Monday, February 7, 2011

Luschek Frame and Sargent Palette

Thought I would share a few projects I have been working on at home.

I have been making a few palettes for friends. I made this one out of birch plywood from the hardware store. Not to sound like an old curmudgeon, but 'the dag nab plywood just ain't what it used to be'.  Actually, the quality of all wood at hardware stores has drastically gone down hill. Took forever for me to dig through the stack to find anything acceptable.
In any case, I found two good sheets and made these magical palettes. This palette is traced from my palette, which was traced from another palette, that was traced from a palette that was traced from of an original Sargent palette. It's a John Singer Sargent palette three times removed.
So, this shape was on Sargent's arm. It's a nice, comfortable shape and has plenty of painting area.
I traced it on the plywood so the grain runs length wise- A 2' x 4' panel will give you 2 palettes. The off fall I will cut into squares to glue canvas onto for panels.
After shaping the palette with a rasp, rounding over the edges, and shaping the thumb hole so it is comfortable, I sand it till it is smooth all over. I wipe it down with a tack cloth and then apply a few coats of tung oil (please note: tung oil has little, to nothing to do with your tongue).  The photo above shows it after a second coat. I let it set up for 15 minutes then wipe it down with a soft, lint free cloth. After it dries I lightly sand with 220 paper and then rub it with fine steel wool. Repeat till you get a smooth surface. The palette can  be oiled with linseed oil or even baby oil (a fragrant and cheap mineral oil). The palette is ready for use.
If you want to use the Sargent palette on the Sargent palette have a look at this link

The other project is all Luschek- though I think Sargent would be impressed.
I designed and made a frame a few years ago for a series of still lifes that I wanted to be joined together in  a chain-like configuration, so I made a frame that was hinged between panels. Just in case, I made a pine practice frame to see if it would work. It did work and this prototype has been sitting around the work room for a while. The final, 5 panel frame was made out of oak.
This one did have a few accidents with the router, so I had to do some filling and sanding. I decided to go with a flat black finish. I will probably gold leaf the inset later.
Here are the painted frames  ready for assembly. The hinges are connected with long screws. The openings are around 8 x 10.
The Luschek Hinge Frame © 2011
In addition to looking cool, one of the nice things about the hinge frame is that it is free standing. I am not sure what I will kind of picture I will paint for this frame, but it will certainly be two paintings that play off  each other thematically. Maybe something like a handsome self portrait on left, and a handsomer self portrait on the right, staring lovingly into eyes. Seriously, it will probably be something less creepy.
Any ideas?

1 comment:

Linda Crank said...

I love my new palette, Richard. It is nice and light, and the design helps take the weight off my thumb. The curves also make it very comfortable to hold while I paint. It's nice having the beveled edges on the thumb hole. Thanks!