Icon Painting in Egg Tempera
Contact us for class schedules or hosting a workshop at your church, retreat center, or monastic community.
We offer ongoing three week workshops in the Studio in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
on Thursdays and Fridays
Iconography image is structured by lines, colors, values, shapes, textures, space, and movement. There is a world beyond straight lines and curves, yellow for the sun, green for the grass, red for roses, etc. The earth in all its abundance and diversity can be found in tiny colored particles which make up egg tempera paint, mixed together to create divine image.
Egg tempera paint is fine ground Earth Pigments.
The work feels ancient when you look at it because it is! The individual colors are all different, some are lustrous, others granular sand or soft mud or radiantly bright and precious. The sheen from the egg yolk in the pigment can turn the surface glossy and look as if it is saturated with life. The depth of the color is created as a result of many thin layers, each with its own tone and personality. When one pigment dries and another layer covers it I grieve. I am forced to conceal the spontaneously created beauty by the application of another layer of color. Yet with enough layers, new forms arise, rich and deep in quality. The layers become transparent after 3 to 6 months, and the under painting is revealed. The end product seems to be inevitably harmonious just because the pigments themselves were created side by side in time and space, in the same way the planet evolved. Ancient earth history mixed with the human expression for the divine, what a match!
Even if you do not have a particular bent towards religious imagery you cannot deny the quality of the pigments and their fascinating character.To work with such simple beauty is intriguing, pushing around small particles of dirt which dry and form unimaginable patterns. I find myself always looking at sand at the beach, or puddles when they dry or cracked earth in the desert. These patterns repeat themselves on an icon but in minuscule format. The practice of Iconography is pure delight. Join me for a class.