If you thought art was the realm of limp-wristed aesthetes, think again! My arms are aching from lugging the paving stones into the house to ensure they dry off before varnishing. By the time I’ve got the pavement delivered to the gallery, arranged it, packed it up and brought it home again, I’ll be able to beat all comers at arm wrestling. 😉
I had to help speed up the drying process a bit with a hairdryer.
I then had a bit of a wobble about the varnish. I considered doing without varnish at all, but it does increase the contrast and help the leaf prints stand out against the background. It will also help to protect the prints in case anyone does decide to walk on the pavement. 🙂 And I’m not sure how light fast the prints are – I notice that most of the natural prints on the pavement round the corner have now disappeared.
I had a spare test stone where I tried out some yacht varnish, which had a satin finish but was far too shiny. So I moved on to a matt varnish, which was much better (though still with occasional shiny patches). It also tends to emphasise the pimply texture of the stones.
I tried “spot varnishing” the leaves only, leaving the background unvarnished. But that looked too artificial, as if the leaves had just been painted on. So in the end I painted a thin layer of matt varnish over the whole stones.
Now all I have to do is protect the surface of each stone to avoid damage during delivery to the gallery on Wednesday, and spend a couple of hours arranging them.
What is Urban? is organised by South London Women Artists and runs from 26 February to 11 March 2015 at Brixton East Gallery, 100 Barrington Road, London SW9 7JF, 11am-5pm daily.
The private view is on Thursday 26 February, 6.30-9pm – everyone welcome. I will be there for the first hour or so, as I have to go to my bookclub afterwards.