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Off topic: over-painted canvas...or ?
Thread poster: Morten Olesen

Morten Olesen
Denmark
Local time: 15:55
English to Danish
Feb 17, 2011

I am a Danish artist who like many artists recycles, ie paints canvases/paintings over if they are no good; is it ok to term those paintings 'over-painted' or is there a better adjective, do you think ?

www.mortensgallery.com
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000728951709#!/profile.php?id=100000728951709


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Raúl Casanova  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:55
English to Spanish
paint over Feb 17, 2011

or painted-over could be more proper, but you'd better wait for the advice of a native speaker of English.
http://davidsandumart.posterous.com/a-painted-over-canvas-over-the-rainbow-david
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-439262.html


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:55
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Why not simply... Feb 17, 2011

...recycled canvas?

Not a fancy term, but this is an accurate description and it will certainly capture the interest of those art lovers with a "green soul".

PS. I like your paintings!


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 15:55
English to Croatian
+ ...
overpainted Feb 17, 2011

If you have "over" as a modifier/prefix of an adjective, it implies that something is done excessively, over the optimal limit ( e.g. overpaid, overworked, overstaffed etc).. so I think you are twisting the meaning here.

IMO, what Raul said sounds correct and appropriate for your context.


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Morten Olesen
Denmark
Local time: 15:55
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
tah, folks Feb 17, 2011

tah, boys - i must have been really absent-minded; i trained as a translator many years ago, and obviously "over-painted" suggests over-elaborate etc, whereas "painted-over" implies that a new layer of paint, i.e. a new picture, has replaced the original one.

thus i do a lot of painting over resulting in a number of painted-over paintings.....:-) or ?

[Edited at 2011-02-17 23:27 GMT]


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Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Over-painted Feb 17, 2011

This would be the correct term in the context of an auction or catalogue raisonné: http://www.philipmould.com/works_for_sale/artists/16th_century/2506_Portrait_of_a_Venetian_Admiral,_possibly_Francesco_Duodo_(1518-1592),_Tiziano_Vecellio,_called_Titian

So it would not be wrong to use it.

For your purposes, though, I also like 'recycled' canvases.


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Morten Olesen
Denmark
Local time: 15:55
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
thanks, Helen Feb 17, 2011

...but now i am confused

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Raúl Casanova  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:55
English to Spanish
Over painted Feb 18, 2011

The reference posted by Helen Shiner mentions "over-painted" meaning an inneccessary and inadequate application of paint pretending to restore the picture. This doesn't mean the canvas was re-used or recycled by painting a new portrait over the old one, but the use of a bad restoration technique. I'll better bet for Lingua 5B approach.

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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:55
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Not necessarily excessive Feb 18, 2011

Lingua 5B wrote:


If you have "over" as a modifier/prefix of an adjective, it implies that something is done excessively, over the optimal limit ( e.g. overpaid, overworked, overstaffed etc).. so I think you are twisting the meaning here.

IMO, what Raul said sounds correct and appropriate for your context.




Good examples all, but what about "overlaid" or "overwritten", where over- is basically the equivalent of super-, as in superimposed (though I admit overwritten could go either way depending on the context). As an aesthetic distinction, over-painted strikes me as a kind of method or technique, while painted-over is purely descriptive.


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Mariella Bonelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:55
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Recycle/recycled... Feb 18, 2011

texjax DDS PhD wrote:

...recycled canvas?

Not a fancy term, but this is an accurate description and it will certainly capture the interest of those art lovers with a "green soul".



Very nice paintings moggy!

I would also suggest to put the word "recycle" somewhere, if not in the name of your work, at least in the text of your website, so that you will come out when a research is made using this trendy word.


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Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:55
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Confusion Feb 18, 2011

Raúl Casanova wrote:

The reference posted by Helen Shiner mentions "over-painted" meaning an inneccessary and inadequate application of paint pretending to restore the picture. This doesn't mean the canvas was re-used or recycled by painting a new portrait over the old one, but the use of a bad restoration technique. I'll better bet for Lingua 5B approach.


Perhaps I should mention that I am a professional art historian as well as a translator. I am afraid, Raúl that what you say is incorrect. Over-painting has nothing to do with excess. It simply means what it says, that a painting has been reworked, more paint has been applied over an already existing painting. Any native speaker properly familiar with the arts would recognise this. Some over-painting may have been done by restorers but it is just as likely to have been done by the artist himself, and many restorers have done/currently do excellent work. I repeat it has nothing to do with excess.

Moggy, you would be absolutely fine to use 'over-painted' in your case. Over-painting may be limited to very small areas of the canvas, such as in restoration work, but may also refer to the entire canvas. One only need think about many of the cases where earlier paintings have been found under masterpieces by the same artist or, indeed, other artists. Over-painting thus has a 'grand' tradition in art!

If it is clear from your context that when you say 'recycled' you mean over-painted and not turned into a chicken run, for instance, then go for it, if you like the 'green' aspect, but otherwise 'over-painted' is just fine.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 15:55
English to Croatian
+ ...
You are right Rudolf. Feb 18, 2011

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

Good examples all, but what about "overlaid" or "overwritten", where over- is basically the equivalent of super-, as in superimposed (though I admit overwritten could go either way depending on the context). As an aesthetic distinction, over-painted strikes me as a kind of method or technique, while painted-over is purely descriptive.



Yes, you are right, these are some good examples where "over" indicates covering the surface.

At first sight, it sounded odd, but Helen is more relevant for this field so I'd follow her advice.

I found some forum discussion where a poster understood the term the same way I did:

(quote)
"
+Good old days
I can't help adding a few comments to the subject of this letter - First of all 'overpainting" used to be the obvious step after the "underpainting" - a process followed by the old masters and practiced by some artists even today. It's interesting that you understood the term (in Deborah W.'s letter) to mean "overworking" a painting. Actually, I realize this was apparent in the context of the letter. I must say committing yourself to 4 or 5 galleries could make anyone frantic from the pressure. Oh for the good old days when an artist was taken on as part of a gallery's "stable" and coddled and promoted and asked not to be with other galleries!

Louise Cass
(quote)

http://www.painterskeys.com/clickbacks/overpainting.htm


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Morten Olesen
Denmark
Local time: 15:55
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
thanks again Feb 18, 2011

@Helen My initial impulse said 'over-painted', and you back me up, so i shall stay with that

i am pro-organic and green, but as an unknown painter i can't afford the luxury of organic or green art (artist's...?) materials - yet.

Perhaps one should frequent Proz more often to exercise the grey matter with all you lovely word workers


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:55
English to German
+ ...
Helen is the absolute pro in this field. Feb 18, 2011

She has explained it perfectly.

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Raúl Casanova  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:55
English to Spanish
Helen Feb 18, 2011

I wouldn't dare to argue with you in one field you are expert and I am not. I wouldn't dare to argue with native English spekers, either, and my first recomendation to moggy was to wait for a native English speaker opinion. My comment was based on reading the article you referred us to, Let me quote what it says:
"Following its purchase in 1997, the picture was ‘restored’ in the United States. The restorers took the sketchy and rapid application of paint to be damage, and filled in large swathes of the canvas, totally altering the picture’s appearance. Large passages were over-painted: the drapery was rendered flat and shapeless; the fingers became crudely defined, and the background was made uniformly flat".


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