several layers of absorbent ground in the gutter. And paint the edges. I began with the idea of silver or gold and here I am trying out both.
|Revised Grand Procession|
Next step was to begin the painting. Frame has to match it and not the other way around. I have done paintings where all the figures continue on to the frame but I didn't want to do that this time exactly. I wanted the painting framed in sky and water.
But I was not happy with the oranges and Indian Reds. And as a consequence I got sort of stuck here. Fortunately you can lift colors up from the watercolor canvas I use. Decided to paint the frame with the sky and water colors and then see what naturally presented itself for the transition between the two and try them on as it were. Even less happy with the colors in the picture.
|First pair up of frame and painting|
|Ceremony with the color changes|
And then I had to lay the frame over the canvas and match colors on t he frame to the end colors on the painting. Paintings with frames that matched was done a lot by artists in the 1950's because they could not afford new frames and were constantly refurbishing older frames. Today a painting from that period with the original painted frame are collector items.
|Ceremony with frame|