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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mrs. Festini's Hat box, parts 1234 - 1237

1234. When Emma was doing her under-painting on her teacher's egg tempera paintings, she used only a triple zero brush, which her teacher painstakingly showed her how to prepare: by stroking the loaded brush out between her fingers so that it would hold only the exact amount of the egg tempera the under-painting required. As she put in the little cross-hatched strokes, her teacher hovered over her shoulder, hands anxiously outstretched, watching for any mistake.

1235. When Charles was doing the under-paintings for P. Dubious he had to stand five feet from the canvases and apply the paint with a broom which was plunged into a garbage call full of roofing tar. The tar was applied to the canvas with huge violent slashes, holding the broom by the far end gripped with both hands and all the while P. Dubious was roaming around behind him in a sweat shouting things like, "Don't hold back boy, give it to them, kill them , mangle it, go on now don't be shy."

1236. P. Dubious' rule of thumb was that the studio should look like a slaughter house at closing time after a busy day if real creative work was going on, and for the tempera painting restorer it was rather the opposite. Nine times out of ten he scrubbed out Emma's work with q-tips and solvent because the curve of the tiny strokes she made did not exactly conform to the contour of the shapes being rendered.

1237. Now you must picture in your mind these two very different students hard at work in the painting studio where they have their easels set up and are both working on paintings. The subject of both their paintings is the same, it is a still life set up which can be found in all college painting studios consisting of something like...

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