Month: July 2009

gilded and distressed

My old friends at Wrights did me proud and the schlagg duly arrived, and so I was able to get on with gilding the panel, although the largest piece Ive yet done it all went without any problems and relatively swiftly, as did the distressing. I am so pleased with the out come, everything has come together and the final result is exactly as I would wish. I have been tidying up my shed, with the objective of getting back into glass work again, now that I have almost completed this body of panels, still on the same theme, but different media. It is just too limiting to stick to just one media I found, it left me frustrated and wanting . This week will find me struggling with a couple of problem panels that need re-working, I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will come together.

All that glisters

Having brought two panels to the gilding stage, I couldnt wait to get going, although knowing the mess that would ensue. I have yet to gild the 8’X4′ panel, that will be a challenge, and is set for today provided my schlag (imitation gold leaf) from Wrights of Lym arrive as expected. The gold has to be imitation gold as I need to tarnish the metal to create the effect I require. Wrights in Cheshire, is a company I visited a few years ago on a college trip, and it was completely fascinating, in that we were told that it was one of only two places in England that still beat gold by hand, I dont know if that is still so now, as most gold is factory milled. I remember seeing the gold being melted in a crucible, and brought to a bench where a pair of beaters rythmically hammered the gold. In another room ladies were sat at tables trimming and placing leaves between tissue. This brings to mind the lovely tutor I had, Nigel Leaney, who was such an inspirational man, he taught us about paint, not you would think one of the most riviting subjects for a lecture, but amazingly it was, with magical ingredients such as lapiz lazuli, dragons blood, myrh, and many such other, he was generous with his knowledge, and of himself. I must away to my studio now to check on that gold.


I have taken a rest from my large panels, and am working on rwo panels 1 metre square, and they are new versions of “flow”. I love these pieces as they are so expressive of the concept of landscape as a form that is hard wired into our subconscious. The form and flow work as a visual concept and as an artist actually working on the pieces the body takes on the movement and so the panel takes on the visual and the physical. Whilst work is in progress the eye, body and hand engage with the mind to create the form. For me the entire mind and body are fully engaged during the initial stages, this eventually progresses to critical focus and decision making, and this is where hard work and perseverence come into force, making minute selections of texture, colour et al. Once the main body of work is created layer building and drying times start to take up a lot of time, and this is where the critical eye comes in, choosing the right placement of layer and texture, this is the place where I agonise, fall in and out of love with a piece, leave it, go back to it, rework it, and that is precicely where I am at present with at least four panels.