Technique and condition

The vertical face of the painting was executed on a single piece of medium-weight cotton duck canvas, which was stretched around a fixed strainer and attached at the rear with wire staples. The strainer was made by the artist and is a highly complex structure, consisting of a total of thirty-eight strips of Douglas Fir wood. The canvas at the front edge of each side of the four 'holes' was glued to strainer behind and four additional strips of the same canvas were glued around each of their inside faces.

The opaque grey paint is household matt emulsion paint and was applied directly to the front and sides of the stretched canvas and the inner faces of the 'holes', without any form of preparation. The first layer was diluted right down with a significant amount of water and the subsequent layers (there are five layers in total) were thinned progressively less. Although each layer was applied by brush, the final surface shows no brushstrokes and the only texture visible is that of the underlying canvas weave.

The painting is in excellent condition, although it's very dry, delicate and uniform surface makes it extremely vulnerable to marks and scuffs, especially from touching. It is therefore vital that the painting is always displayed behind a barrier and is handled with extreme care.

Tom Learner
August 2000