Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hello! We have been really busy here at HQ. I finished the dragon lady painting and started a couple others a few days ago. I will post the newest ones shortly. The dragon lady is painted with ground pigments and egg yolk on poplar boards. Egg tempera is one of the earliest forms of paint, I think the paint before that was rocks scraped on cave walls and charcoal mixed with spit. Thank goodness we don't have to do that. Tempera is one of the most satisfying paints to work with, the colors are intense (pure pigment, no filler) dries really fast, and you can scrape layers, revealing colors underneath (or whatever color you tinted your board). Now, it has some drawbacks, you have to mix fresh paint every other day if you have any left over,and it must be refridgerated! The stench that comes off of spoiled tempera is profoundly rank. I feel like an alchemist when I paint with it because of all the little accoutrements that i've made; little spoons for dipping yolk and fancy glass bottles for the pigment-quite magical. Anyway, I encourage everyone to try it. A version can be made with watercolor (tube is best) and egg yolk (break open the egg, seperate the white into another container, rinse the yolk in water careful not to burst it, then pop the yolk sac into a cup and add a little water to thin out just a little. The yolk sac is goopy and should be removed because it clumps up your paint. A paint called 'glaire' can be made with the whites mixed with watercolors, which was used to paint illuminated manuscripts. It is transparent and glossy and fun to experiment with if you want to feel like a medieval monk. The effect is like acrylic gloss medium thats thinned down but rewettable. Enough shop talk! Life is good in Asheville, the weather is nice, and theres no traffic to speak of.

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