Sunday, 30 September 2007

Ok, so it has been a long time

Not being too blog friendly and having a life, although some would dispute that, I have not got round to posting more, however here goes some more juice from the fruit that is medieval painting.

This summer saw me collect some weld, to keep my stocks up, although I actually used it for dyeing cloth, not to be a latter day wannabe traditional dyer but more to get some quick coloured cloth to paint over as I am enjoying the odd bout of textile printing and painting.

This year has seen me be given a few little commissions involving either the print side of textile decoration or painting of same:

The first was to produce a woodblock for a repeat textile pattern, circa 1580s, a stylised poppy, based on client sketches from an original. The detail or lack thereof meant a little tweaking and guesswork, but the end result was convincing and my own samplers looked the part. I had stained the green areas with either green earth or malachite, the red was synthetic vermillion, the yellow - saffron. The malachite is a very vibrant light green and I can see how well it would work with yellows to produce nice, rich leafy greens. It being a version of azurite is still liable to lose its colour depth through over grinding and some care has to be taken when preparing it, not to mention accepting that larger partciles although are brighter are a challenge to lay down.

It is certainly right that size and egg are the requisite media, having used both malachite and azurite on cloth I can see why, the azurite particles are so large that you need a strong bulky medium to carry the particles, even then it is a case of laying the colours down quite heavily, there is also a lot of streaking, needing more overlaying. But azurite does yield a stunning blue. Mine was apparentyl of African origin, which had quite a bit of kaolin included in it, which meant a lot of washing, but worht it. I will ask for German or European next time to see the difference, if any.

I was asked to paint a small silk helmet flag in Grisaille, the head of John the Baptist, detached from body and on a plate, I based it on an English alabaster carving of the 15thc. Working with silk was an experience, I used very fine, almost tissue -like silk, great for fluttering flags but delicate to work with, even my soft hands had enough rough parts to snag the weave.

Another helmet flag was commissioned, this time on linen, with much azurite, a gilded wooden ball, with raised gesso work accompanied the piece, I admit to enjoying the preparation of the bal more than the painting of the flag, mainly due to my reservations on the client's idea on how the flag should fly.

In theory I am also in the frame for a horse based project, although no more on that as yet.

Finally I am in the process of putting together another helmet flag for a client in America, said client is very much into 15thc Burgundian military and has commissioned an 18" silk (violet) helmet flag (a run on these this year methinks), all devices to be gilded and hatch modelled. The trial pieces look lush and the client is very excited. I wont post pics yet as I prefer to leave that to the end.

During all that, the usual experiments with colour, have had a nice play with cochineal, very interesting. - more at another time.

1 comment:

Tudor Cook said...

Glad to see that the written word is as interesting as the spoken.....lots of interesting bits to see here, just keep it up matey.