Thankfully with a great team working together, we covered the prepared wall with the Beeck Quartz Filler quite rapidly.  It is quite time consuming, mostly because of the dabbing action needed for such a bumpy surface, but we loved using the paint.

It was Mufti Day when we painted on the bridging primer, and so, as you can see, there is not a uniform in sight.  Just as well really as the paint did tend to go in unexpected places….I have to say, not because the painters were not being sensible, its just the paint seemed to have a life of its own!

I have to say I was very impressed with how quickly those painters who worked with me picked up the way to control the paint…It is quite runny and it’s more like a stain, and so they sure did need to know how to control it!

The decking was very comfortable to sit on, and as you can see, we used rubber gloves to protect our hands and plastic goggles too.  There’s nothing unsafe or toxic about the paint, it’s just very alkaline and I know from experience that it dries out your skin, and can sting, though I didn’t find this much with the paint, it was more just the fixative alone.  In a school setting we have to do things properly though, and the goggles meant that there were no worries with regard to paint splashing in eyes.  However, to be honest, one has to manipulate the paint in such a way that you wouldn’t tend to splash it about anyway.

I started the mural using the Beeck Silicate Mineral paints, and they were fine, but when I got to the linear parts I had discovered Keim Mineral Paints, and most particularly, their Soldalit, which is a third generation sol-silicate paint.  This pain was much easier to handle..a very slight difference in consistency but it made all the difference with the lines.  It was slightly more viscous.  If I were to paint a mural like this again I would just use the Soldalit, as the difference in consistency made it easier to use.

From the Keim website:

“SOL-SILICATE MINERAL PAINTS

Recent developments in mineral silicate paint technology have seen the introduction of sol-silicate mineral paintswhich not only utilise potassium silicate but also silica sol.  Silica binders are ‘colloids’, a term originating from the Greek word for glue –‘kolla’.  These particles have excellent viscosity, meaning they are well absorbed into a surface and once dry the particles firmly bind to the surfaces.  The addition of the silica sol, enhances the already superior adhesion of mineral paints and increases their scope of use to include application onto previously painted surfaces.”

Yes, and an additional bonus, not utilised in this case, as it was silicate on silicate, but something which I will certainly experiment with in different contexts when the mural is done.

Again from the Keim Mineral Paint website:

 

MINERAL APPEARANCE

Mineral Paints have a flat, matt finish, however the crystal structure provides excellent light reflectance which gives a bright, clean apperance.  In addition, through the use of earth oxide pigments, there is no colour fade – proven on buildings which were been decorated over 100 years ago where there is still no visible colour fade and no breakdown of the coating itself.  Keim Paints are inherently resistant to mould and fungal growth due to their high alkalinity, (pH is approximately 12.3), and therefore can provide long term resistance to mould and fungal growth.

 

Edit note:  My old website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk is no longer living, so if you would like to see what I am doing currently, then please follow the link to my new website which is http://www.jamartlondon.com.   www.jamartlondon.com

 

Well, this Tuesday was another fine day with respect to the weather (unlike today!).   The wall we are painting the mural on is thankfully not exposed to direct sunlight in the mornings, which means we don’t have to worry about the paint drying too quickly. Not really an issue for this layer, but when we do the colours it could be.   On Tuesday, myself and my team of two boys and two girls from Trafalgar  painted the first layer of BEECK Quartz Filler, a bridging primer, over the surface of the wall.  I couldn’t have done it without them, and what a great team they were.  We talked about the paint and the ingredients, and the children loved using the paint.  They loved the smell, which is like toothpaste, and as we were using the bottoms of plastic milk cartons as containers, the paint was then referred to as “milk”.  They even missed some of their playtime and wanted to carry on for the rest of the morning! We had a great time.  Ideally I would have liked the wall to be rendered first, but this was not allowed, and would have cost more money too.  The bridging primer does give some smoothness to the surface, but it’s still quite uneven.  However, having seen several other murals on the net with silicate on brick,  this doesn’t worry me, not for this simple design anyway.

Such was the enthusiastic response that I realise, with hindsight, that the children’s painting shirts were not really sufficient protection, (!!) and I just hope those parents will forgive me for their children coming home with evidence of their painting activities still intact on their clothing.  I think it should come out easily though…there’s no acrylic or anything which would make it hard to get out of clothing.  The children also wore rubber gloves and goggles for protection (I’m not sure the goggles were really that necessary, but they looked rather scientific!)  I’ll post some images up soon.

By the end of the morning the whole area was covered.  Everyone worked really hard and enjoyed the process.  Amazing work!  Over the half term I’ll be marking up some of the design and then some of the children will help me with the colour areas.  The paint takes a good 12 hours to dry enough for a second coat, and it seems to take a couple of weeks to fully harden, (based on samples at home) but there’s no rush.  I’ve worked out the colours, apart from one which I can’t decide on.  I’ll be painting the design on a smaller scale on paper over the half term and post it up here soon.  I’m also thinking about some activities that the children might like to participate in related to colour theory and design, which can be used if required by the school.

Images below inserted at a later date!

mineral paint mural in primary school by artist jenny  meehan

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural

mineral paint mural in twickenham trafalgar junior school

 

silicate mineral paint mural twickenham artist jenny meehan

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then  placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then  placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

 

Today the children are having  John T Freeman, into school.  He’ll be interviewed during assembly and the children will learn about his work as an artist and why he does what he does.  John will also be doing some workshops with the children on cartooning…I can’t wait to see their work!  I’ll post some images up shortly.  The children’s work will be used by John in the latter stages of the mural painting.  John will be adapting and composing their images which will populate the mural, and bring some life to it.   Some of the children will also be doing some activities  which centre around ecological considerations…Basically exploring the question “Why Are We Using Natural Paint?”  The children involved in the painting will also learn more about paint and painting from me, about pigments, colours, types of paint, whatever they are interested in.

I’m currently still making decisions about colours, but most of the planning work is done now.  Here’s some images of the project so far….

Using the computer and a grid for constructing templates

Mural Planning Using A Computer To Assist

 
 
Materials, Equipment, and A Messy Studio - Jenny Meehan

Using natural paints for this mural has basically converted me!

 
 
Experimenting with Different Tones and Colour Combinations at the Design Stage

A balancing act of colour in progress

 

Mixing colours…mixing colours…

Just focusing on areas of colour…thinking about it, literally weighing one colour against another and not thinking about anything else is an unexpectedly pleasurable process.  Gone for now are those little dippy dabs of colour, gone is the random mixing of colours, ad hoc, hit and miss, and the little palette (Though mine has never been small, I prefer to use a large board on a table!)

Now I am looking at flat areas (beautifully flat and singing in the light…the mineral paint surface is matt and almost comforting to look at) and as I experiment with subtle changes in tone and hue, I have the feeling that though this is not the kind of painting I expected to be doing right now…it’s more design really, however, it is doing me a lot of good.  It may not be such an emotionally charged process as most of my smaller paintings, but it’s almost ministering to me in terms of colour experience. 

The Beeck Mineral Paint smells lovely. I’m using the Beeck Beeckosil for the large colour areas of this mural.  This is a specialist paint, and I needed to consult several companies with respect to the correct preparation of substrate and the application, so many thanks to all those people who helped me in this respect.  It’s been an education in itself.  I am also looking into the mineral paint that Keim produce too, and plan to try that out on another mural in the future.  (I might well use Soldalit for the lines on this one). I’m glad I allowed for plenty of time for this project…it’s taking a lot longer to plan than I first expected.  This is mostly to do with getting the colours just right…I can’t faff about when I paint the real thing.  I also need to ensure I don’t waste paint, and I need to know exactly what I am doing in terms of proportions of pigment/toner when I mix up the colours in larger amounts for the mural.  Because the mural is the largest painting I have done so far (approx 1.5 by4 metres) I am probably being more careful than I need to be,  but better that than  the other option of careless (and expensive) mistakes. 

As I experiment with the colours on card in preparation for the mural painting “proper” I find I like this mineral paint better than the casein paint I tried out last year.  The colour does change when drying, but not so dramatically, which does help.  When this exterior mural project is done, I might well continue working with this paint on non flexible appropriately prepared substrates, as well as experimenting with using it on some stone/concrete sculpture.  Experiments started on an exterior wall in November are looking good, and it certainly helps ones confidence when embarking on using a paint one hasn’t used before to do samples and try it out first.  It takes a long time to dry, and even a few weeks to fully harden, but it does indeed harden, and it’s a fine paint.  I love it.

Working away on the mural design for a local school playground.  I’ve chosen the colours…broadly…and now comes the fine tuning. This happens naturally as I work out the measurements for mixing up larger quantities of paint.  (It’s a bit different from mixing paints on a small scale!)  I’m mixing small amounts in jars and recording the different proportions of different colours needed to get the tone/hue I am aiming for.  In the process is the opportunity to experiment with more subtle variations of colour, and this is quite an enjoyable activity.  Even slight modulations make a huge difference to the over-all effect. I cannot afford use my normal method of obtaining colours by trial and error (plus a dollop of experience!)as this would waste too much paint.  I am using silicate mineral paint (Beeck) which isn’t cheap, and also I don’t want to waste paint full stop. The whole project is meant to be as ecologically friendly as possible!

I’ll soon have some images and I will keep updates on progress coming.

Information added later, as seen below!

Take a look at Jenny Meehan’s website jamartlondon  to see some of her more recent work!  http://www.jamartlondon.com/

 

Page with the Trafalgar Junior School Mural on: http://www.jamartlondon.com/mineral-paint-mural/4571505927

 

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

 

Image from the very beginning!

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then  placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. And crew of children!

 

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then  placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan ..

 

jenny meehan jamartlondon,school mural silicate mineral painting,trafalgar junior school twickenham playground mural project.

Children at Trafalgar Junior School working very hard on the bridging primer application for the mural!

 

%d bloggers like this: