Recent work for Lucy Mckenzie

I couple of weeks ago I went to Brussels to assist Lucy Mckenzie on her latest group exhibition that will take place at Muzee in Ostende, Belgium at the end of the month. I have worked with Lucy on a number of different projects over the last few years  and once again this was a wonderful experience.

We painted a total of 6 canvases, the smallest measuring 2.8mx3.6m and the largest 2.8mx5.6m. These were some big paintings, but nothing can compare to the 9mx7m painting we did in the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany! Here, the hardest part was maneuvering the paintings, just like sails on a large boat.

This time all of the pieces were rather graphic; solid colours and bold outlines. I was glad and honoured to be helping out on this project as one of my specialities is painting uniform lines with precision and achieving solid areas of colour with oil paints. I love the way the outlines make everything look so clean and finished in these paintings.

Here are some photos of the works being made and some close-ups of my line work.

Faux marquetry sewing table – Part 3

I learnt a useful way of transferring patterns on to different surfaces accurately at the Van der Kelen Institute.  The technique is  Pouncing. I used it here to put my hand-drawn marquetry design on to the faux mahogany table top.

Crushed charcoal can be used on a light surface and yellow ochre is a recommended pigment to use on a dark background.

Once the pattern has been transferred you can either join up all the dots or just use them as a guide. I used them to mask off the parts I wanted to keep clean. I don’t like using masking tape, but I had little choice in this situation as many parts are small and the pattern is complicated. In the centre I taped over the whole area, pounced on to the tape and then cut out the pattern.



Faux marquetry sewing table-Part 2

I am very fond of traditional painting methods. For this table I am using oil paints with a tupentine and linseed oil glaze. The faux mahogany was painted in two stages.  Stage 1: an oil glaze of burnt sienna, burnt umber and carmine red. Stage 2: a beer glaze of cassel earth pigment to create the pores of the wood.

The beer glaze is an instant technique that produces realistic results, it can be tricky to apply to irregular surfaces as it dries fast and any touch-ups are visible. Once dry these two stages were fixed with a solvent-based varnish.

Finished Shadowfold

I would like to share the result of my first large-scale shadowfold: a curtain to hide my personal belongings, a perfect solution to a very common problem. The light from the window behind provides a warm glow and the shadows are reflected on the surrounding walls.

This project was exciting as I have previously made the same tessellation from my handmade paper Draga. Two completely different techniques, but two very similar results!