OUR ROUNDING BOARD PAINTINGS
Are postcards destined to be relics of the past?
They nearly are. When was the last time you sent or received a postcard? While on vacation, do you take the time to post a greeting back home by postcard - or simply forward a posed "selfie" to everyone on your friend list?
There is something nostalgic and romantic about vintage postcards. A landscape frozen in time. An invitation extended, the sharing of news or a profession of love sent by post so simply years ago. Addressing could be as brief as: Miss Adia Clark, Danielson, Conn. There was never a doubt that your postcard would reach its intended.
We are so very fortunate in Oakland Beach. Our village was photographed and preserved on postcards from the turn of the century through the 1940's. They are sought out and collected by many residents and lovers of Oakland Beach and its history, shared often with enthusiasm and received sometimes with envy! We believe that recreating Oakland Beach postcards for display on our rounding boards presents the perfect opportunity to showcase the beauty and history of Oakland Beach for all to enjoy - and perhaps help keep the postcard alive!
What are Rounding Boards? A Pictorial History
There are generally two sets of rounding boards on a carousel. Both are used to cover working parts of the carousel from view. One set is overhead on the exterior of the carousel platform to cover the joints between the panels and conceal the overhead rods and cranks that hold up the horses and allow the jumpers to move up and down. The other set of rounding boards is on the inside of the carousel platform and conceals the motor and gears.
In the golden age of carousels, the rounding board framework was made up of elaborately carved moldings and oil paintings depicting pastoral scenes of the rivers, ponds, meadows and the sea. Patriotic and political themes were also very popular. Frequently mirrors were added to the rounding boards to reflect the excitement of the speed of the carousel's movement and lights.
As with the building, carving and painting of our carousel figures, recreation of the postcard images in oil renditions is a process and an art unto itself. Here you will learn more about the methods used in the making of a carousel mural. Much time and talent is required. The end product is beyond compare.
After postcards have been selected for reproduction, they are scanned onto a computer, projected onto gessoed hardboard, and roughly traced.
The rough tracings, done in blue colored pencil, are fleshed out by hand, to capture as much detail as possible. The blue pencil is used so it will blend in with the transparent layers of oil paint later.
First, large background color is laid down such as the sky and water. Then an underpainting is laid down in tonal sepia and gray to simulate the black and white photography of the postcards.
Layers of color are carefully built up over the underpainting. The process is time consuming as each paint layer must be carefully mixed with the proper proportion of paint to medium to insure that the oil paint in the previous layers can dry. A miscalculation could mean that the murals would crack over time and exposure to the elements.
Stay Tuned!! As murals progress, they will be added to this gallery. Here are some more pictures of postcard murals in the works...and some of the challenges faced in the studio, like the boss here....keeping us on task!!