Saturday, August 29, 2009

Egg Tempera

The past few years I've taken up painting in egg tempera, mainly because I've been trying to learn to paint ("write") icons - which are traditionally done in that medium. For those who do not know, egg tempera is using pure powdered pigment and egg yolk as the vehicle, or stuff that makes the pigment viscous. Oil painting uses oil as the vehicle, watercolor water, and so on. Egg tempera fell out of favor with artists by and large when painting on rigid substrates (boards) gave way to painting on canvas. But still many artists use this medium, and some are quite known for it, including the late Andrew Wyeth.

I actually am finding that I like working in egg tempera more than painting in oils these days. It is much more suitable when painting small pictures as it is easier to control and makes less of a mess. The subtlety and layers you can get with it are amazing. Also one of the things that an artist has to take into consideration is storing and selling his work. Smaller works are the way to go for both. Oil paintings, at least how I do them, have to be pretty large for me to get the desired effect, but then they sometimes take a long time to sell, or they take up lots of space. Lastly, there is a peculiar look to egg tempera works that is especially suitable when painting religious scenes, which is what I am doing these days.

You can learn more about Egg Tempera here:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is where the "genius" happens...

Here is my art studio. It is awesome - as big as a two-car garage. I have never had this much space with this much lighting, nice views (not evident in these night time photos), climate control, etc. It is still a work in process. I'll be building a storage space for my paintings and have various stations set up for chemicals, hot plates, etc. Elsewhere on the property I have an area for a wood/mosaic shop, a place to throw pottery if I ever decide to get back into that, and places to store all of this stuff. This is a real blessing from God. An artist, if he is serious, needs dedicated space in which to work and store all of his supplies... a place that is both functional and comfortable. Thanks be to God for this space!

My current "long-range" art projects include a set of the Stations of the Cross, a large crucifix for use in a church, and a picture of St. Francis to be raffled off to raise money for the church. Otherwise I am finishing up a Madonna and Child enthroned and surrounded by angels.