Technique and condition

The painting is on a very large single piece of thick cotton duck, stapled on to the reverse of a deep-edged, ten member softwood stretcher. This stretcher can be folded if the metal plates holding the two halves are removed and slightly adjusted in size using the turnbuckle expansion system at the joints. The canvas is primed with a white 'Golden' mineral spirit acrylic priming. This was applied by brush in several fluid layers to produce an even ground of medium thickness on the front and turnover edges of the canvas. A small amount of additional white paint was applied by brush to the front of the painting.

The design was drawn out in pencil, some of which is still visible on the finished painting. The paint is probably spirit based acrylic, possibly with some oil (untested). Even and opaque layers of a fairly limited range of colours (pigments not analysed) were brushed over tape and templates, which were used to mask off the areas intended to stay white. This technique has produced distinctive hard, slightly raised edges to the paint. There is no surface coating and the difference in gloss of different areas of paint creates a play of surface textures.

The painting is in good condition with no major loss or damage. There is some cracking of the brittle ground, and the paint ontop of it, particularly in the centre where the stretcher was folded for transport in the past. Thin cracks are also visible following the vertical canvas weave throughout the painting and small cracks have also opened up running along the sharp edge of the turnover and at the corners. However these cracks are not very noticeable, and there is no associated delamination of paint at present. There are some other minor damages to the edges and reverse which are not visible when the painting is on display.

Sam Hodge
November 1997