About Lazure Painting
Lazure painting was introduced by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). It is a painting technique in which layers of translucent colour are brushed in a rhythmic lemniscate (figure of 8 movements) on to a white base.
It is the only decorative paint finish available that can replicate how we experience colour in nature. The conjunction of light and darkness in the world around us always makes us see and experience colour in movement, in interplay or in transition. We do not find anywhere in nature, the flat monotone colour of opaque painted walls that is so prevalent today in people's homes and work places.
Over the last thirty years, lazure painted environments have shown and proven to be a positive contribution towards a person's physical and mental well-being. The use of natural bio degradable paints guarantees that no petrochemicals, hydrocarbons or any other volatile organic compounds pollute the environment. The phenomenon known and characterised by the World Health Organisation as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is due to poor air circulation resulting in a build-up of contaminants. On the National Health Service website the list of ailments includes headaches, nausea, fatigue etc. Buildings that are most prone to risk include offices, schools, libraries and museums as they are occupied by lots of people. The use of products that leave no environmental toxins plays a significant role in protecting people from aggravating pollutants. To decorate with plant resin paints is the first step in regard to health with lazure painting. However, on the list of risk factors associated with sick building syndrome, not only are airborne pollutants of concern but also psychological factors, such as stress or poor staff morale. Here lazure painting can make a tremendous improvement to how people feel at work or in their home. We can use colour to support us in what we are doing. Colour can bring warmth, coolness, activity and stillness and it is only with the lazure method of painting that you will see colour transition seamlessly from one to another. There are unlimited creative possibilities. In a lazure painted interior, layers of translucent colour fluctuate with natural light as it reflects back from the white surface, creating subtle changes in shade and hue. The walls now have a colour perspective, interplay of colour and a movement of colour through its direct relationship with light itself. This brings a 'life' quality into our surroundings, just as it is when we observe and experience nature.
This is why lazure painted interiors can have such a natural feel to them. Our visual sensations are soothed and we breathe a little easier.
"At Blackthorn Medical Centre we have decorated all the rooms with the lazure technique, which initially is more costly than emulsion painting, but has proved to last a good 10 – 16 years without redecoration, depending on the room usage.
Gary Chippendale has done many of the rooms for us with very pleasing results. The colours are clear, strong without being overly intense, many with very sensitive and subtle colour transitions. Patients, visitors and staff are all impressed with the results and find the atmosphere created very helpful in therapeutic work.
Gary is punctual, willing to work around the situation and at hours to suit his client. He leaves the spaces being worked in a clean and well-ordered state, keeps all equipment stored neatly, and most importantly listens sensitively to his clients requirements and does his best to fulfil them. He conducts his work in a polite, cooperative and professional manner."
Hazel Adams: Art Therapist, Blackthorn Medical Centre, Maidstone, Kent.