I’m more adept with light and shadow than with color. I wonder, in fact, if I haven’t carved away more paint than I’ve put on. But I can be
The top photo shows a bowl shortly after I had re-carved the exterior surfaces. Below, is the same bowl as it had been.
I carved it mainly as a sample bowl to take to classes, but as it turned out, I didn’t like the carving pattern on the end surfaces, and it was a pain to carve — an unnatural fit for the tools and flow of the piece. I didn’t like the paint job either. There was too little contrast with the poplar wood and I hadn’t thinned the artist oils enough.
Worst of all, it occupied a shelf in my workshop. Once in awhile it would call to me, “Psst… hey, you… dummy. Thanks a lot.” I felt like a barber who’d given a guy a bad haircut then ended up sitting behind him at the theater. But hair grows back and wood doesn’t. I tried to cover things up with different (red) paint, but it was about as effective as that Ronco hair paint stuff:
Still, maybe there was enough wood there to set things right. One day, after one too many taunts, I seized the bowl from the shelf and gleefully went to work with a gouge. As blonde curls of wood fell to the shop floor, a fresh surface and a new pattern emerged. The redemption was complete except for a few bits of color that had been pulled more deeply into the end grain.
Undaunted, I mixed up a red color with some artist oils, adding a little flax oil and citrus thinner. I wanted the consistency, in this case, of a strong wood stain that would allow the grain to read through, but still have an intense color.
I like it. The paint is back in the drawer for awhile, and the bowl has stopped calling me names.