This past summer, on a dreary Saturday, Dean and I finally got around to taking the boys to West Jefferson, North Carolina to see the fresco paintings housed in a couple of old Episcopal churches in the area. We had just finished our Artist Study on Michaelangelo in school, and I wanted to take the boys to see some fresco paintings in real life since Michaelangelo was known for these types of paintings. My goal is to bring our homeschool lessons to life as often as possible, and thankfully, some frescos were within an hour’s drive from where we live!
Fresco paintings are where paint pigments, usually in powdered form, are mixed into wet plaster and applied to a wall. The plaster has to be kept wet as the artist paints because once it dries, the paint is set and the painting can’t be changed in any way. They can cut portions of the dried plaster out and redo that section, but you’ll see lines in the final painting where that happened. I’m told that frescos take a great deal of effort.
Anyway, here are some photos of our day exploring the frescos in West Jefferson. I also want to say that everyone working in the churches were extremely nice and helpful as well. They went above and beyond to explain things to the boys about how frescos are made and about the history of these particular paintings.
You can learn more about the frescos, the churches, and the artist, Ben Long, on the Ashe County Frescoes Foundation web site.