Anis Crofts


FEBRUARY 22, 2014

Jill Hooper and I took a trip to Asheville to watch our good friend Christopher Holt paint his first solo full scale fresco.  Fresco is an ancient technique of laying wet plaster mixed with lime and painting into it, as it dries, with pure pigment mixed with water.  It is true Alchemy. When the plaster dries, it seals in the colors like a wet wall tattoo.  The pigments change color throughout the drying process, sometimes before your very eyes.

After doing a half dozen color studies, a full scale black and white cartoon, and mixing and testing colors, he lays the plaster and begins the process.

Christopher has been assisting Ben Long on his fresco projects for 10 years.  It is quite an undertaking, but also such a wonderfully satisfying experience to work with a group of artists, like an orchestra, everyone playing their essential parts.  I have assisted on two frescos myself, and cant wait for the next one that will begin this fall.....Grinding color by hand with morter and slab, pouncing with sinopia pigment, watching the plaster and lime go up.  The whole experience of using all the materials in their rawest state.

Wetting the wall down.......

People came by throughout the day to show their support, including Ben Long, our teacher, mentor, and friend.

and Voila! Now we will watch it over the next couple of weeks as it changes....