The Making of a Masterpiece I: Preparing the Canvas

"By the Upper Brewster," by Jack Winslow

In the foyer of M Gallery of Fine Art, an entire wall is dedicated to one of Jack Winslow’s large works. “By the Upper Brewster,” is h 72” x w 48”—capacious and magnificent—it begs the question: just how is a painting on such a grand scale accomplished? To answer that question, we will be taking a look at Jack’s process beginning with preparing the canvas.

Jack presses the brush into the weave.

At the Winslow Studio on any fine summer day you might see Jack outside prepping a large canvas.  First he soaks the linen in water and stretches it on a large board. Afterwards he sands it to roughen the surface for better adhesion. He then he pounds down the knots or any large lumps in the weave.

Jack uses the spatula to apply a primer.

Jack uses two coats of rabbit skin glue as a size for the linen, then he applies one coat of white lead oil priming with a brush. The first photo shows Jack brushing the primer into the weave. After that, he applies another coat of white lead oil priming with a large spatula. You can see Jack using the spatula in the second photo. The last step in the process of prepping the canvas us the application of a color size on top as a tone.

Jack and Karen Winslow live and paint side-by-side in Cambridge, Vermont. They also run workshops out of the Winslow Studio twice a year.

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About mgalleryoffineart

Owner of M Gallery of Fine Art in historic Charleston, SC
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