Dawn Island, mixed-media fresco, 10×10″, 2016, Margaret Keller
As one of my examples of contemporary fresco, I created Dawn Island. The process involved many steps, all of which were totally experimental. The fresco measures 10×10″ and has as its base a wooden panel. The imagery is from my oil painting, Dawn – Bayou Teche, but the image has undergone a transformation.
The process involved first adding three layers of gesso to the panel. Next came thick acrylic paint, applied with a knife, in gradated hues of blues. When this was dry, a layer of plaster was applied, leaving portions of the blue underpainting exposed. When dry, I applied a black and white copy of my original painting (image reversed and printed with toner ink) using a transfer method I developed. After this came various manipulations of the plaster; some was removed or covered up with more acrylic paint. Next were layers of matte medium. I used Photoshop during this process, to try out various compositional options. This is the final result.