Cut Once, Measure Twice

Working Slowly and Methodically on a Large Composition

Working Slowly and Methodically on a Large Composition

During my graduate school days, I worked many night hours cutting and welding stainless steel at POCO Graphite Inc. in Decatur, Texas.  Stainless was a very pricey steel ($2.48 /lb. then) and management had zero tolerance for mistakes when we cut the large plates into the necessary pieces for building furnace retorts.  I often heard the expression “Cut once, measure twice” as a cautionary note while standing for hours on end at the band saw.  I always shuddered when I looked at the forms in the buyer’s office, seeing that orders sometimes totalled $530,000 for a single shipment of steel.

I have been moving slowly and cautiously on this piece posted above, measuring 18 x 24″.  My models include a black and white photograph of the nineteenth-century historic home, and a photo of an oil painting done of it long, long ago.  As I continually look back and forth between the two photos, I keep double-checking my measurements and proportions before proceeding.  Hence, it’s taken quite a few days already.  But I’m enjoying the process, and glad that I’m in no real rush to conclude the piece.

There are times when the quiet of the studio is soothing.  Tonight is one of those times.  I’ll need to shut things down soon to get a decent night’s rest for school tomorrow, and Paint Historic Waxahachie tomorrow afternoon.  But for now, I’m glad for the quiet time and space, and the reward in making another piece of art.  I felt truly in my element this morning when I painted the cupola of the Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie (posted earlier today).  It was quiet in that town on a Sunday morning as well.  Almost no traffic moved down College Street this morning, and I was glad for the soothing, cool weather that welcomed me.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.




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