Mastering Inpainting

Mastering Inpainting workshop

Last week I had the opportunity to, once again, contemplate works of arts by Titian, Cranach the Elder, Tiepolo, Rubens and many others at the Ringling museum. These artists were my team mates for a week, together with James Bernstein and Rebecca Pollak, the instructors of the course titled Mastering Inpainting.

On my way to Sarasota for the workshop I did not know what to expect. What could I learn after more than 35 years of working in the field? However, as Forrest Gump´s mama said “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you´re gonna get” (pun intended for all the references Bernstein makes to old, good movies).

I suppose that, during the workshop, the more you know, the more you realize you didn´t. The exhaustive lectures by Jim Bernstein made all the bits of information I had in my brain come together, like in a jigsaw puzzle, to give me a complete panoramic view of the filling and inpainting techniques as well as materials.

The workshop instructors, Jim Bernstein and Rebecca Pollak, have a deep knowledge of the subject and they were eager to share it by answering all kinds of questions and holding live demonstrations. During the lectures, we went over the ethics of the inpainting process, mediums and pigments, additives and modifiers, commercial brands and handmade paintings, tools and instruments, etc. Afterwards, in the lab sessions, we had the opportunity to try to all the tools and materials mentioned in the lectures. Jim and Becca gave a considerable attention to critical details in the compensation process, providing the participants with the necessary information to solve the different compensation challenges in the paper, objects and painting fields.

Both, the technique for molding the surfaces of the paintings to reproduce them in fillings, introducing paper as a filler to improve the handling properties of the final product, as well as the paper making technique, using toasted cellulose powder, for inserts and loss compensation in papers and documents, were my favorite new acquisitions. Amazing techniques!

Overall, I found out that to participate in this workshop was a very well invested amount of time and money. The tips and tricks I gathered during the four days of the Mastering Inpainting workshop will save me a substantial amount of time from now on, while performing processes of filling and inpainting on a day to day basis.  Now, the sentence "this color is impossible to match!" will become "I don´t have the proper pigment to match this color!" And if all of it is considered together with the opportunity to meet the rest of the participants as well as the instructors, James Bernstein and Rebecca Pollack, the workshop is an invaluable experience beyond comparison.

Thank you Becca and Jim!

Samples of hand made papers with Solkafloc (the four to the left), with whatman fibers (to the right, and a sample of a texturized filling material with the addition of paper as a filler.

And thanks to all of you too: Daniela L., Devi O., Louise O.,  Megan S., Blair B., Chistine D., Beth R., Barry B., Ruth C., Christine M., Morgan Z., Elisabeth C., Christopher S., and Barbara R. It was nice to meet you. See you soon!


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