AL GRAY ORIGINALS
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A while ago we featured the beautiful works of Al Gray, illustrator turned artist. His work with leading publications alongside the grittier urban publications has led to a unique style, both free-flowing and very sharp.
A background in antique restoration, especially gilding, has aided in producing work not only with great creativity, but also with fantastic technical ability. His work in restoration has also inspired an understanding of traditional methods and practices that underpin these new works.
A set of 4 panels, these new pieces are derived from his earlier 'Tattoo' series and have blurred the partition between traditional and contemporary. The pitched pine panels themselves are recovered from old church pews, no longer being used, which happily coincides with the religious aspects of the subject matter. These panels are then built up with gesso and a polished bole and then water gilded with a 22 carat gold leaf. The gold leaf is then polished into the bole to set it and further distressed to reveal the rich red bole beneath. To create the figure, Impasto is built up in layers, sanded and finished with oil paint. The whole panel is then finished with a handmade varnish which seals the piece.
A very complicated process, yet the effort put in more than makes up for the quality of the finished product. Please take a look at the rest of his work, and if possible, come and see them in the flesh at our Burnham Market gallery.