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.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I have decided that collage is not my thing. For the past few days I have struggled with a 2'x3' canvas, thinking that this time I could get it. I am totally enamoured with the idea of collage, the concept of using bits and pieces of old artwork to build new images is wonderful to me(look at Claudines beautiful work My brother Andrew gave me two collages before he left and i look at them every day, amazed at the depth and layers of drawing. I don't think he has a website yet, but his blog is and he has a couple of images.

I put the big canvas away and took out my pigments and painting accoutrements. I haven't painted with egg tempera in long time, I thought I would have to learn it all over again, but it came back as if I had never stopped. The pigments are so rich and beautiful, such a pleasure to paint with! I used a new kind today from Guerra Pigments and I have to say, I am smitten with love! These pigments are archival, super smooth and ready to mix into any medium. I use egg yolks for tempera, but gel medium or linseed oil would be great. I was surprised at the tinting strength and how far a small squeeze could go (that means more paint for less money!) okay, enough about how I adore Guerra pigments (the staff are nice and incredibly knowledgeable) the store is in N.Y. but the website will do . All painters should check them out.

Painting is the best cure for anything that ails you! I was in such a funk all week, really crabby and easy to aggravate, but unbelieveably, I am cured of my bad mood. Azalea was really good, playing next to me with her baby dolls (really realistic ones from Berengner toys) trying to feed them and checking their diapers. She was so good today, she used her potty seat! I was ecstatic, of course, dreaming of a day when diapers are a thing of the past. Although recently I keep fiddling around with Azaleas dolls. I think the primitive part of my subconcious is trying to get me to breed. Not yet! Maybe later.

The days pass so quickly. It shocks me when I see how many pass between blog entries! We get so busy making stuff that several days will go by and I haven't left the house once. A touch depressing, since we live in such a beautiful place, but work comes first in this house. Its almost midnight and Greg and I have a date to sprue up more waxes. I painted all day, and I feel giddy with having spent the day so luxuriously. Tomorrow I will make more pieces to cast (our last batch was an amazing sucess, not a single loss! Greg is a magician!) and hopefully they will cast clean. Well, to work I go!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Spent the weekend cleaning and doing laundry. Its been pretty quiet with everyone gone except me and Azalea. Sheila and Andrew made it safely to N.Y. sunday morning and are busy unpacking and settling in to their new apartment. Sheila has a great view of the Empire State building through her bedroom window. I hope to visit them some time this fall. I want to visit this studio called Ten Thousand Things, i love the jewelry and want to see and examine it up close (look too . I find the shapes they use really inspiring....i just wish they were less pricey! I love Heather Wynn's beautiful work so much! I get in the mood to make jewelry the instant i see it! (feel the inspiration Well, back to cleaning house and studio!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Worked on stone beads today, lots of organic shaped labradorites. My favorite stones ever. Our good friends Laura Belkin and Steve Gornick have been staying with us this past week. Laura is from D.C. and is preparing for grad school at an art school in Maryland. Steve is a fabulous musician and we have so been enjoying his stay! I've gotten a little too used to hearing African drums (a djembe) and acoustic guitar played live in my living room. We have been making art in the dining room like crazy! The table is full of paints and jewelry equipment, not to mention cookies,candy, Good stuff. Well, i do not want to see these fine people leave.
Greg is leaving again for another show, this one will be in Madison, Wisconsin. Last week he was in Raleigh, NC. ,which was pretty good, saw lots of friends and favorite customers (all favorite!) . I am staying here helping Andrew and Sheila move to NY. I hoped they would stay longer, but school is starting soon. I really want to go away for a while, somewhere near the sea and work on some projects. GGS will be producing a manual of artful living , a nice book with all sorts of useful stuff to learn: casting resins, mold making and painting techniques, also collage and carving. Plus lots of other fancy things! Well the dishes need washed, and "Peter and the ShadowTheives" await!