Wednesday, 18 September 2013

"...but Fresco is something else"


I spent a lovely day invited to participate at a local faire. Still intent on getting some exposure for Lime painting I took along a few of my fragments. It is always a pleasure for me to find ways of keeping a spotlight on this subject. What should be a well known technique, in Italy at least, has become a vague memory of times gone by. Sometimes someone will try and rain on your parade, perhaps only to look knowledgable on all subjects. One lady chirped, " Is that Lime painting?" I replied it was, already guessing where she was heading from the tone of her voice. She wistfully added " ahhhh yes, but Fresco is something else." What I was expected to reply was lost on me...she had clearly missed my intention. I agreed with her and while she began to tell me of her work experience I went over to the gentleman who wanted information on Lime painting. 

Lime painting isn't Fresco, neither is it Encaustic, just as Tempera isn't Oil painting. I sound trite, but seriously, all techniques it can be argued are born from the use of other techniques, which were then found to offer better solutions for specific works. This is the case for Fresco painting just as it became for Lime painting. They are different and you may prefer one over the other. The advantages of Lime painting is specific to domestic decoration and while it may have derived from Fresco- it proved to be useful to decorative painters who wanted to offer suitable solutions in both important and lesser known commissions, while keeping things functional to purpose. One of the biggest differences I see is that while Fresco is a fascinating method, it does not risk being forgotten, on the other hand decorative slaked lime painting has little or no coverage, moreover neither do the formal styles that derived from it's use. My aim is simply to present the idea that perhaps this technique deserves some further investigation and if this happens I hope to be involved.