For those of you within striking distance, you may like to know that the Norton Way Gallery in Letchworth is having it's annual spring show, with fresh new work from all the owner's resident artists on display to suit the season. I sent off another clutch of small birds and critters for the event, and the oak tree which appeared in a previous post.
The bullfinches are painted on 245gsm parchment paper from Shepherds Falkiners stationers in London. It's an interesting surface, less expensive than vellum of course, but with some similar characteristics. Including it's waxy texture, translucency, and unfortunately tendency to buckling -as demonstrated on the bullfinch (top left), where I appplied a drop too much mordant under the gold leaf. Caveat emptor. The third miniature in my 'Tsushigahana Dragon' series, the Fire Belly Toad, is painted on real vellum with calligrapher's gilding
The coaltits and long tailed tits are a a warm up for something larger, and are painted on Fabriano Artistic 600 gsm. This is a super-smooth hot press paper, so heavy it needs no stretching, which botanical artists love. Sadly I'm told that Fabriano have changed their process and the these days it has a slight texture, so when my little stock is used up I'm sunk. As these pieces are fairly rigid and intended for glass framing, I used some aqueous shellac in the painting of them. The recipe for this was given to me by Gloria Thomas, the artist who runs the Apocalypse Art Prize in the USA which I won a few years' back. She uses it as a sealant on paper to create a surface for oil painting, Naturally it needs a longer drying time than the smelly alchohol shellac solution you buy in a bottle.
The view from my desk
Current work, places and events, art travel, and interesting snippets about Christian icons, medieval art, manuscript illumination, egg tempera , gilding, technique and materials.