Sunday, July 28, 2013

Painting with mud

I’ve “discovered” painting with mud.

(Gasp! horror- I usually work digitally)

How did this come about?
Well I have just been to Dollar Summer School.
(Few outside the central belt of Scotland know about this unique school - now in its 54th year. Its run by a group of art teachers and operates out of purpose built Art centre at Dollar Academy thanks to a £1million donation by a former grateful pupil who made his fortune doing the graphic design for Macdonald hamburger).

Feeling frustrated with traditional watercolours I began to look around for some new materials to paint with.

As  a long time admirer of Richard Long and AndyGoldsworthy I wondered whether the answer might lie in going right back to our roots: to the earth that primitive Man first used to decorate their caves.

So I dug up some up from the garden and experimented.

Our class tutor, wildlife artist Clare Harkess, offered encouragement and support though the rest of the class were somewhat bewildered.

Mud behaves like ink with the added bonus that you can change the consistency -and it’s free!

And the images?  I find myself creating a whole menagerie of strange mythical creatures that look as if they have erupted from the bowels of the earth during some volcanic explosion.

As we hurtle into the 21st century into a future that none of us can imagine it is a reminder of where we have come from…and may one day return.

There are many web sites devoted to the genre of mud paintings and working with unusual materials. Just google it.