Thursday, 21 February 2013

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Saturday, 16 February 2013

A little on lime paint

Lime paint is made from calcium hydroxide. When calcium is burned and then hydrated, a putty like mass is left known as slaked lime. Among its other uses, this material, when watered down further, was used often in the past to paint and disinfect walls. However fresco painters also used tinted lime paint to finish their work when time run-out on the more unforgiving technique of "Fresco" painting (which is painting on wet plaster). In fact when speaking of "lime painting" I refur to the method of painting on dry plaster, known in Italy as Fresco Secco". Slowly painting with lime became a technique in its own right. The beauty of lime paint really is something quite different to any other painting medium, it has absolute opacity but the dried surface becomes "alive" with soft irregularities that seem to suggest something similar to velvet. The difficulties of using this medium (preparation, stability etc.) determined its decline , it's many advantages being overshadowed by the disadvantages. However in many European countries, especially Italy, the technique of lime painting reached a complexity of use in home decoration, highlighting the beauty and flexibility of this humble material.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

More from my "fragments" work

This shows a couple of early stages of painted moulding...hope to start the ornament soon!!!

My test run for "Fragments"

Here is a series of images following some of the stages of lime painting. CLOCKWISE:
-Lime putty,
-lime milk paint and wetted pigments,
-first coat of tinted lime paint; while wet, lime is twice as dark as when dry,
-the last image shows a dusting of the cartoon design.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Temples, fragments, pieces from a world made to mans measure.


A number of years ago I finally got to visit Rome....for someone like myself, who loves the mathematical beauty of classical decoration and it's underlining "raison d'ĂȘtre" ; architecture, it was a visual gratification beyond beautiful.
Broken pieces of these fascinating buildings are strewn all around and I confess, even I was tempted to take a little piece of history away with me to treasure with Gollum-like jealousy!
What I did take away with me was a seedling of an idea, which for diverse reasons I was unable to develop, until now.
In a moment of extreme insecurity, that isn't just financial but also social and spiritual, I feel that there has been a parting of ways. People are again interested in questions regards content, value, provenance and authenticity. People seem less likely to take on face value what is offered to them but reflect more on what really does mirror their own essence as individuals.
Dealing in home decoration I am asked to provide solutions to individual taste and most certainly styles are varied. I don't approach my work as an modern artist does, my work is subject to what I call a body of knowledge; the history of aesthetic form. With this in mind II search to provide aesthetic solutions which take account of my clients tastes.
My vision of decoration is very much attached to how it works with the with underlining form. If you just add decoration, with the same intent you would hang a picture, as well as it  may be executed, their is no transaction between the two parts. Decoration, often being less about content becomes redundant. This limitation was one reason why I couldn't see ways of translating my work into something independent from Architecture.
Then I reflected on the essence of classical decoration and how it is actually something beyond decorative. The fragmented pieces we see in museums work in their own right in all their consumed, faded,iconic and poetical beauty.
This was the seed of an idea that I took away with me from Rome:
I paint Grisaille, I love classical decoration and studied as historical icons, I believe that these fragments do work on their own terms. Whatever happens, I know I will enjoy doing them!!!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Minerva, me and her...

I'm beginning to think that Minerva choose me, not I her. I love the idea of this strong, focused women. Her armoured body set to attack, although she seems to be fixating a point of arrival way beyond the horizon. However this is no masculinised female, she is protectress of Arts....
She is also historically placed in classical surroundings and I am totally fascinated with all things classical.
Yesterday I spent the day trying to fish out solutions for a line of products I hope to create for my Etsy shop.....and I may have just cracked it. Thanks Minerva!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

http://www.google.it/search?hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&tbm=isch&q=minerva+goddess&revid=1324237193&sa=X&ei=rUMTUfXyLMaL4gSzsoGgAw&ved=0CDoQ1QIoAw&biw=1024&bih=672#biv=i|125;d|bfSB7TdIswFpUM:

Monday, 4 February 2013

Art, craft, creatives AND clients

Hello world....those of you who drop by.

Minerva's Temple bells sound. 

Let me explain...I am a freelance decorator and have been "trading" in Art for eleven years now. I have been interested in proposing what might be considered blasphemy in many art circles, that is; obtainable art, art for the masses. I suppose this is really known as craft, but the two descriptions, Art and Craft,  are really modern distinctions  ( compared to over two thousand years of Art history) made to distance the fine arts far away from the reach from what was in the '800 considered the less cultured public.
If you are a crafter or interested in understanding how class distinctions came about in the Arts- I can't recommend enough:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Architectural-Ornament-Banishment-Architects-Designers/dp/0393730468/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359971215&sr=8-1

Anyway this blog serves to keep me on my toes, motivate, remind, encourage, focus...remind me that I have no excuses to not keep producing and finding ways to reach-out to all , to remember the practicalities, to work and therefore survive in the arts market. If your curious to know what exactly I trade in,  please visit my website www/living-grisaille.co.uk

Minerva; protectress of the arts, of commerce, of industry and schools.