Technique and condition

The painting was executed in oil paint on a single piece of 6 mm MDF (medium density fibreboard). The MDF board is reinforced with six wooden battens glued to its rear. Four of these make up a frame work around the borders of the MDF panel and there are two additional cross-members, so that the four horizontal members are positioned approximately equidistant from one another. The panel was prepared with a layer of white priming, which is probably oil-based.

The paint was applied in a fluid manner and exclusively by brush. The oil paint appears to be straight from the tube, and has not been thinned down at all. It is mostly paste-like in consistency, but some darker paints appear slightly more medium-rich. The resulting paint films are highly textured. The composition seems to have been altered at several times during the execution of the work, as the forms of many of the brushstrokes bear little resemblance to the top layers of paint. For example the light bulb in the top left corner was initially painted approximately 90 mm lower than it is now. These numerous alterations add to the overall texturing of the paint layers. In most areas there appear to be more than one layer, but this is mainly due to the reworking of the painting's composition during its execution. There is very little layering in the form of glazing or scumbling. There is no varnish layer.

The frame is original to the piece and consists of a wooden moulding painted black, constructed by John Jones (as was the MDF panel). An L-section-type construction but with its forward face attached to a piece of reverse moulding. The part of the frame which is visible from the front is painted black.

The painting appears to be in excellent condition. The support has remained totally flat and is showing no signs of any deterioration. The only slight damages to the paint layers appear to be small losses around all four edges which have been toned down.

Tom Learner
August 1997