I'm not sure if I mentioned that my daughter Sara and her husband brought me artists' pigments from Rouisillon in Provence, France.
I finally started experimenting with the artists pigments last night.
I was up the absolute entire night with insomnia and decided, since I
couldn't sleep, to try doing egg tempera. I'd done some at the MOST (Museum of Science and Technology) as a
workshop for kids, but when I read online about it, I got rather
daunted and fearful, but hey, why not try, I thought.
In the first one, of Keith, I drew an India ink sketch on watercolor
paper which I glued to cardboard. In the second one, I painted
directly on the cardboard.
I was afraid those tiny containers of pigment might only be enough for
a single painting (and if I made oils--that MIGHT be true?), but with
the egg tempera, a tiny bit went a really LONG ways, and in fact, I
had to throw some of it away, as it would have dried before my next
session. The second painting I started to use up the leftover paint
I'd made, and I did not make a sketch ahead, I just painted directly
onto the cardboard. ("carton")
Neither one of them are done yet--the paint is transparent, it requires
several layers and you have wait for it to dry between layers or it
picks up some of what you've already laid down for a patchy effect
(notice Keith's shirt.) I've only used 5 colors so far, green, blue,
black, pale yellow ochre, and fleshy yellow ochre. There are, of
course, a number of other colors, but the process of opening them and
since I don't know what I am doing.
It is interesting (to me, anyway), that when Dave and Julie were here
for the reunion, we went to the Cranbrook art museum and viewed an
exhibition of egg tempera paintings done by Zoltan Sepeshy, a figurative painter, and Wallace Mitchell, an abstractionist, which really impressed me. I did
not like all the pieces, but was excited by maybe about half of them,
and particularly excited by about 10%. They made me interested in trying egg temperas.
Additional reports will probably follow.
and, since I was up all night (literally), I also wrote a poem. Here's how it starts:
A Gift of Nettles
I plunge into a thicket of nettles, nettles so rich
they tower over my head. Even with my arms
clutched . . .
Again, I apologize for some fairly severe formatting issues that I cannot seem to resolve.