vine leafs

Autumn Leafs

The last weeks were packed with lots of stuff. Currently, I am mainly working with Clara & Tobias in this old house and it’s really heavy work. We are still building the new separation wall and we already reached the first level (cave and ground floor are done!). It’s not only building this wall, it includes also removing old floors (very dusty), sort out the waste and bringing it to the dumpsites and shopping lots of bricks and mortar.
On top of all that, I relaunched this website with the help of my personal specialist, assembled my first portfolios of my paintings to apply in art galleries and organized the daily stuff necessary to keep the household running.

Despite me being very tired, I somehow managed to make a new painting, quasi to relax and see something nice after all this dust.
It is, to a certain extent a complement of the Autumn painting I did a few weeks before. The wonderful colours of the vine leaves right now inspired my to this composition of red and yellow ochres. Foreseeing the fate of all these leafs, I added some fading colours such as sienna and umbra.
All in all, it creates a warm feeling and let me thinking back on the summertime.

Vineyards

Autumn

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 ?

Beach

Blue

Blue again.
Don’t ask me why.
It’s just about sitting at beach, watching the sea and the sky, listening to the waves, philosophising, dreaming into infinity, sleeping away, waking up refreshed and energised.

It sounds
It rustles
It echoes
It reverberates
It sparkles
It smells
And becomes devoutly singing blue.
The blue fades to light.

Hans Arp: Singing Blue

 

 

 

Verwandlung eines Zimmers

Kannst du es irgendwie südfranzösischer machen?

Ich male nicht nur Leinwände an, sondern auch richtige Wände, genauer gesagt, ich verputze sie. So auf die traditionelle Art, mit Kalk, Sand, Gips und Marmormehl, je nach Untergrund und Verwendungszweck. Das ist für alte Häuser hier in Südfrankreich die beste und auch nachhaltigste Methode. Die alten Häuser sind überwiegend aus Natursteinen und Kalk oder Gips und Sand gebaut. Die Wände sind oft bis zu 60 cm dick, regulieren so ganz gut das Raumklima.

Im Sommer hält das für lange Zeit die Hitze draußen, die Mauern erwärmen sich erst so nach und nach und halten die Wärme für einige Zeit im Inneren der Häuser, so dass man erst spät und relativ wenig heizen muß. Oftmals blieben die Steine sichtbar, und wenn die Wände verputzt wurden, dann mit einer Mischung aus Kalk, Gips und Sand. Diese Putze lassen die porösen Steine atmen, d.h., Feuchtigkeit bleibt nicht im Mauerwerk stecken, sondern kann wieder nach außen oder innen entweichen.

Wenn so ein Haus modernisiert wurde, dann mußte auch oft der Wandputz erneuert werden. Das bedeutet, den alten Putz abschlagen, Wand säubern, gegebenenfalls Löcher mit Steinen füllen und dann neu verputzen. Das ist natürlich ein erheblicher Zeitaufwand und man muß es können. Es ist viel einfacher, solche Wände einfach zu verkleiden, mit Fermacell oder Gipskartonplatten, was mit entsprechender Isolierung noch immer ein gutes Raumklima gibt. Aber manchen Menschen ist auch das noch zu aufwendig und deshalb tackern sie einfach Plastikpaneele davor oder putzen alles mit Zement oder einer schnell aufzutragenden Acrylspachtelmasse zu. Da kommt keine Luft mehr durch, irgendwann wird es mufflig, denn die Feuchtigkeit bahnt sich früher oder später ihren Weg.

Vor ein paar Wochen hatte ich solche Wände vor mir: mit weißem, rauhem Acrylputz verspachtelt. Eine Wand war in Dunkelrot gestrichen. Das Zimmer ist, für hiesige Verhältnisse relativ dunkel, da die beiden Fenster zu einem Hof führen und die Sonneneinstrahlung durch eine gegenüberliegende Mauer begrenzt ist. Aber es hat einen wunderschönen, alten Terrakotta Fußboden. Es war das Wohnzimmer des Hauses.

Der neue Besitzer wollte aus diesem Zimmer sein Schlafzimmer machen und von mir eine Empfehlung für eine schöne Wandfarbe haben. Die Wände sollten irgendwie südfranzösisch wirken. Ich war zunächst ein wenig hilflos, denn ich wollte auf gar keinen Fall diesen Putz auch noch mit irgendeiner Farbe überstreichen, aber ich wußte auch nicht so recht, wie ich dem doch recht ungeduldigen Besitzer erklären sollte, wie man das Zimmer wirklich schöner machen könnte. Aber, er kam mir selbst zu Hilfe. Er zeigte mir ein Foto von einer schönen, im traditionellen Stil verputzten Wand. So was wollte er auch haben. Also hab ich ihm erklärt, dass erst der alte Putz weg muß bevor man neuen auftragen kann. Damit war er schließlich einverstanden und so haben wir gemeinsam fast einen ganzen Tag den Putz abgekratzt und ich hab anschließend die Wände neu verputzt. Ich hab ein paar Farbmuster gemacht und wir haben uns auf einen etwas kräftigeren Terrakotta Ton für eine Wand und einen leichten Ton für die übrigen Wände geeinigt.

Am Ende haben wir das Zimmer komplett renoviert, die Balken frei gelegt, die Decke neu verkleidet und weiß gestrichen.

Jetzt sieht das Zimmer nicht mehr wie eine Höhle aus, sondern warm und freundlich. Die Wandfarbe ist sehr südfranzösisch und reflektiert gut das einfallende Licht.

Das Zimmer sieht jetzt schön aus 😉

Silver Grey

Silver
Silver

It is often said that grey is not a colour, but a statement, if you want to hide or remain invisible (the grey mouse). Sometimes, instead of positioning oneself for one side or another, we are looking for a way in the middle between two opposites, between white and black.
But grey can also be understood as a departure from all colours, all affluence, as a conscious counter-design to a noisy world.
To be honest, I did not have these thoughts when I started the painting. I just wanted to experiment with black and white pigments, dissolved in acrylic and a silver oil paint.
The result is a painting full of nuances, interesting and colourful and not at all boring.

Save

Save

Laboratory https://www.flickr.com/photos/karen_roe/7190376549 CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/bXoyrt

Exploratory Painting

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.

Yellow Pigments

Yellow

In the middle of the winter, when it became really cold, grey and windy, when the sun did not shine for a few days, I was longing for the blue sky and bright light. I thought of using yellow, the colour of the sun, to create a painting which could brighten up this time of the year.
For this painting, I used five shades of yellow pigments, mixed with titan white to apply it in layers for creating a warm, sunny tableau. Lime and marble powder were used for some surface structure and to let the pigments react with it.
There are many different shades of yellow, all produced by mixing yellow with greater or lesser amounts of other colors. Searching for the perfect warm and sunny yellow let me apply about 18 layers of yellow ochre pigments, such as ochre de citron, ochre havane, ochre jaune clair, ochre jaune de Vaucluse, ochre oxygen apt jaune et terre jaune italienne.
On top, I added a dash winter grey.

garage door

A new piece of art

Last week, I created a new piece of art, I painted a garage door.

Well, it’s a different kind of art, the art lies more in the paint itself.

The newly built wooden garage door needed to be protected and I wanted to have it open-pored to let the wood breath and keep it natural touch. The challenge here is the sun, which lets every artificial colour chip off after a relatively short period. I did a bit of a research and found the old recipes for the famous Swedish paint “Swedish red”. This paint has been created about 250 years ago and it’s still used, especially for restoration of old buildings and furniture.
I felt like a witch in her kitchen when I cooked the paint 😉

The recipe for about 16 :

175 g flour (with gluten!)
2 l water
50 g ferrous sulfate
500 g pigments
0,25 l linseed oil
25 cl savon noir

Heat half of the water. Pour the flour into 0,5 l of cold water and mix it to get a paste without any lumps. Slowly stir the paste into the warm water, add the pigments and the sulfate. Stir it for about 15 min until the mix gets creamy. Pour gradually the linseed oil in, when all is mixed together (after about 15 min), add the savon to stabilize the mixture. Stir everything for another 15 min.
The paint is ready when it has a creamy consistency, as if you prepare the mix for a crêpe.
I recommend to soak the pigments into water before pouring them into the flour soup.Let it cool down.

The paint is ready when cold and it needs to be stirred from time to time during application. It’s a non-dropping paint.

I applied it three times on new wood, which I washed with savon noir emulsion a day before.
The base recipe can be coloured any many shades and I wanted to create a grey tone to match the already painted shutters and windows of the house.

The result is a very natural paint, looking velvety and I think it is perfect for an old house.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsjgeology/14550435790

Gold

I got some gold leaves and played around with it, tried to show the dirty and shiny sides of gold, by applying layers of sienna, ardoise, noir de vigne, titan oxyde.

Gold – symbol of power, wealth, purity, dead, war, earth, slavery, blood, jewelry, gold rush, enlightenment, greed, cyanidation, altering nature, wedding ring, currency speculation, spiritual values, imperishability, eternity.

Blue and a fine green line

After Red, I made Blue and a fine green line.

Here again, I used different shades of one colour: grated Lapislazuli, which gives the ultramarine, indigo and Bleu Ercolano, a synthetic pigment.
Applied in layers with different binders, it creates wonderful colour effects such as the fine green line.

As described in one of my earlier posts, the color blue as said to have a calming effect, but it stands also for people who are cool analyst, for people, who are living their life after strong principles and facts. “Blue people” tend to think and analyze before they decide and could be that they never do anything as the need to understand all facts is more important than doing something. Such people are introvert, but good planners, strategists and often academics.
They get along well with “red people”.
I learned about color psychology and of course, had to test myself. Without knowing anything about the theory at the beginning, I chose instinctive my place between red and blue, but worked later in the red group as the blue group was discussing too much 🙂
Probably, I am red-violet 🙂