Black and White, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, box size 3 x 5 1/8 x 7/8 in.
A couple of months ago I had an idea for a new series of works: a box of tiny paintings made on square scraps from my parchment panel-making process. The first box, which you can see here, was brightly colored in red, yellow, and blue, so I thought I'd go more minimal with the next piece, using only black and white; I've continued with simple geometric compositions. Because the parchment is a warm yellowish color, the white stands out on it.
Black and White, top and inside of box
My idea for the inside of the box came first, then I decided on a cover that would work with it. The tiny paintings inside the box are improvisational, but the larger paintings on the cover and inside take a little more forethought; not enough to do sketches beforehand, but enough that I actually use a ruler and pencil to mark off shapes.
Black and White, paintings side 1; each painting ca. 1 1/4 in. square
Black and White, paintings side 2
Each painting is two sided....
....and I take the translucency of the parchment into account when painting, so each side converses with the other.
Black and White, filled box with red circle
When I had finished the box and was looking at the paintings inside, I felt that something was missing: it needed a touch of red. So I cut a small circle and painted it red on both sides, and now it adds a little surprise, like the baby inside a Mardi Gras King cake.