Rain, Rain,Rain.

I just want to put the final coating of Keim 694 Waterbased semi-permanent anti-graffiticoating ON THE MURAL.  It’s sitting here in front of me, but cannot be used “if rain could fall within 5 to 6 hours”.  The way the last few days have been going, all my expected times and days have melted into the ground and evaporated!  I haven’t even seen the mural since John last came in to finish the cartoons, so I haven’t even seen it finished yet!  Hopefully one day next week….

Once I have coated the mural with the anti-graffiticoating, I will be working on a presentation on the whole process for the school.  And then the work really will be finished.  I have to say a really big thank you to Keim Mineral Paints again for their part in the project, which in the end turned out to be very significant, because I found their silica-sol paint “Soldalit” of great use for the linear parts of the painting, and John used this for the cartoons too.   I now intend to continue to use Soldalit for other exterior murals I paint, as the colour range is fantastic, and though I like to mix up my own colours, (as I did for the colour areas of the Trafalgar Mural, using the Beeck Full Colour mineral paints), it does save a lot of time if the colours are already mixed.

I’ve learnt a lot from this project….

1.  I love and hate the weather, but it’s kind of nice to be subject to it. 

2. Some companies have great customer service, and others need to improve.  However great, you can only build on the foundations below you.  That means, every little person matters.

3.When you paint murals on party walls, it can take a long time and a lot of effort to get permission to do so, but if you use a porus silicate mineral paint, there is no good reason for refusal, as the wall can “breath”, so no damp issues arise.

4. Don’t assume anything

5. Children are worth working with.  My thanks to the lovely children who painted with me, and to all those wonderful artists who produced such amazing cartoons under the expert and sensitive guidance of John T Freeman.  If the mural was bigger, all the cartoons would be in the mural…every single one.

6. It will ALWAYS take longer than you think, and extensive preparation, including research, is always worth it.

7.  The composition has to be right.  If it’s not, don’t bother. 

8.  Silicate Mineral Paint offers the best colour quality possible, far superior to acrylic paint in terms of its ability to reflect light.   Having spent hours looking at the difference, I have no doubt in my mind about this matter. It’s beautiful.  It is more demanding to use, but it’s worth it.

9. Take the rough with the smooth…In this case, quite literally.  The wall surface was rough!  Painting straight lines on such a surface doesn’t make much sense, but as they say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and nothing’s impossible.

10. Give generously, receive generously.

It might seem a bit early to put this down, but as the rain is stopping me from going any further, I might as well do this now.  I would like in the future to put together something on practical techniques for mural painting with silicate mineral paints to help others who might consider using this type of paint for exterior or interior murals, but to be honest, I have so much happening right now I cannot see myself being able to do this for sometime.  I now have work to sort out for exhibition at the Rose Theatre in October, Gallery 63 in September, The CornerHOUSE in December and later on Leatherhead theatre in May 2012, which is great, but means the mural work has to stop for a while.  I am working on a mural in a garden, just a simple grey and white one  .I would like to do another exterior mural at the school later next year.  I’m also in the process of applying for the Artists Access to University Scheme, at Kingston University in order to develop my practice.  That should be enough for now,  plus running the house, and all that domestic bliss!  

By way of a little deviation, some images of other things I have been creating!

 

 

 

I can’t resist the odd photograph now and again.  

Pencil sketch done at West Dean College during last stay recently

Another part of the journey....

 

Look at the mess, beautiful, isn't it!

This is the kind of studio space I would like to have all the time!

 

I’m back from a most excellent course at West Dean College in Sussex once more.  The short courses there enable me to introduce new elements to my practice and though I can only afford to take part in very short courses at the moment – Summer School is now completely out of the question – I still find even a course of two days duration is enough to effectively act as a kind of trampoline from which I can throw myself on and bounce off into new directions.   I sometimes wonder if I need any new directions, as I hardly have time to develop the ones I am already exploring, but I trust in the knowledge,( which does seem to be the case), that because my work is based on a foundation of truth and an honesty of expression, that even in the midst of apparent chaos, of diverse experimentation and of sometimes very different “styles”, there is a constant about it which roots it into the earth and prevents it from blowing away completely.

This course “Fantastical Painting Using The Dynamics Of The Imagination” tutored by Christopher Gilvan Cartwright was very helpful to me indeed, most particularly in the respect of me understanding and developing the ability to critique my own work.  It is a great pain to me that I work in such an isolated situation most of the time, and this of course denies me the opportunity to exercise in a more conscious way the thought processes, which while they are a by product of the work, and certainly not the centre of it,  still provide much interest ,and sometimes useful pointers, when I am considering where to take a particular piece of painting or sculpture.  So this was very useful indeed, and not the usual type of input gained from very short courses, more the type of thing I would engage in on a degree course or similar.  I needed this level of input, and it was very timely indeed.  The tutor was very good at giving focused feedback and suggestions to all members on the course with  a very well differentiated approach which was much appreciated by all. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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