Live Painting At Workplace Trends : Second Hand Daylight

A recurring theme at last week’s Workplace Trends Spring Summit was the importance of natural daylight. It came up time after time during the morning session, and we were fortunate that the conference room at The Royal College of Obstetricians has huge floor to ceiling windows, through which flows a lot of light.

Several people remarked that they thought it odd I had chosen to set myself up as far from the natural light source as was possible. I picked this space to work in, largely because it felt ‘out of the way’, and the irony of the darker corner was not lost on me. This photograph of my temporary studio doesn’t look all that dark – but it gives you a sense of the space I chose.

During the morning I had begun blacking out a canvas which you can see on the left hand side in the above photo. After lunch, I worked on this piece with more intent, applying more paint, scraping and scratching as I went. At some point in the afternoon I decided to have some fun with being in the darker corner, and I took out some gilding paste and gold leaf. I frequently use metal leaf in my work but this was the first time I’d done so live. Gold leaf is thinner than the human breath – and the slightest movement of air causes it to waft uncontrollably. I had a lot of fun relaxing and trying to use the gentlest of draughts to help me move the gold leaf into place.

The reflections from the leaf juxtaposed on the black canvas represent ‘Second Hand Daylight’ and together they are a nod to the darker corner where I chose to work. These two photos are of the work in situ during conference.

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These last two photographs are of the work back at the ranch. Though it may not look like it, I’ve done a lot more work on this piece since the event, adding more and more black to the front and edges of the canvas. I will add a coat of matt varnish soon and the piece will be finished and put up for sale..

Second Hand Daylight

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