Derrick Greaves



Not on display

Derrick Greaves born 1927
Acrylic paint on canvas
Support: 1219 × 1730 × 42 mm
frame: 1296 × 1810 × 49 mm
Presented anonymously 1998

Technique and condition

The painter has used a single piece of thick, plain weave, unwashed cotton duck canvas as a support. The canvas is stapled to a 39mm deep softwood strainer, which may have been made in the artist's studio. The priming was brushed by the artist over the whole of the front of the canvas and the tacking edges and extends slightly around onto the excess canvas attached to the back of the stretcher. The priming is thin, enabling the canvas weave to show prominently and may have been applied in a single layer.

Appearance and the artist's inscription on the reverse indicate that the paint is acrylic (medium and pigments not analysed). The paint covers the whole of the front of the canvas and extends slightly onto the tacking edges. It is brushed thinly and precisely onto the priming. No initial drawing is visible, but a masking off technique has been used to create hard, slightly raised edges to the painted forms. The paint has apparently been thinned with diluent and is applied in at least two layers. The hazy appearance of the purple/grey and dark grey background colours have been created by brushing a thin wash of paler colour over a dark, blackish underlayer. The other masked off lines and shapes have a more opaque appearance than the backgrounds. The black centres of the wavy lines on the right are painted over a bright green, but in this case the layering seems to have been change of mind by the artist as it has no optical effect in the finished painting.

The thinness of the paint and ground means that the texture created by the weave and fibres of the canvas plays an important role in the appearance of the painting. Despite a slight surface sheen typical of acrylic paint the overall effect is matte and there is no varnish.

The painting has an original black painted, wooden frame,

The work is in excellent condition. Although the accessory support is a fixed strainer, and the canvas is not very taut, the beading on the forward face generally holds the canvas away from the sharp inner edges of the outer and cross members.

Sam Hodge
November 1998


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