Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Gesso Complicated....

Sweet Anna has moved to Austin. She's renting a house not too far from where Sister Erin lives and is continuing to create a wonderfully amazing life for herself and those around her. I love this for her....*really*'s just that I have known for some time how much I rely on Anna to answer all of life's art questions. Naturally, since she lives in Austin and I live in Houston, she is not here when I have questions. Questions like: How the heck am I supposed to use gesso? ['je-(")sO] And what's the deal with fixative?

By the time she arrived for a long weekend visit, I had googled gesso, read everything that wikipedia had to say about it, bought some, and understood that it should be used for the beginning stages of a particular project. But the how-to mechanics of it were not answered in any of the online research. (Gesso is a sort of primer/rabbit skin glue stuff used to prepare a raw surface to accept paint. Feel free to correct me if that's not right.) Anna is such a patient teacher and explains things so gently and graciously that when it is time to put to practice what she taught, it isn't as distasteful a task as I imagine. I was dreading using gesso. Whatever horror I had associated with using gesso was---only in my head. In reality it is a relatively painless process----many thanks to Anna's gentle explanation.**

There were/are a few chalk and charcoal sketches that I want to preserve, so I bought a spray fixative that is supposed to protect the surface of the work so that it doesn't smear. Anna said that I bought the wrong kind of fixative, that I needed the workable fixative (fixatiff?)because the "matte spray clear matte protective finishing spray for art/craft projects" will yellow with time. Why didn't the sales lady at the art supply store tell me that?

**In the immortal (or not) words of G.O.B. from Arrested Development:
I made a huge mistake using the gesso after writing the above paragraphs yesterday. The horror is real, not imaginary. Gesso is indeed agonizingly wretched and torturous (for me) to use. The grievous depth of this misery has caused severe pain and anguish. It will take ten times as long to correct the lamentable gesso mistake as it did to make it in the first place. My over-exaggerated, extreme dislike of insufferable gesso survives.

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