10th Jan- spent day in Tim Johnson’s Painting Methods & Materials Workshop –

The morning session covered the supports and grounds for painting, and the afternoon covered the paints and mediums. Tim was brill.

The workshop led me to consider the colours I’m using. –> Prussian blue was the 1st synthetic colour to be discovered by Dr.Driesbach in 1704. This colour was made lightfast (doesn’t fade in light) in the 1700s. –> advancements in paint as material. I’m interested in how certain colours have different effects over the pictorial surface, drawing the eye to the image in varied ways. — MATERIAL 

–> Prussian blue has always been a dominant colour within my work. I’m looking at how colour palette can be emblematic for an artist’s brand. –-> Anish Kapoor’s patent of the blackest shade of black. Klein’s ‘International Klein Blue’- beyond the void. Klein adopted this shade as a means of evoking the insignificance of his own utopian vision of the world.– BRAND & COLOUR

Could be interesting to make my own pastels and shades of colour – Tim showed us a few recipes and methods. The obvious issue is it is a v time consuming process to produce small amounts of paint. – Not ideal for my very expressive, large-scale style work. I like to be prolific in my methodology, layering acrylic paint so the work can dry fast, for me to continue to layer and layer into for maximum depth on surface. — MATERIAL

Despite the contrast to how I work, I was interested in how much emphasis Tim placed on the careful nature of creating and smoothing the grounds for the canvas/board. –> demonstrates the skill that can go into the medium of paint.–> Something I’m considering for my CRP, how skill and craft have been lost on the modern day artist. Do these skills even matter anymore when all this modern technology can do the job for us, ie 3-D printers!? –> Why are artist’s still choosing to work in potentially obsessive and precise/ technical ways? — TECHNIQUE

Tim explained about some technical issues for certain types of aquitex paint years ago, a couple of their colours didn’t last, and ended up coming off as powder when the paint was touched —>  Bridget Riley –> was one of the artists affected by this. She lost paintings due to this technical issue.– LONGEVITY

This led me to consider the longevity of work. Whether work should actually be restored in a different time period. Should we be tampering with natural changes. Does failure in material actually add beauty to the work? –> Relates back to the failures in technology (glitch art) I was previously looking at for my imagery —-> Nothing lasts forever.  –>Retaining an organic process to the work. LONGEVITY

The materiality of paint is key within my practice. –> I also have an interest in the progression of time changing the physicality of paintings. Anselm Kiefer’s surfaces physically changed during their existence, a reflection of his reactions to the changing Germany he was living in. — MATERIAL

Reactionary processes. –> prevalent in my practice. I react to my surroundings & to my frustrations with the current disposable imagery available on the internet/social media.

Preservation is a key word for me at the mo. Preservation VS Transformation ??

There’s a confusion for me, as I hope to preserve painting as a craft, but also transform it’s aesthetic and status within our heavily digital society.

Lastly, Tim talked about another impact the Industrial Revolution had on the medium, (relevant to my recent research!). With the expansion of the dying industry, workers found they could make massive amounts of pigments. This process grew and grew and artists caught on, utilising this advancement in society within their practices — INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS



Abigail Moffat