Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Charcoal Dust








Space Like Black Velvet Series 2 
The Potential Irradiation of Particles as Tulipa 'Triumph' 
charcoal with watercolour wash on paper
70 x 50 cm
2012
Coral G Guest




THE PRISTINE ARTWORK


Having developed the use of charcoal and watercolour wash in combination, since 1974, I look back upon a long personal and professional history. 

A few years ago, I sought the advice of a kindly and well known charcoal artist on their use of fixative, as I did not generally employ it. I received the most helpful advice, but in the end decided against using the fixative, as it had the effect of turning the dark black of charcoal into more of a satin-like surface, which reflects light. I felt this was not my style. I sustained my original practice, wherein I had already determined a way to create the blackness of the charcoal as an entirely stable mat surface. 

In addition to this, the eternal problem with charcoal is that it will drop dust. After it is framed, the drawing may shed this charcoal powder continuously. This powder then accumulates within the lower inside edge of the frame, between the artwork and the glass. Framed artworks of the experienced charcoal artist tend not to reveal this kind of problem. The management and elimination of this problem, during the creation of the work, is a sign that the artist understands their medium well enough to stop the build up of fall-out dust before it actually happens. 

I am often asked by Collectors to comment on the charcoal techniques of other artists, and I always decline to comment. Discernment is a personal choice, and can be achieved by comparing works by different artists in the way an art historian might do. Artists themselves tend to enjoy talking about their work and often welcome questions about their process. The Collector has the task of reassuring themselves that the work they are purchasing is authentic in its understanding of a technique.


'Charcoal has a nature that is rich in its darkness.

I have named this Space Like Black Velvet.

If this velvety texture of the darkness is not preserved, the surface of the drawing loses the sense of space it creates. Consequently, the image located within the black then appears rather like an object falling backwards into darkness. However, if the mat blackness is maintained, the image has the sense of emerging from a dark space. The discerning eye and mind will always recognise the difference between these two momenta.

I offer my monochrome drawings as a representation of my experimental techniques, when I feel they are developed enough to represent my ideas. I see myself as the the first artist to develop the combination of mixed media to create a dark space for a light image of a flower, which is held and emerges from the darkness of space. 

This is a rare subject to think through,and it is based upon my need to investigate how form relates to, and is inseparable from, space. I understand how my ideas connect to the techniques I have developed. This is not simply a superficial issue, it is a profound awareness that holds a monumental meaning for me. I am aware that this work has been seen by many of my contemporaries, who are perhaps now beginning to look deeper into the meaning of light and dark, possibly by following this lead'. 

Coral G Guest 2015

This quote is the copyright of the artist Coral G Guest and may not be copied or used without permission.


See the Drawings website for more









                       Space Like Black Velvet Series 2 
                    The Irradiation of Particles as Tulipa 'Triumph' 
                    charcoal with watercolour wash on paper
                    90 x 70 cm

                    2012
                    Coral G Guest