Canvas by Foundry
In early November I found myself in a small, dark, room. Its windows blacked out to keep unwanted “predators” at bay. I found it slightly claustrophobic and it stank!
The smell wasn’t bad though. More sweet and sickly than rotting flesh (I’d obviously been watching too many Chinese “ripper” films that week) and it was a smell I recognised and had even grown accustomed to over the last couple of years, it was paint, aerosol paint.
In the middle of the room fixed firmly to an artist’s easel was a large, white, blank canvas. The surrounding surfaces were all covered with cans and tins, brushes and nozzles and a few unsavoury looking rubber gloves.
On the floor, directly beneath the easel was a small compressor rapped up in its own cable and a small stool.
I love artist’s studios. I love the clutter, the smell, the alien like artifacts scattered around. To most at best they’re a mess, to me they’re a cornicopia of ideas and energy that’s spilled over onto every surface, they’re interesting places, incredibly tactile places. So tactile in fact that if I sat down, I’d be sitting in it!
Foundry walks in. Foundry is the artist name of the 30 something dark, brooding man now stood in front of me. His “Writer” name comes from the world of Graffiti, which he is a huge part of. I’ve seen him paint massive walls with the precision of a heart surgeon. Just swapping scalpel for spray can. Perhaps using aerosol is even more skillful, think about it for a moment. At least a Surgeon comes into contact with his patient, not so when your using spray paint. There’s always that literal, physical gap between the end of the nozzle and the surface you’re painting on!
His name Foundry comes from his long association with Sheffield, a city well known, or at least it was well known in the past for its prolific steel production which was created in places known as “Foundries” They came in all shapes and sizes dotted about the Steel City.
I’m here in foundry's studio to document his painting of the previously mentioned blank canvas. He’s going to paint a hand, a Climbers hand. The fingers tightly curled around a tiny edge. He chose the subject because the painting is going to be given to a charity auction held by outdoor clothing manufacturer Marmot to raise funds for Climbers Against Cancer (CAC) hence the climbing theme.
I guess you could say I have a vested interest in the process, as its actually one of my photographs that Foundry has chosen to use as a base for his painting. The image was taken just outside Sheffield at a crag known as Ravens Tor in the Peak District and the hand belongs to my friend and one of the UK’s best climbers, Neil Mawson on a boulder problem called "Bens Roof" V9/7c+
Rather than try and explain the process of painting with Aerosol I’ll let you hear it straight from Foundry and let you have a small glimpse of how to paint with "Air" I hope ypu enjoy watching the short video - Cheers Tim