Surface tension: An exploration of drawing and painting on aluminium
Welcome to my first blog for the OCA which will document my creative explorations through using Aluminium as a drawing and painting surface. I hope you will enjoy exploring the blog and please do ask me questions or add your own comments and thoughts as to the work you see to the ideas, materials and processes explored in the coming months.
In this first blog I have outlined the background to the prosposal. In my subsequent blogs I shall be uploading a mixture of photographs or video files of the various Aluminium panels used and the drawing and painting approaches explored.
As an artist I am always challenging my own ideas, approaches and methods in creating my work. To quote myself, “I suppose I am looking to reinvent myself, my artwork“, and I suppose it is this that the direction I have taken with my latest bodies of work, entitled ‘Passing through’ and ‘Purblind’ which has lead to me to this stage of explore the surfaces I work upon.
I recently was successful in an application when applying for funding from the ‘Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards: South of Scotland 2014-15 in partnership with Creative Scotland’, seeking funding to purchase various aluminium panels as a drawing and painting surface to research, experiment and execute works which fuses oil and water based mediums.
Recently my drawings and paintings have focused on the geomorphology of the land, particularly of the Highlands of Scotland having spent various excursions to this geological rich environment. My process is to document through photography relevant landscapes and environments before developing the work back in the studio.
However, one key aspect to the visits is to gather a physical memory. Whilst walking I will collect rocks from the various strata layers. These rocks become a physical aspect to the work, acting, both as a memory for when I am back in the studio, but they also become an intrinsic tool in the making of the work; Pounding and dragging the stones across the surface of the paper, moving the wet paint and graphite on the page, creating various marks, echoing the scarring and shaping of the landscape.
These recent works have all been produced on paper, using a smooth textured surface, often a Hot Pressed paper. These are then placed against a hard surface, such as the studio wall to be worked. But this type of paper also has its drawbacks. I often work with a mixture of oil-based and water-based materials, creating unpredictable marks and results. When working with oils, on unprimed paper, the oil can seep into the paper and you loose a richness of colour, but also, over time, the paper can start to rot. Priming is a solution, but this means that the paper surface has a layer of gesso and therefore does not allow for a soft staining effect that is achieved through an unprimed surface.
Having been awarded funding to explore various surfaces of aluminium panels, I decided on three type of surfaces and through three suppliers, they are:
Jacksons Art: Prepared aluminium panels
Cut Plastic Sheeting. Dibond Aluminium panels
“Coated on both sides with a special lacquer, these aluminium composite sheets can be printed upon directly, effectively and with extremely vivid clarity. Dibond is a sheet of plastic sandwiched between two sheets of aluminium. As each and every sheet is coated on both sides printing can be accomplished on either of its surface. This is especially handy as each sheet has one matte surface and one glossy one; allowing you to pick the one which will best suit your purposes.”
Click Metal and AP Fitzpatrick: Using ‘Raw’ aluminium panels and purchasing both an oil and acrylic primer to prepare the surface.