Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scratchboards and weather....

We have arrived! Cat-in-a-Box is officially based outside of Chicago now!

It's been a slightly hairy week, moving across the country is rarely a pleasant experience but this was actually the smoothest move I've had yet (and let's just say this wasn't my first rodeo!). Generally my husband and I take a Uhaul trailer to tote the more delicate items like computers, monitors, and art. I had the forethought to package my unused scratchboards separately with the intention of being extra-cautious about climate control. Scratchboard is a pretty hardy substrate, however I have on one occasion taken a board from the west (dry Colorado climate) to the midwest (colder and more humid) and back again. That board became more difficult to work and I was never certain if it was the humidity change or the temperature change that affected it.

Well this time I had my plan all laid - however as usual, life got in the way. It's all well and good to make plans, but when you arrive at the hotel four hours late because of the severe winter storms in Nebraska (after we'd passed 3 semis and over 15 cars and trucks off the road I stopped counting) and then wrangle four cats and their associated paraphernalia into the hotel room let me just say that the last thing you are capable of doing is digging out that special box of scratchboard from a pile of other stuff and suddenly your faith in the durability of scratchboard and whiteboard takes a huge upward leap!

Winter Storm - (c) KMTV Action 3 News

Now, more rested and arrived at the other end, I am regretting a little that the sratchboard got so cold. Only time will tell if there was any ill-effect. The one board that I had that was affected was still workable, it ended up turning into this piece:

"Ginger" (c) Pam Boutilier

When I get to working any of the boards that have traveled I will let you know how the surface is!

I also am able to share another commission I did shortly before the move, this is little Jessie. Her portrait was done in pastel, which was really fun to do after working in scratchboard so much recently! She is such a pretty little girl!

"Jessie" 5x7" Pastel (c) Pam Boutilier

The studio and supplies are piled in boxes - the next couple weeks are going to be just as busy as the last few!

~ Pam

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