I admit, I’m exaggerating, it’s not THAT difficult. Happily. But the mathematics I need these days is more then I can bear.
Mathematics. And Chemistry. Oooooh how I hated these words in high school! Then again: I hated high school, period.
I wanted to go to the Art school, but had to finish my ‘regular’ high school first. ‘Because if you change your mind later on, you’ll still be able to go to university” my caring parents said.
I don’t like science. I love mystery, and fantasizing. I don’t have to know how everything works, I like to be surprised and happy that something does work. What fun do you have seeing a magic trick, if somebody told you before how it works?
Well, that was my world in high school. Now that I’m making my own paint, to my surprise and disguise, I need Chemistry as well as Mathematics. But I wasn’t good in both. I studied Modern Languages because of that (and because I thought that was the only skill I could use later on in life). But now: how can I make a 40% solution, out of the leftovers from a 50% solution? I had no idea. And I didn’t want to start from scratch again because that means I have to spoil some material. Of course it wasn’t the most logical solution, and I didn’t had any clue how to find the correct one.
Then it crossed my mind: oh, wait a minute… Dee (my husband), studied, uhm, chemistry. And he “bragged” on a family party lately, how good he used to be in mathematics in high school. (He has a completely different career now). So: Dee, help!?
A blacker black part 2. As I wrote in part 1, Semple’s coworker asked me if I had already made something with my coal paint. I was working on a few pieces, sent some intermediate pictures and worked like mad to demonstrate outcomes. I managed to finish them a couple of weeks ago.
But it’s difficult to show the result. A photograph does not reflect how dark, how matt that paint is. Therefor I also made videos, but they’ve been made with the same small camera (no reflex). It continuously wants to add light.
Paint with coal from Zolder
I made this painting with paint I made with coal from the last Belgian coalmine, Zolder; and some Black 2.0. I attached a little ceramic ‘coal vessel’ as in my ceramic Saint Barbara’s. In real life, with moderate light (*) and from a little distant, you don’t see there’s something attached to the canvas, it just seems to be a circle.
I explain which paints I used in the different parts of this canvas, in the video below. Please select the 1080HD quality.
(Click here to watch the video directly in YouTube)
My blackest black piece of art so far
is this Saint Barbara, entitled “In the name of my father, my grandfather and their friends” f2/07, Acylics and coal on earthenware, An Vanderlinden, 2017.
You don’t want to know how many hours it took me before it looked like this. Black 2.0 is very matte, and very difficult to ‘enlighten’. The difference between plain acrylic and Black 2.0 is huge. To get transitions between light and dark, I mixed Black 2.0 with plain black paint, and with matte medium. But wet paint is shiny, so the result was never predictable. Layers, lots of layers until I had the desired effect.
So the “luminous” parts in this work are plain black paint, diluted with ordinary mediums. Only for a few accents I used gloss medium, and some coal on top, but you can see that kind of details in the short video below (Click here to watch the video directly in YouTube – please select the 1080HD quality)
Black. I have a lot to say about it, so to be continued. But not now: I really need to work in my studio.
(*) If you put a spotlight on it, it seems to be grey. So there’s still a lot of work todo before Black 2.0 comes near nanoblack.
It’s un-be-lievable that it’s sooooo long ago since I wrote about my black, while I’m working on it day and night. Time to bring you up to speed. Well, almost up to speed. Here’s a short version of a few months testing and developing black paint. Part 1 of the story.
My own black pigment, is…
I’ve already revealed in my review of Black 2.0, that I have “my own black pigment”, which is more black then Ivory Black. But I didn’t told you what it was then, time to do that now. My own black pigment is made of … (hold your horses, I’m trying to create some suspense over here)… it… (annoying silence) … is (more annoying silence) … drumroll … … coal!
OK, I admit, you easily could have guessed that one yourself, if you know my work.
I planned for a long time to make paint with coal as a pigment, but it was the arrival of Black 1.0 and Super Base which finally got me into actually doing it. 25 Years ago, I visited the last Belgian coalmine during it’s last months, and I took ‘some’ coal with me to use in artworks. I still have this coal, but the biggest piece is falling apart. Now I took the small pieces that came of, and grinded them in order to make acrylic paint. With Semple’s Super Base, as well as with ‘regular’ binding agents.
The first results where disappointing, but along the way I got myself a beautiful paint. Odd enough, more brown then black. Dark brown. Very dark when I combine layers, but brown.
OK, I have to admit, I’ve got it a little bit longer then today :) but it’s only recently in the press (lots of Stuart Semple interviews), and I really didn’t had the time to write.
So it arrived, Black 2.0! Stuart Semple used the feedback he received from artists all over the world to improve his Black 1.0 beta, and came with a better, darker, blacker black.
It’s a pre-mixed bottle this time, and his mail said it’s the most pigmented, flattest, mattest, black acrylic paint in the world.
I did some tests the minute my package arrived: made it from the front door to my studio in 0.5 seconds ;-).
No comprehensive report this time, instead I made a little movie about a black rabbit:
Tadaaa, here are the results of the tests I did with Stuart Semple’s Black v 1.0 (beta). It’s the most matt, black art material at this moment available for everyone (except for Anish Kapoor).
Blackest Black test – part 1
I started with the beginning (yep, sometimes I do make sense ;-): I mixed the paint. The delivered material consisted out of a box with powder and a bottle with liquid (base). The whole point of this black paint is that base, which is called “SuperBase”. And it IS a Super Base! It takes much more pigment then every other base I tried. But I’m not that thrilled about the delivered black pigment, so I searched for something better.
Last year, Anish Kapoor acquired exclusive rights(*) to the “blackest black”, aka Vantablack. Anish who? Great. Forget the man’s name. Vantablack is un-be-lie-vable, it absorbs 99.96% of all light, but he patented it so nobody else except himself can use that black to create art. He patented a colour. What did he made with it so far? A watch. A very, very expensive watch.
That made the British artist Stuart Semple SO angry, he decided to share the colours he has been developing for himself. He first started to share ‘’The World’s Pinkest Pink”, but in meanwhile he also launched “The World’s yellowest yellow”, the greenest green and the most glittery glitter.
Colours which are also unbelievable, and CAN be used by everybody. Correction: by everybody, except by Anish Kapoor. You can read it everywhere on his web shop: “By adding this product to your cart you confirm that you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this paint will not make it’s way into the hands of Anish Kapoor.”
So Stuart Semple shares his colours with the whole world, except with that one fucking egoist who doesn’t want to share his black. Read more →