Emergence, and learning as I go.

"Emergence" painting with staple marks
“Emergence” painting with staple marks, needs to be trimmed

“Emergence” is the name of this painting I did almost two years ago.  I don’t say finished because I’ve learned that there’s a big difference between ‘done being painted’ and ‘ready to hang’. And “Emergence” isn’t ready to hang. It’s been leaning in a closet, still stapled to the drawing board I used when I painted it.

It was a mistake to staple it, and even more so to paint over the staples and varnish it all. Because in order to get it ‘ready to hang’ I had to take it off the drawing board and take the staples out, which left little white tears around the entire painted border.

"Emergence" painting, ready for first cut
“Emergence” painting, ready for first cut

The solution was to trim 1/2 inch from each edge. This painting was a particular challenge for me and the idea of slicing it up with a utility knife was a totally unnerving but it had to be done.  Yesterday I carefully marked the cut lines on the back and today I set up my table to cut it. I put down some cardboard and made sure I had a new blade in my knife. Then I clamped a big heavy ruler down and cut those edges right off.

"Emergence" painting, one edge trimmed
“Emergence” painting, one edge trimmed

I had to turn it around, clamp and cut it a few times but this method worked pretty well and I was able to do it with nice clean cuts and straight edges. I had been concerned that I might damage it during the process but thankfully it seems to have made it through unscathed and is now ready to be framed and made ready to hang.  It’s a good thing too, because this painting has been selected for display in an upcoming show called On and About Paper at the UW Parkside Fine Arts Gallery September 6 – October 26 with an opening reception Thursday, September 14 from 5-7 pm.

"Emergence" painting, four edges trimmed
“Emergence” painting, four edges trimmed

It will be really great to finally have this piece ‘finished’ and I’m very excited to know that it will be on display to the public soon!