This week began with the opening skills 6 workshop and also an individual tutorial. The workshop centered on technical skills involving making a casein primer and using matt structure mediums in acrylics. I found the workshop very interesting, I like the fact that traditional, ancient methods can still be utilised today, which ties in with this idea within my practice of painting being a very conservative and arguably outdated artform in the modern world. I spent the majority of the week experimenting with casein; but none of my attempts to make it in the studio were that successful.
I think another reason I felt inclined to use casein was because it tends to be very transparent and leave a very flexible smooth surface, and I loved the effect of this on plywood. I think my painting practice is starting to move towards working on unconventional surfaces, so I think working onto textured woods and leaving the grain exposed as a starting point is a good idea. In my personal tutorial this week we discussed ways of offsetting traditional mediums/subject matter in minimal ways to create some sort of interest, so I’m looking at artist Micheal Borremans as a starting point for my research. Personally I’m quite drawn to portrait painting because I feel it gives me a very direct way of communicating with a viewer, immediately a human face is recognisable and can produce a reaction.
After the difficulties I had with casein I then mixed up some rabbit skin glue; again, the traditional and relatively cheap nature of the primer meant that I really wanted to use it on some plywood offcuts I managed to find. However, I’m now limited to use of oil paint, which although is arguably more traditional, means the painting process takes more time and if I want to build up lots of layers, it means I can’t really work quickly and make work in quantities. Overall though, I’m happy with the rabbit skin finish and will probably end up using it again.