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Paint Lab
WHERE: a S E nSE of PL acE
100
Q: Discuss the relevance of decay and
ruin in your work.
A: Ruin and decay have played an impor-
tant role in how I have thought about my
paintings. I began painting in earnest in an
old mill building, surrounded by other relics
of the New England industrial revolution.
I lived on the fourth oor of a building that
overlooked a steelyard, a river, vacant
lots, and other old mill buildings that were
slowly falling into ruins. I walked and biked
along the river and railroad tracks and
explored old abandoned factories: the
fading paint on signs and doors, the light
on the old brick surfaces, the green riot of
overgrown weeds and plants, the weeping
canvas or watercolor paper
(gessoed or sized, and with
background painted)
paper such as art papers,
found paper, or old books
archival adhesive such as
PVA (polyvinyl-acetate) or
water-based gel medium
sandpaper (optional)
water-based paint (or oil
paint if paper is sized)
Materials
Neal T. Walsh is a painter from Providence, Rhode Island, who nds inspiration in the layers
and patina of the city surrounding him. He uses some interesting techniques to build up the
rich, evocative surfaces of his paintings.
38
LAB
The Weathered Wall
Featured Artist
Neal T. Walsh:
Above: The Clearing, oil, ash,
mixed media on panel
Right: Convalescence, oil and
mixed media, recycled canvas
on prepared paper
Detail, Twilight Skylark, oil and collage
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(Fogra 29_WF)Job:05-30625 Title:RP-Paint Lab
#175 Dtp:225 Page:100
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(Text)
Paint Lab
WHERE: a S E nSE of PL acE
101
Q: Discuss the relevance of decay and
ruin in your work.
A: Ruin and decay have played an impor-
tant role in how I have thought about my
paintings. I began painting in earnest in an
old mill building, surrounded by other relics
of the New England industrial revolution.
I lived on the fourth oor of a building that
overlooked a steelyard, a river, vacant
lots, and other old mill buildings that were
slowly falling into ruins. I walked and biked
along the river and railroad tracks and
explored old abandoned factories: the
fading paint on signs and doors, the light
on the old brick surfaces, the green riot of
overgrown weeds and plants, the weeping
rust of forgotten machinery, the shattered
and patched grids of abandoned factory
windows, an autumn blue sky through
cracked walls. All these elements worked
their way into my paintings.
Q: Do you include found materials in your
paintings, or employ certain processes to
create the effects of your surfaces? How
is this combined with the paint?
A: I wanted to create dense textural
paintings that had a physical presence.
I began by using random bits collected
from the studio oor: old painting rags,
newspaper, and cardboard. I experimented
with a variety of adhesive tapes and
weathered pages from found books. I liked
the patina of the paper and the hint of text
that sometimes bled through the layers
of paint. Fragments of visible text were
incorporated in naming the painting. The
adhesive tape or torn pages are applied to
the support and are worked into with more
layers of paint alternating with scraping,
scratching, sanding, and burning till the
paintings achieve a balance between what
is revealed and what is hidden.
Neal T. Walsh is a painter from Providence, Rhode Island, who nds inspiration in the layers
and patina of the city surrounding him. He uses some interesting techniques to build up the
rich, evocative surfaces of his paintings.
The Weathered Wall
Let’s Go!
Experimenting with found paper or art
paper, create a collage by layering on a
prepared support. If you desire, try
painting some papers before adding them
to your collage.
1. Collage paper onto the surface, and
then rip away parts of the collaged
paper to expose layers underneath.
2. Use thin layers of glue or gel spread
evenly across the paper to yield a
smooth surface and fewer wrinkles.
3. Add paint layers, and when dry work
into the paint using sandpaper or
scrapers to pull away portions and
expose the base.
4. Add and subtract until you create
something you like.
Detail, Twilight Skylark, oil and collage
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