After a long pause, caused by a water damage in my little atelier and due to lots of renovation work, I started painting again.
This time, I layered oil paints over ash and washed them away again and again to create subtle effects. It’s a play of appearing and disappearing, of strong presence and nebulous absence. Like memories, they come and go, sometimes they are very clear and sometimes you wondering if an event really happened or if it is just in your imagination.
After a long break, I painted a little bit again yesterday. Well, it was more of a few exercises to try out some new materials and a different format. Everything should be very small, at max. 5 x 7 cm. And that was and still is the biggest challenge for me, because painting in such small formats I found extraordinarily difficult. So I experimented a bit with ink, silk, pastels and marble flour on paper.
Somehow that was quite exhausting for me, I felt very limited in my workflow by the smallness of the paintings.
I think abstract painting demands big formats and I’ll go back there in a few weeks.
Vor ein paar Wochen, als ich ziemlich müde von der Arbeit (ich hab eine große Wand verputzt) nach Hause kam, fand ich meinen Liebsten mit einer Nachbarin im Garten sitzend, vertieft in ein Gespräch. Sie war mit ihrem Baby spazieren und hat unseren Garten, der noch im Entstehen, aber schon schön ist, bewundert.
It`s already seven years since we constructed a new spiral staircase for our house. Hagen built a wooden skeleton and I put gypsum on it, layer by layer, until it looked like an elegant, old staircase. The final surface was plastered with a mix of lime, gypsum, pigments and protected with savon noir.
One can certainly imagine that time left some signs of wear on the surface, scratches and stains from the daily use. It also had, from the beginning of her life, some fine slopes and dales, resulting from my first attempts of working with fine plaster. Every day I saw it and thought: I can do it better now! Continue reading “Casein-Lime Paint”
For this painting I left a bit my usual way of mixing natural pigments with different media to create in-depth nuances of one or two colours.
Here I just used gesso and mixed it with ash and metallic silver paint. This melange resulted into something very organic, with wonderful, random structures and colours. To me, it looks like the walls of a cave, deep under the earth, with metalliferous lodes. These imperfect, coincidentally structures contrasts with the perfect shape of the pink square in the corner. Somehow, that’s just like in “real” life: there are things that we can plan, develop and create exactly how we want them to be, but many things just happen by chance.
The challenge is to balance both.
There are places in this world, I have to go there again and again and so I went last Friday. Roussillon, more precisely, the Conservatoire des ocres et de la couleur is such a place. Here I learned all the old techniques of wall plastering, here I always buy pigments and tools for my paintings and wall design, here I get advice and answers to technical questions.
This is such a beautiful place, it is so pleasant to stroll through the rooms of the old ochre mill and get inspired by all these wonderful colours. And of course, I always find new pigments, this time a new blue 🙂
I finished another painting, a bit similar to the Autumn Leafs painting, but with a much clearer structure and so I think, more powerful.
Also, I used different materials: lime, marble powder and cold marble wax for a smooth structure and shellac ink for a warm subtle tone.
This time, I really wanted to get a very deep, strong red. It’s not as easy as you might think by using different shades of red pigments. Red ochre is anhydrous iron oxyde, a mineral. It comes in shades from very dark brown-red to light yellow.
These minerals tend to turn either into a brownish red or rusty tone. So I mixed them, layer by layer and added some yellow pigments.
I wrote about the meaning of red before but I would like to add some more aspects to it.
Red, is the colour of power.
Kings, cardinals and Roman generals wore red.
Did you know, that about 75% of the worlds flags contain red?
But red is also associated with blood, danger, aggression and lust. The devil wears not always Prada but red and in the middle ages it was the colour prostitutes preferred to wear, until today we call the area were the prostitutes are presented the red – light district.
These oppositional attributes make red a tricky choice for brands.
One can say, red is the colour of life with all it’s facets: power, joy, sex, danger and death.
I hope you can see the power of life in my painting 😉
Autumn, the season between summer and winter, a time of change. It brings beautiful colours of fallen leafs, snugly evenings in front of the fire.
We start preparing for the winter time, harvest and conserve fruits and vegetables from our garden, store firewood, take out our cosy woolen cloths.
Nature is preparing herself for a long rest, to recover, to recharge its batteries for a great comeback next spring.
Autumn also reminds us on the impermanence of life. Maybe a good time to reflect and letting go ?
I am always experimenting with different natural materials, such as lime, marble powder, fine sand, ash, to create depth and structure.
The challenge lies in bonding these materials and adhere them to a flexible canvas. Sometimes, they just crumble away after drying.
Using a mix of pure lime with marble powder, which is used for creating stucco, gives nice structures and pigments can easily react with it, creating wonderful effects. To adhere it on canvas, an additive is necessary. No essay choice as I want to restrict myself to natural materials.
So I tried egg white, linseed oil, animal glue (colle de Lapin) and natural latex and each additive resulted in a quite different consistency. I grated Lapislazuli, added some pigments and water and applied it layer by layer on my exercise canvas. Fascinated by the results, I created a small series of greenish – blueish paintings.
I really like them, they look very nice, changing their appearance depending on how the light shines on it.