Reminiscing Original Metalpoint 24K Gold and platinum 28cm x 20cm

Gordon’s inspiration: ”I view my art as a constantly evolving process – always striving to discover new techniques in my chosen medium of metalpoint. This not only involves tinkering with the formula for my unique drawing ground (the undercoat required to transfer metal to the paper) but also changes in the way the drawing technique and testing different metals. Often one affects the other. The impetus to create my own drawing grounds initially stemmed from the inability of commercial silverpoint grounds to handle 24K gold. There have now been 20 different formulae – each being an improvement on the last in some aspect of the drawing process. Some additives maximise the lustre of gold, others increase tonal range. As a result of many years of experimentation it seems that I have developed a universal ground on which every known painting and drawing medium can be used to effect – even though I had not set out initially to achieve this. The last pure metalpoint still life that I drew was a single commission back in February 2021, and the one prior to that was done two years previously, also on commission. “Reminiscing” incorporates a number of innovations and variations in technique that occurred in the intervening period.

Since one of my reasons for doing a still-life was to test out the new techniques that I had used in my recent figure drawings, I deliberately chose a composition that included four very different textures and surfaces – the delicate rose petals, the soft woven lace, the hard-edged transparent crystal, and most difficult of all – the long row of pearls. As in the figure drawings that feature pearls, they tend to consume more drawing time than any other element. This is because the subtle light shifts in each pearl are very difficult to achieve in a medium that is essentially non-correctable and is not able to be smudged or blended. The monochrome “Reminiscing” makes an interesting comparison with the similarly themed colourized goldpoint “Rose Perfume”.

Original metalpoint drawing by ARC Living Master Gordon Hanley.

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