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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Plaster Layers & Excavation

I'm knee deep in plaster. This is the sample piece I finished this morning; layers of plaster and paint, distressed, sanded, wire brushed, built up and worn away. It's as though centuries of time have passed to make this plaster wall soft and beautiful. These are the paintings in my dreams - warm, ancient, glowing with color.

I started with a plastered board that I'd laid textures onto. Random painting on that. I always start out thinking I'll photograph each step and then after a few photographs I go into a trance and only wake up when the work is finished. That's when I smack my head and remember I was supposed to be recording the process.

So I missed many steps. But you'll get an idea of what's going on. More plaster mixture added in this step to the painted layer. Then some sanding and distressing.

Until I got this.

And this was the last photo I shot (all these photos shot on my iPhone) before I left off taking pictures. The finished surface (first photo, not this one) is so soft and beautiful. I finished the plaster with Dorland's wax, something that I usually use to tone down a shiney surface but in this case it closed the pores in the surface of the work and left a soft satiny glow. I don't normally use cold wax on plaster but I was curious.

Heading back in there now for more plaster fun. Wheee, I can't get enough!

18 comments:

Angie in AZ said...

Stunning! What kind of plaster? Stuff from Home depot? Like wall plaster?

Seth said...

Really interesting to see the process, especially since I have never worked with plaster. I have to say that I am completely bowled over by the piece in the first picture. The depth, layers, textures, scratches, and colors are amazing!

Jo Wholohan said...

really really cool!!! I love it!! xx

Janine said...

Thank you for posting this Judy! It is lovely! I love the colors and texture!

Judy Wise said...

Hi Angie,
this was a drywall mud that I picked up some years ago at Ace Hardware. Usually I like to work with hardened Plaster of Paris so this was different.

Mixed Media Martyr said...

Wow! This plaster effect is the stuff of my dreams too!! It looks incredible! And I love the way it is built up slowly in layers, just how I like to work!!! I will definitely be watching your blog closely now!!

Brandi said...

i think these are just wonderful!! so much character and texture .. I am truly in love! I think i may have to give this a whirl tomorrow .. Ive got some drywall mudd in the garage :)

Martha Lever said...

Oh, Judy these are just yummy. I would love to see your process. I would probably need to see the pre-steps on what plaster you use and what and how do you lay it on to begin a piece. I just love the look. Maybe one day you will film yourself in an online class?! That would be great.

Jill Zaheer said...

Congratulations on having your blog showcased in Seth's Inspiration Station on his The Altered Page blog. Love looking at your plaster process! So different and unique- and you can't beat this for texture lovers!

Linda said...

I like them all but the first is wonderful. I could see that on my wall.

Lucy said...

Painting with plaster is one of my favorite things to do lately...the gorgeous weathered layer look is so appealing to me, I'm not sure I can go back to flat non textured canvases ever again!

And so it goes... said...

Wowzer! I love it! I'll be getting plastered soon....

Chris said...

Holy cow, this is amazing!

Kim said...

Love how this has turned out, great texture and colours! I haven't worked with plaster either before but this piece has me thinking it might be time to play! Thanks for sharing a bit about the process, I know what you mean about being zoned out,LOL

Glenny said...

Can you put wax over the plaster????? heheheheheh

Brian K said...

Simply amazing! Wow you'll probably inspire more of us to use plaster! The depth and layers are truly amazing!

Nikki Lee Anne Ghilain said...

That is so AMAZING! Love the texture.......going to go to the studio and play!

DJ said...

I know that "trance"...Isn't it WONDERFUL!?!?!?!?!?
The rich textures you achieved are juicy-licious. Or should that be "Judy-licious"?!
:-)