Sunday, June 26, 2011


Today I've completed the drawing to my next big painting. This is to be done on acrylic plastic and needed special priming. This went imperfectly although the results are some of my best. Both of these are excellent news and I have two new tips for my "Spells For Artists" file, the list of how to's that I write and modify each time I learn a new trick...

The trick with any smooth priming using acrylic gesso is the same; apply a thin even coat as quickly as you can, using a sponge to rub and splurge it all over, then use a roller to even it out. A theoretical priming genius could do this in under a minute, which is ideal.

In other news I've made the initial plans for my love reliquary. This will be at least a box in the shape of a gothic arch. Initial considerations for the material were hardwood, steam bent. Layers of veneer. Layers of paper, a long thin pad would be dipped into glue. Papier mache or moulded paper pulp. Polymer clay. Each has pros and cons but before either can be used a mould must be made. The best option for almost all of these ideas is the same, a steel strip bent into an arch shape and held firm so that things can be clamped to it. The materials that require a solid mould will need a second inner strip. Today I marked out some wood with the arch, varnished it then stuck a sheet of glass to it. This will be my base.

The mathematics are important. The arch is golden, having a total height of the width multiplied by the golden ratio. The ogive of sharpness is one; thus the simplest and therefore most beautiful form of pointed arch is made.

It's been very hot today and I'm delaying the start of my tracing. I know it'll be two days work, or one and a half. I think my unconscious aim is to do nothing, which is the perfect motivation to do some work. Perhaps the best thing to do is wait until it's dark and begin late at night. I seem to gain the energy at 10pm to do almost anything!

Other important developments of the day:
1. I entered the Bridport Prize with a short story called The Door. This is the second time I've entered a short story competition and has given me the motivation to write more.
2. I heard Mahler's fifth symphony for the first time and loved it. Mahler has now gone up in my appreciation, after my initial insecurity about his eighth, which I feel a love growing for with each listen. Sibelius is sadly no better, although the fifth is growing slowly. Carl Nielson was initially a superior replacement but after initial optimism at hearing his fifth on the radio I'm uncertain. After listening to each symphony twice I feel unloved.

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