Sunday, July 10, 2016

I Love You This Much!

Egg Tempera on Panel - 1981

Way back in art school I took a painting class that taught me how to paint with egg tempera. It is how people in Europe painted prior to the invention of oil paint. Basically you suspend powdered pigment in raw egg yolks, with the raw yolk as your medium.

You have to keep your paint in the refrigerator.

If you've never done this, I know it seems counter-intuitive to use the yolk instead of the white, because after all the white is transparent. But the yellow of the yolk doesn't have any effect on the colors. What it does do is offer an amazing shiny glazed quality that is somewhat transparent and allows for many layers that shimmer through one another with natural light.

Most people who paint this way are fairly dainty with their paint handling and tend towards hyper-realism as the technique lends itself to that sort of thing very well by hiding brushstrokes.

The egg tempera paintings I made in 1981 were the opposite of that.

They were very rough and goopy. But then I was having a very rough and goopy time.

This painting was in a two person show at Diego Rivera Gallery in the San Francisco Art Institute.


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