Sunday, 10 March 2013

09/03: MY HERO(INE)

Just a quickie

I was cursing this afternoon when the update on the horse portrait I'd planned to show went wrong.    As the portrait is destined for Singapore I decided to use a little more fixative than normal - spraying between layers of pastel. My W&N Fixative let me down, and not for the first time!    I've taken a can back to my supplier before with the same problem - blocked nozzle and 'spitty' delivery of fixative.

This can started to go funny a couple of weeks back so David took it to bits and cleaned the nozzle which fixed the problem temporarily.    I started to give the horse a light spray today in readiness for adding the next layer of pastel and suddenly the picture was splattered ... spots everywhere.     I let it all dry out and hopefully I can remedy it, but I'm not a happy bunny.   This fixative is around £12 a can so can't afford to keep replacing faulty tins.

Then I read the Blog from our friend Debbie   Ellies Dairy  and put things back into proportion.   Debbie is owned by a herd of pedigree Toggenburg goats and is employed by the goats to oversee the milk and cheese production at Ellie's Dairy.  

This is Baby/kidding Season so Debbie is busy helping with the births and in her last post (tonight/yesterday) was at baby no. 122!!        Debbie is surviving on little/no sleep during this busy kidding season so deserves a huge round of applause and a medal .... or at least a good night's sleep soon.

Good luck Debbie ... hope the rest of the babies are delivered safely and quickly and you can catch up on your sleep!   Look forward to seeing the little kids soon

Debbie knows the names and characters of all her goats and they are probably the most spoilt goats in the World!


Karen Hull said...

Hi Sue, I have had the same problem with fixatives and varnishes and I now clean my nozzles between every application with a spray on citrus based adhesive remover such as Oomph, Zest-it or maybe you have a different brand in the UK. This removes any build up of spray around the nozzle, only takes a couple of seconds and really helps to limit the splatter problem :)

Sue Clinker said...

Thanks for the tip Karen. I have Zest It here so will get into the habit of using it on the fixative nozzle after each use.

David has been cleaning the nozzle with industrial alcohol but that smells horrible.

Thankfully on pastel works I will be able to remove/cover the spots but had this happened to a graphite portrait it would have ruined the work.

Bev said...

I had the same problem with W&N fixative, I buy another brand now, but I don't often fix my work anymore as I find it is not really necessary on sanded paper. If I do fix I only do a very light dusting.
You should have no problem with getting rid of the spots they will cover well, some you can eliminate by some gentle touching with your finger which you could do on your background, it is just a pain because of the extra work involved.

Jo said...

I was kind of panicking reading that so I cannot imagine how you must have felt. Hope you can remove/hide the splatters OK. I have had problems with nozzles on sprays, but never for anything that important.

Love the story of the goats.

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Bev
It did set me back a bit .. to Square Two rather than Square One thankfully. So annoying though. I don't usually fix pastels on sanded paper but this has to travel to Singapore so wanted a bit more protection. Also the paper is kind of gritty rather than sanded (can't recall what make it is) and doesn't hold the pastel as well as Fisher 400 for instance.

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jo
The air was several shades of Blue for a while but all OK now.

Debbie (and David her partner) are amazing. The goats are spoiled rotten and I think that shows in the quality of the milk and cheese they produce.

Jan/ said...

Poor Sue! I had that happen with SpectraFix once but it's in a pump spray so that can happen with it. I ended up having to put in a background to cover the spatters! I hope you're able to fix it! I quit using the W&N spray and went to Grumbacher or Lascaux but they might not be convenient for you to get.

Poor Ellie! My sister and b-i-l are in the midst of calving - I'm glad we don't have cows any longer!