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.

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Back from West Dean, and other holiday trips here and there, to find the publicity information for “Muybridge In Kingston” on my doorstep.  Very glad to see it too, as I had no knowledge of the “John Lewis Art Prize Photography Competition” which is one of many events going on as part of this focus on one of Kingston’s most innovative people.  Events at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston Museum and the Tate Britain, look very interesting and varied, and I will certainly be going to some of them. 

I also just had to enter the “John Lewis Art Prize Photography Competition”.  Though I am focusing on my painting, I do periodically return to my camera and computer, and as the John Lewis competition has its focus around the John Lewis building in Kingston, how could I resist?  My “John Lewis Partnership Foundations 1987  inkjet artwork (which was displayed at the Stanley Picker Gallery “Kingston Contemporary Open” Exhibition in 2007) beckoned me once more.  But to use something I have worked on in the past in a new way is much more exciting, and it’s one of the joys of being an artist…taking something old and making it new in some way. 

But time!  It’s so tight!  A bit like last time around…inspiration comes fast and thick…sometimes pressure can help things along a bit.  I started working today at around 12 noon and now the print is delivered to the Gift List Department at John Lewis, Kingston.  I am very grateful for the fact that I invested in a printer recently, and also that I had some inkjet paper to hand.  It’s hard financially, and always a struggle to work out what is a worthwhile investment…one which will be useful…but looks like past purchases have come into their own this time around, as I would not have had time to get the image printed elsewhere…not exactly as I required it.

The image is called “Years Go By – John Lewis Partnership Foundations 2010” and gets its title from one of many thoughts I had while creating the piece.  Because it contains parts of the previous “John Lewis Partnership Foundations” image  (in the picture frame and the screen) I felt I had to include this in the title.  My awareness of the rapid passing of time as I worked on it, especially with the deadline date being tommorrow, was something I wanted to include, and the passing of  time is also referenced in the image through the text in the store about beds! 

Because the events going on focus on the work of Muybridge, a figure from the past, and a creator of images (both still and moving) with the camera,  and the competition has its focus on the John Lewis Kingston Store,  to use my own past photographic work by bringing it forward in time and setting it within the John Lewis Furniture Department seemed like an interesting way to set up lots of new visual and conceptual  relationships.  I was thinking about people planning the interior of their homes, thinking about the planning involved right from the outset of creating  a new building, (even so far back as the first lines drawn by an architect), thinking about a blank piece of paper…the problems we all have with dimensions….(mine was the my image looked great square, but I wanted it to work on A3, as that was the format for the competition).  People choosing furniture also have to think about how objects fit into physical spaces.  I gave the figure from the 1987 image of the building’s foundations a prominent place in the image…I quite like the relationship between him and the lady at the top right who is looking at a selection of pictures and wondering no doubt which to choose.  I guess I am also hoping that my image will be chosen as part of the John Lewis Art Prize Exhibition which runs from the 8th September at “The Place To Eat” in John Lewis Kingston.  Only time will tell!!!

More information on Events which are part of the “Muybridge In Kingston” 2010 http://www.muybridgeinkingston.com/event.php

Here is my entry…

Entry by Jenny Meehan for the "John Lewis Art Prize" 2010, part of the Muybridge In Kingston events

This is another chapter in the story started by my first image of the foundations of the John Lewis building in Kingston. First image 1987, this one created in 2010. Interior of furniture department was taken last year I think from memory.

And here was the image which was shown at the Stanley Picker Gallery in 2007 as part of the Kingston Contemporary Open Exhibition…

Image of 2007 artwork "John Lewis Foundations Partnership" Jenny Meehan

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