It’s ready! And I am so glad. Today I finished the last coat of undercoat then prepared and did 3 layers of top coat on the remaining four panels. I’m not totally satisfied: the joints between plates of plywood are visible in places, despite my efforts, and there are occasional blemishes. I know I’ll have my work cut out to finish the piece once installed, but just for now I’m going to allow myself the satisfaction of enjoying the sensation of getting to this point. There were times in the last three weeks I thought it wouldn’t happen, when I had to force my tired legs up the steps to the kitchen one more time. I wouldn’t say I’ve really enjoyed the process; the work has been exhausting, quite repetitive and lonely at times. But it got done, and I hope the result will be worth it.
Lars got a call from the freight man to say he’ll be there next Wednesday: after all the rush! Actually though, I think it’s a good thing that the paint has a week to set dry properly. That way it is less likely to sustain so much damage during transport. Still: Lars said his biggest worry is not the installation per se, but the transportation. My next trip to Roskilde will probably be in a week, to prepare the sections before the freight man arrives. In the meantime I plan a little relaxation and a few exhibitions. Jeff Wall, Peter Doig and David Hockney all at Louisiana at the moment…
A nasty moment to begin with today. I was a bit nervous about starting the top coat. After all, minor blemishes in the undercoat can somehow be disguised, but the top coat has to be perfect. I mixed up the paint, ready to start, and nothing came out of the spray gun. Sometimes it can take a moment for the paint to start flowing, but here, definitely nothing. There was airflow, enough paint, I checked the nozzle and pipe going into the paint were clear. Nothing. Thoughts like, have I time to go to Silvan and buy another, flashing through my head. I tried the Black and Decker helpline in Slough. .office closed, must be a Bank Holiday today in England. In Denmark, bravely attempting to explain my problem in Danish. Kundeservice told me to take the gun back to the shop where I bought it, and had no more suggestions, saying it must be a blockage inside the pistol. I’ve been faithfully flushing it through every evening, and decided to give that a go. Put warm soapy water in the container, and turned the pressure to max. Water started flowing: bingo!!
Thereafter things went smoothly today. I love the colour of the top coat, so hard won, bless the helpful guy in Silvan Nørrebro. It’s like coffee cream, or cappuccino, and almost smells as good. It seems less temperamental than the undercoat too and went on quite smoothly. I even finished with time to spare and cleaned the pistol thoroughly. My mind is starting to turn to how things will work during the installation, and how to prepare for it. Tomorrow should be the last day in this studio.
I was so blasted after Saturday that I couldn’t even write a blog post on my way home. It wasn’t hugely eventful, but I did (almost..just one coat on one side of one panel left to go) finish undercoating. I was so glad to get out at 8.10pm and to go home knowing I would have the next day off. Monday and Tuesday will be weekdays so less lonely. I will have my work cut out still, and have already planned to spend the whole day on Tuesday to ease the pressure a little, but at least I know I am now on the final stage (of this part) – applying the top coat to the front side of each panel.
Then will come the transport day, loading the panels onto the lorry and on Friday 29th begins the installation. That will be nail biting and I am already anticipating (nervously) the amount of retouching that will be necessary after cranes and goodness knows what are used on it..
Felt very tired today, back in the studio twelve hours after I left it, and that’s including nearly 3 hours travelling..I didn’t even attempt to plan knowing Mikkel and Lars were also going to be working there. It gave me a boost hearing other people work and it was exciting to see them hoisting the two end sections up to work on preparing the joint…though seeing them trample on my precious paintwork wasn’t!
They were finished relatively quickly leaving me to continue with my spraying (sanding and refilling..). Today very different from yesterday though in that I actually got to where I wanted to, and the end of undercoating is in sight. I have also confirmed that the sculpture won’t be collected until Wednesday. If I do finish the undercoat tomorrow I can take Sunday as a day of rest and see my boy.
Sitting slightly guiltily enjoying the sunshine: after days of unsettled weather today is glorious. Spent the morning preparing more surfaces ie sanding and filling! After yesterday’s experience I am determined to give the filler longer to dry. And I have more time, it being Kristi Himmelfart day (love that name. .Ascension Day in English) Radu is home with Zach and I have the whole day.
I expected there not to be a soul around but I have had one or two encounters. Mostly though it’s the seagulls for company and the sound of an airplane enthusiast going about in his or her little propeller plane. In a week this baby’ll be on her way to Aarhus, in a month the show’ll be half way through and in two she’ll just be scrap wood and metal again..
Well. ..if I’d known how hard I’d work later on there’d have been no guilt. On the train home now, at 8.30pm. Once again I massively underestimated the time needed. Finishing the undercoating feels like a task I will never finish. Up against these surfaces my paint gun feels little better than an aerosol can. I am like a gnat trying to paint the Eiffel tower. Tomorrow Mikkel and Lars will be working so I will be limited in what I can do, but since I didn’t even start on the back two panels today, I’m sure I’ll find something.
Once again again I wonder why???? I try to console myself that it’s in the artist’s nature to attempt the impossible!