A E London Gallery
Evolution through Exploration and Discovery
In 2005, I began the new series of work that you see here. After years of developing my engraved art, my physical limitations and the ever-present urge to create art, led me to return to working in charcoal on large paper. That led to added media such as watercolor, pastel and gouache. New ways to express line quality, depth of field, and emotion opened up to me- the studio was soon full of my experiments until the day I chose to exhibit a lion on paper. The response was immediate and I never looked back. In fact, the next evolution included working on canvas with the same media but with the addition of coffee, the canvas being textured and organic looking.
The texture on canvas is achieved by applying a Venitian style plaster made of combined gesso and mineral powder, and spontaneously scoring the still wet material with sticks, combs, quills, a jawbone picked up while in Africa, and an old fencing foil. No plan is in mind when making these marks- the effect depends on experience, serendipity and a willingness on my part to let the phenomenon of pigment pulled by gravity to lead the artistic dialogue a bit. The use of coffee is ancient- dating back to the Egyptians- but I'll admit I came across it in the African bush when I ran out of "normal" pigment. Again, discovery was thrust upon this artist- and I now teach young artists the value of letting go of some of the control- and letting the muse do its work.
Latest Works from A E London
In an effort to keep my collector family up to date on the pieces as they happen, we have introduced this section. Periodically new work will be added with dimensions, media and cost. Inquiries are welcome any time- don't feel you have to wait for my next swing through your area!
Ancient and Unusual : A.E.London's Process
Originally developed in the 14th century in Italy and Germany, Intaglio, meaning "cut line", is an intensely demanding medium employing a sharp burin or in my case, a blade, incising each line by hand. Varying widths, cross cutting, and occasionally drilling numbers of pin prick depressions are various techniques I used to create the image in my mind. Each piece is slowly built, from an empty, pitch black, field of "casein" (an ancient pigment derived from raw cows milk) on the surface, then cut line by line and freehand, gradually revealing the white substrate of reconstituted limestone below. Each line is irreversible and therefore must be exactly placed and measured, to bring the engraved image to life. There are no mistakes allowed, as incisions are permanent, making this one of the riskiest methods of creating art.
The intricacy and difficulty of Intaglio is why governments use it for printing their currencies. This slow build up of lines allows for a depth of tone and detail not found in any other method. Adding to the difficulty, working from dark to light complicates the approach, as most other artforms depend on adding something darker to something lighter. This unique reversal of creative thought brought me to explore the phenomenon of light in a way that has served me well in other media.
As I matured, the strain of creating in this ancient method became too painful on my hands and I returned my focus to the mixed media techniques I use today. Thus, all those years of intensely studying light and shadow have translated to my new work, in which, as much pigment is removed as is added. As in Art itself, the evolution of my work continues.
Each piece you see in this section belongs to an edition of 300, is individually signed, and comes with its own legend describing my inspiration when confronted with my wild subject. Though web site views are not the best way to appreciate the intricacy, and depth of the image produced using this ancient technique, I invite you to the experience the mystery that originally inspired me to devote 25 years to mastering it.