Make Use of Your Materials

A friend gave me three masonite panels, 8″ x 8″, and 1/8″ thick. She had started to work on them, but decided to let the project go. So when I got them, they had been gessoed in a nice rough texture and had a little bit of paint on them.

I worked on them, using acrylics, here and there as time permitted – always as a group. (You may have seen them on my work table in some previous posts.) I find that doing so keeps me from overworking any one piece, something I tend to do anyway and with abstract work – well, how do I know when it’s finished, right?

So here are the results. Three sisters – there is a family resemblance, but each one can face the world on its own, too, I think.

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6 thoughts on “Make Use of Your Materials

  1. Nancy Bell Scott

    Three thumbs up on these. Beautiful! They have a wonderful vibrance in the midst of softness. You’re inspiring me no end, Claudia. Unbelievably, I think I’ve never tried working on masonite. It doesn’t warp? (Here’s hoping you say “Nope, it doesn’t warp.”)

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thanks, I think the fact that someone gave me these panels made it even more easy to experiment. I liked how they turned out and once again, it’s all about knowing when to stop.

    Now as for masonite, it doesn’t warp, it’s dirt cheap, and you can prepare the surface to your liking or buy it already prepared. I get mine through Dick Blick, they call it hardbord there, but you could get sheets at the Home Depot, too, if you feel like sawing it all up. I like both the 3/8″ style although it comes with a prepared canvas-like surface but it’s all set for hanging – as well as the 1/8″ type, which comes plain or fancied up, you decide. A light sanding and then gesso and maybe sand the gesso if you want, and you can get to work.

    If this is not a commercial for masonite, what is?

  3. Nancy Bell Scott

    Terrific info, thank you so much. I’m going to try it, having tired a bit of stretched canvas that is relatively expensive, takes up space, and isn’t always great for collage work (though the paint part is very important to me too).

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    I’ll be interested to hear how it goes. And I also a member of the reject-canvas club. I just don’t like the surface and I finally admitted it. First step to healing?!?

  5. Nancy Bell Scott

    Hi Claudia, a box of panels arrived from Dick Blick today! There were so many surfaces to choose from that I ordered a mix: 6×6 hardboard, claybord (prepared), and encausticbord (prepared); and 8×8 baltic birch wood. It’s been mostly collage mail-art for me the past 2 years, so these experiments will be exciting (in a good way, I hope). The surface of canvas didn’t bother me so much, but working on the frame, plus its taking up so much space, was a pain; and any canvasboard I experimented with warped and didn’t have even as good a surface as stretched canvas. I’ll let you know it goes with the new panels–they seem promising to me. I’ve been enjoying your portraits very much, by the way, and hope your hand continues to get better. Though I’m not sure you absolutely need it, based on what you’ve done since injuring it!

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    I’m so happy to hear this about the panels and I will look forward to your tests! I do find the masonite family very varsatile – Especially like how I can use gesso to make different surfaces.

    My hand is pretty much healed from surgery. Now I am facing months of treatment for the underlying infection. But, on the good side, I can use it for art (it also handles knitting beautifully although I can barely hold a pencil or grip anything. Very picky, it is!) I hope to resume mail art very soon – I’ve got some things ready to send out.

    Thanks for updating me! I am interested in all you do.

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