This week I have been working away on the Bissoe paintings, both the big 42" x 50" works and the smaller, 8" square works.
I believe that one of them is finished, or at least I stopped working on it for this week - in fear of overworking it.
I have been attempting to add more depth and shape to the second painting, which I did overwork previously and thus have been trying to pare it back a little bit with simple blocks of colour.
The third painting in the Bissoe collection was in the early stages at the beginning of this week with only two or three layers, however it has come on over just a couple of days.
I don't want to do too much to this one. I'm trying to loosen the mark making up a bit in advance of the next series I embark on.
Alongside applying layers to my paintings, I began the process of drying out some of my pigment samples in preparation to use in glaze recipe tests at Brickworks.
After they had dried out, over the course of a day and a night, the dried fragments were ground in a pestle and mortar ready to use as pigment in a powdered form in the glaze recipes I was wanting to try.
At my second session on the glaze making course at Brickworks, we worked together to make up big batches of base glazes following recipes that Rose had given us. I made a transparent glossy glaze, but we made a matt finish glaze, too.
Once the glaze bases were made up, we worked on our own to add colourants in increments to create a line blend of test tiles. I used my BI01 pigment that I had brought with me to the session, collected from the waste mining sites around Bissoe, but others used materials such as chromium, copper, cobalt and nickel.
I'm looking forward to seeing, next week, what colour changes these mineral based pigments undergo when fired in a kiln to such high temperatures.
The end of the week in the studio I spent completely immersed in my paintings, working on both my big and small canvas' but also starting some works on wooden panel.
It was interesting to note how my paint adheres differently to the wood in comparison to the canvas - and how areas can be rubbed or scraped away even after application, which isn't achievable on canvas.
Something that has been taking up a lot of my time has been the painting I felt I had overworked earlier in the week. On the Tuesday, I thought I may have ruined it for good but after it had dried overnight it was nowhere near as bad. I turned it upside down and it came to life even more.
I have been trying to save the painting, adding details to create more depth. I figured out a lot - technique wise - from this first painting, so even if it isn't salvageable it's been a great learning experience. Unless I manage to pare it back a bit, this one will get unstretched and the ‘good’ parts of the canvas will be reworked into smaller paintings in order to minimise waste.
I'm heading to Trenoweth Quarry this weekend to collect waste materials for my next set of pigments. I have prepared and stretched my canvas' ready to start this next body of paintings, but using linen as a new surface. I think the white, grey and beige colours I may be able to source from the quarry will look great against the darker surface, rather than raw off-white canvas I have been using so far.