So Saturday night was the Rosalind Davis hosted talk at Trace Elements, thank you to those of you who made it along. It was really well facilitated by Rosalind, and the pre-chat we had had with her on the installation night meant that she was able to draw us out, and keep the balance perfectly between the three artists.
So I have started on my next project which is preparation for Roy’s People Art Fair, and the start of prep for other events later in the year. Today I ordered some lovely new surfaces to add to those I have already had delivered because I am currently having a very productive streak. For Roy’s People I am producing a range of mid sized works, as I think that will suit that show, and is easier for people to walk away with on the day. I have a selection of work with quite intense underpainting, and am bringing them up to either a colour rich dark or very light surface. I am playing with and thinking about the Thames as a former conduit for trade, and the role of the sites along the South of the river in the centre of town as 19th Century producers of power and therefore light, and their current role in the production of cultural light (former power stations include Tate modern, Oxo Tower, and Battersea, all currently used as art venues). Working with this contrast is really quite fun, and I am doing them simultaneously. So one of the challenges I have faced in the work that consists of alot of layers and in particular where the base layer is indigo is drying times. The drying times of oils are affected by a number of factors one of which is the interaction of the pigment with the media, and while cobalt based pigments speed the drying times, the drying time for indigo is long. why is it important? Well if the base painting is truly to form a base and not mix with the layers added over the surface then they need to be fully dry before further painting can proceed. Delightfully I have found a solution: If I use a good thick layer of gesso to prime wooden boards I can paint the underpainting using indigo and gum arabic and it dries quickly.