Friday, March 25, 2011

Every Day is Wednesday

Before my last piece (Nautilus) was even completed, I was already working on a new piece that took a really long time to gel. Is it old age that images no longer just pop into my head? Or just proof of the fallicy of multitasking?

In any event,Wednesday was initially a real struggle--countless thumbnails in my sketchbook, on the proverbial napkin in restaurants, and even in meeting notes at the office. I had a vague concept in my head--which is not the best way to create art. I also had segments of images. I needed a human subject but didn't want to resort to another self-portrait. I wanted a new challenge but was concered about the fact that, while improving, I still don't really have completed control of the egg tempera medium down yet. That could also be a good thing.

Then, in a blinding flash it dawned on me--why not ask my neice to pose. We had a great time doing a photo shoot. In a happy accident, her new kitten, Lucy, wandered onto our set and added another dimension. Here you can see a prelimary study and the final drawing in a near completed state.

Wedesday is about sequence, seriality, and the passage of time--as well as notions of obscuring and revealing images needed to advance the narrative as well as to explore more fully the process of working in egg tempera. In this medium you build a painting from many veils of color and paint--sometimes obscuring and sometimes revealing. This work is both a metaphor and a demonstration of that process. Time will tell how successful that will be. I was brought back to the need to work in a "multiple" format while executing my piece, A Meditation on the Stations of the Cross, completed in 2008. Then I saw the Chuck Close printmaking retrospective in DC last summer and this need was cemented in my brain.

This is the largest piece I have attempted in this medium and to keep from going insane will be incorporating techniques learned from Koo Schadler (check out her site at as well as suggestions gleaned from Robert Vickrey's book, New Techniques in Egg Tempera. Stay tuned.