Portrait of the Artist's Son, 2016, with and © by Brenda Clews, watercolour on 140lb cold press archival watercolour paper.
Show at Arcadia Gallery, June 2016. Paintings © by Brenda Clews. From left to right, Sir Jorge and the Dragon (2'x5'5"); Glam Queen Ballerina (2'x5'5"); Consequential Drawings (2'x6'); Arabesque ...twirling, undulating men (2'x6'); and Portrait of the Artist's Son (4'x3'4"). Watercolour and/or charcoal on Canson Montval 140lb cold press archival watercolour paper.
Since I hung these paintings as I was working on them in my apartment on a rig for a video backdrop, I knew they could easily be clipped. A visit to a lumber store elicited 1/4" PVC pipe; I cut the lengths, wrapped them in black duck tape. The 6' piece of plastic PVC pipe, however, curved like a crescent moon and was in danger of ripping the paper on the long paintings. With hours to go before installation at the gallery, I grabbed an old shower rod from my storage, and dashed off to Dollarama and bought a broom handle! I'm not happy with 'the look' of the hanging apparatus' of the two large paintings, but am happy I was able to hang them! Barring frames and glass, this is a good way to display them.
The paints used for all the paintings are the highest quality professional watercolours, Windsor and Newton, Daniel Smith, etc.
Each painting has about 6-8 layers of fixative and varnish. I followed Golden's instructions on how to varnish watercolour to the letter. First, 3 layers of Golden Archival Gloss, shake the can for 2 minutes, spray evenly, let it dry for 20 minutes, spray, dry, spray, dry. Then I took the paintings inside and painted a resistance layer on them to seal them further: Golden Soft Gel (Gloss). When that was dry, I painted one to two layers of MSA Varnish w/UVLS in Satin and/or Matte. The final finish gives the paintings a great deal of protection and the feel of the paper is quite strong. It is possible to remove the layers of varnishes with Golden's MSA Solvent (I did this a few times with test pieces and one of the paintings when I wasn't happy with the finish). One would never use odourless mineral spirits with these varnishes - either Golden's MSA solvent or a regular turpentine. I tested this on small paintings and both solvents, the MSA and turpentine, stripped the varnish without lifting or smearing or damaging the paint, which, of course, made me very happy.
In all, the materials cost for each painting is about $80.-$100., this includes the watercolour paper, many tubes of professional watercolours, and the expensive, protective layers of Golden's UV protection varnishes.