Sunday, September 14, 2008

Brittle Or Sticky, Take Your Pick

The inconsistent weather over the past couple of weeks in Sydney has played havoc with the delivery schedule for my commissioned works.
My studio is now filled to capacity with large enamel-on-board paintings in various stages of drying. They need a consistent temperature and humidity to harden properly and become durable before they are packed and wrapped. If the temperature is too warm and dry, the surfaces become brittle and prone to chipping. If the atmosphere is too humid, they take an age to harden and instead, remain 'tacky' to the touch for weeks.
It doesn't help that my studio overlooks the sea. I have to be careful to ensure that salinity and moisture in the air is reduced as much as possible. I also try to minimise direct sunlight into the studio, at least when I'm not working. Unfortunately, days of heavy rain and cold winds have been followed by humid heat, the worst possible combination. It will be at least a couple of weeks before any paintings can be packed and boxed for consignment.
To add to the storage problem, I have a score of framed images from my recent Porno show awaiting consignment to dealers and private collectors overseas. They line both sides of the corridor
between my shrinking studio and my office, leaving just a 30cm wide patch of floor to navigate. The clutter – not to mention the acrid, chemical smell of enamel – makes the whole space feel oppressive and uncomfortable.

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