Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Last night I very carefully applied a final glaze to a painting I'd been working on for the past six months. The challenge with the glaze was to apply it without bubbles, streaks, or uneven brush marks. After 90 minutes I was finally satisfied. This morning I went to my basement studio ("basement" being the operative word here) to see how it looked. In the upper left hand corner...a corner which is primarily negative space and therefore holds nothing in which to hide its many legs and still squirmy body--was a centipede. He'd already left his miniscule feet embedded across three inches of Galkyd high-gloss medium, at which point he must have become so stuck that his legs (still attached to his body) were still working to free himself. My dilemma: Do I remove his still-writhing (and therefore live) body while the medium is still malleable? Or should I try to extricate his dead carcass from a dry and hard finish? I figured the latter decision would never work; by the time the glaze was glass-hard, the bugger would be embedded like a scarab in amber. Armed with a needle nose pliers, I plucked...and plucked...and plucked at him, eventually getting to his torso. Who knew that a centipede's torso could hold so much gooky stuff? The gut-wrenching job is finally done. I think I'll be able to smooth over the few mini-lumps that were left in the almost-pristine glaze. But here's my question: If anyone does a high-tech check in 500 years (a la the DaVinci piece with the finger print), will they be able to discern, based on entomological studies that this was, indeed, an original Westergard?

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