Linen, 24k Gold Leaf and a Soul…
There are many things one thinks about in a painting. Often, it’s how to handle your chosen medium and how to best reveal the light in a three dimensional form on a two dimensional surface. Recently, I read The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant in preparation for my residency in Gwaii Haanas National Park. It caused me to think more deeply about my materials and the link between materials and the work being created and I have a painting in mind that I want to create when I’m back in the studio at the end of June.
Living in my head isn’t fun sometimes. A kajillion thoughts are there at any one time, and the only place I find peace is at the easel. The thought of this idea for a painting has been tugging at me for a month, and in the midst of all the crazy CRA stuff, and getting ready for the monumental trip….still, I couldn’t sleep for wanting to try something out: 24 karat gold leaf on a linen oil painting. In doing some research, I found a few contemporary artists who are working with this on panel…only one I could see so far that was working with it on linen. For thousands of years, classical artists have been using gold leaf to create works, religious icons, embellished architecture.
I spoke with folks from Saskatoon (to source out natural shellac), to New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and finally….in Calgary. Everyone was generous with their ideas, techniques and information on materials. Here in Calgary, I found Jennifer at Mona Lisa Art Supply. Jen knew quite a bit about gold leafing and when I explained to her what I was thinking as far as the conceptual thought for the paintings, she got excited and was very helpful in showing me a few ideas about how to go about it and the technical qualities of what I was proposing to work with.
Last night, I took the plunge in this painting…and am VERY excited with how this is all going!