Sunday, March 28, 2010

Girl fishing

Here is another Sargent study. I enjoy the limited palette
and how it can help to concentrate on values.
I'm not sure if people fish this way any more!
(Or in a nice dress too for that matter!)
oil on gesso'd board 10.5"x14" 1.5 hrs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The sun is shining, and the steps are warm.
I got Renee to sit outside and pose her tootsies.
She had just painted her nails, arn't they cute!?!
oil on gesso'd board 12"x6"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Babbling brook

Monday! Monday! what a day! I found a little time to play.
I painted this brook scene today from a John Singer Sargent
painting I saw. It's my interpitation, not an exact copy.
I need to start signing my paintings, so once it's dry I'll
practice on my signature.
Should I sign Bill Whalberg? or William Whalberg? & date it!
Any suggestions?
oil on gesso'd board 10.5"x14"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Golden Gardian

Well another friday, and I'm making progress!

I want to say, I got a Call today from Frank Ordaz!
I'm still smiling ear to ear! What a neat thing to have

We talked art, gilding, people, and cars!!
I love classic cars, and trucks!
Frank said he paints 'em and would post some for me.
Wow! How cool is that!?!

I'm looking to offer gilding outside the metro area, so
like Monty Hall says, "Lets Make A Deal!"
I hope to put a 'package' together for Frank and his
new gallery. I'm pumped!

Golden Gardian detail

This Angel needs to rest!
Freshly gilded, I will want it to cure before the next step.
What I have done is layed the leaf, after a while, I tapped
it like a watermelon!
When it sounded dry, I burnished the highlights with an
agate to shine it up some.
The copper sections were oil gilded, or surface gilded.
Simply brush a thin layer of oil size on with a quill brush,
when the size reaches 'tack' the copper can be layed.
Oil gilding, or surface gilding is different from water gilding.
I will discuss this on another post.

There is a big difference between the two, and you should
be aware of these differences. As a customer, and an artist!
(buyer beware!!)

underpainting the bole

Once I decided how I would gild this Angel, I underpainted
the bole,(3 coats) & buffed it out to shine the highlights.
I then layed the leaf. Starting with 12k (white gold), I gilded
the robe first.
I then gilded the wings with 22k (yellow gold) and the face,
hands, and foot I used copper.
Copper is a metal that has a beauty all it's own.
Freshly gilded copper is like a shiny penny! I will tone it a
little, but it should first cure overnight.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hibiscus & Habinaros

This is a painting I did when I moved into my studio.
I have two large hibiscus plants, and a habinero
bush that produced over 100 peppers!(2 years old!)
These plants were in the studio, so I painted them.
This was painted with one shot lettering enamels, on
canvas paper.
The frame was from an old barn over 150 years old.

Gold mirror

Gilding on glass is another application I do.
I can get a mirror finish, with bright matt
designs or letters.
This is in my studio, and a friend suggested
that I should blog it!

old sample

I did this years ago as a sample for
a corner treatment for the Russian art.
There are frames out there with this
carving in the corners.

couple of tiny tims

Sometimes I like to paint small. For me it's not easy,
and it helps me to tighten up.
One is a painting of the billboard out my window.
An advertizment for winefest.
The other is a still life of a wild horse hoof, and a Q-tip.

Angel update!

This is coming along nicely. I've had to set it
aside, but want to gild it Friday.
I'm thinking pale gold,(16k) or white gold,(12k)
any suggestions, anyone!?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Moving on!

I'm going to break some rules, I'm going to post a
self portrait I've done in zorn palette.
This is the first time I've ever done a self portrait.
Some folks say I made my head to wide. Others say
I look too old.
I'm just a big ape trying to swing through this jungle.
(and a little wine!)
Don't throw tomatos, I prefer bananas : )
oil on gesso'd board 5"x5"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gilding 101 complete!

Well now, that didn't hurt a bit did it!?
These are a couple more photos of the completed frame.

I will be gilding the other frame for the Richard Lack
watercolor, and the gardian angel, and posting them.
(but I promise not to go into every procedure!)
Thank you for attending my class of gilding 101
You all get an +A !!
If you ever want to kick it up a notch, I can offer a
Gilding 202 ! : )

rub,tone,finish & billing!

When you 'rub' the frame, what you are doing is wearing it
a little bit.
I use pumice stone for this. Not all pumic is the same, so make
sure you're using the finest, not the coarsest pumic.
(it's like talcum powder.)
Dip your finger into it and lightly rub the frame. You will want
to see some of the bole to show through.
Depending on the look, light rub,(French) heavy rub,(Spanish)
medium rub,(Italian) for period frames.
Contemporary frames, you can play with it as to 'fit' the art.

When the rub is done, you want to remove any pumice left.
Next I mix up some carnuba wax and asphaltum.(as shown in
photo) and wipe with a cotton ball dipped in this.
Wax is a good clearcoat and asphaltum tones the gold. Together
they are excellent for this procedure.
(Dragons blood and gambogie works, but not for picture frames.
(my opinion!)
The frame should be wiped with the wax/asphaltum,
and let set for only a minute or two.
Then useing a paper towel, begin to wipe this off.
You will notice the gold start to polish and get slippery. Good!
The frame is now finished and done.
I call the client and tell them it's ready for pick-up.
Write up an invoice and clean up the station!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Burnish 101

To burnish, or not to burnish, that is the question.

To burnish is to shine up the gold so it is radiant!
It gives a look to the gold that can only be achieved
through water gilding.
In the begining, everyone want to burnish, it's amazing
to watch the gold begin to shine.
However, not all art needs or looks good against a
shiney gold frame. Infact, for a picture frame , you
want to tone down the gold.
You don't want it to fight the art, you want it to
present the art.
For gilding to be successful, it's all about presenting,
or introducing the art work.
Yes, a spark or sheem is nice, but moderation is the key.

Anyway, to burnish, I use polished agates in contours
to fit the profile of the frame. (shown in picture)
I scrape it along the gold with medium presure. As I
do this the gold begins to shine. More presure, more

Some frames get a high burnish, or shine, along with
other areas of the frame that will remain unburnished.

Unbunished gold looks bright, yet matt, or satin.
Burnished gold looks shiney and mirror like.

So depending on the desired look, I gild with an end
result in mind. Hence, many corner samples!
This frame gets one final step.
Tomorrow's class will be: Rub, Tone, & Finish 101

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gardian Angel

I ment to have this as the last post, and the last as the first.
(but I think you will get the guist of it.)
So when I said 'weld' the gold with the liquor what is really

The alcohol activates the rabbit skin glue to become sticky.
It grabs the gold and as it drys, it becomes one with the frame.
This is why you need to have your recipe right.
Too much glue kills the gold, too less, and it won't grab it.
Tomarrow I will burnish the gold, give it a rub, and tone
the gold per corner sample specs.
I then finish it and it's ready for pick up by the customer!
I will also talk about time, materials, and cost.
Thanks for being patient, this really is a fun art of sorts.

Frank mentioned a gardian angel in the operating room
for Renee. So next week I will gild an angel for you!

Let it cure

Once all the leaf is laid, you want to look it over.
There will be air pockets in places, you can tamp
these down with delecate care. Not to soon, or you
can tear the gold.
I use cotton, or uncut sheeps wool for this.
Now you want the frame to cure. let it set.
(the gilders liquor needs to dry) This can take
longer at times. so if you tap on the frame an hear
a dull sound, that means it's still wet.
When you hear a 'high tone' it will be dry.

Continue to lay the leaf

I continue to lay the leaf, overlaping 1/8" as I go.
You want to keep a consistant overlap, as it looks
uniform to the art this way.
On occasion, the gold will tear, or even break. To a
sertain extent this is a desireable thing. Big breaks
or tears are not good, (most times) so minimize this
as best you can.
Flecking is another look that happens. Again, some is
good, but not to much.

Laying the leaf

I like to start on the long side of a frame.
Working from left to right, I mop on liquor down the whole side of the frame.
Then I cut my gold to size with my gilders knife.
(I will go into this in more detail on another post)
Yes, I've used my grampa's filet knife on occasion, sharp is good for cutting gold!

Gilders liquor

This morning I started by making gilders liquor. It is what
'welds' the gold to the frame.
Most gilders use rubbing alcohol, or denatured alcohol, I
prefer to use Everclear alcohol. It gives a superior look to the
gild, and it's all about Superior Gilding!

Add 3/4 cup water +1/4 cup of everclear.
(that's how to make gilders liquor!)

22k & Renee!

Mondays can be good!
I laid gold leaf this morning, and went to see Renee.
Her phone was off so she could rest, so I just went
straight to the hospital.
Her Dr. came in, and after some discussion, said that
Renee can come home : ) Today!
We are all very happy to get 'Mom' home!
She's one step closer to wellness.
When Mom's happy, everyones happy!

Thank you all again, I am thankful.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thank-You All

What a week! And it's only half way through.

Renee is doing fine, she is going to be ok : )
She had a complete obstruction, and they could only speculate.
So they performed "exploritory surgury, today.
They removed a cancerious tumor.The surgery, lasted about 3 hrs.
After surgery, the Dr. explained some things.
Renee has already been recieving Chemo so this episode is actually
a good thing. Serendipity I will say!

Thank you all for your kind and supportive words!
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

When Renee came out of recovery, she was grumpy as hell! : )
(She'll be normal in no time! ha!)
I'm so happy right now..

I do need to finish up on those frames, as more work is coming in.
I will document as best I can.
Any of you folks can ask any questions on gilding, as I'm a 'know it all'
and will share it with you for sure! (any time)
For now, I want to relax and have a glass of wine!
I'm exhausted!

Monday, March 1, 2010

She's going to be ok : )

I took my wife Renee into emergency this week end.
They admitted her, and will be seeing her Dr. today!
I ask for your prayers.
This is her self portrait on her face book!
This is Renee in the woods.
She is not out of the woods yet.
I will resume posting if I can.