November 28, 2014

Eight New Small Drawings


sd 17, egg tempera on hand-toned paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.


When I began this series of small drawings last spring, I toned the sheets of paper with a fairly solid wash of color (I use powdered pigment in a gelatin size for the toning; see this post for instructions). As I've continued with it, I've allowed my inner painterly painter to emerge: the gesture of brush laden with pigmented size has become as important as the small egg tempera shapes painted on top of it.


sd 18, egg tempera on hand-toned paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.


My sensibility tends toward the geometric, toward precision and control, so it's both fun and frightening to work on these: fun to do something new (though somewhat closer in feel in their improvisation to my potato prints), frightening to work on something new, where I don't have years of experience.


sd 19, egg tempera on hand-toned paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.


With my wide, 2 inch wash brush I laid down thin layers of reddish color, then added a heavier mark of more saturated pigment. Later, I added the small square of blue egg tempera.


sd 20, egg tempera on hand-toned paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.


Geometry creeps in, with horizontal and vertical strokes framing looser ones; then the horizontal/vertical is emphasized with the addition of painted rectangles.


sd 21, egg tempera on hand-toned paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.


Once the toning/painting of the paper is done, there's the decision of what to add to it. I've been moving towards minimal additions for emphasis or contrast, here just the 3 violet lines....


sd 22, egg tempera on hand-toned paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.


....here an ochre band on top of the red at bottom.


sd 23, egg tempera on hand-toned paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.


And in this piece a very small green curve.


sd 24, egg tempera on hand-toned paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.


Finally, a green vertical dropping from a horizontal band. I might treat the drawing as complete without the addition of the egg tempera lines/shapes/brushstrokes, but there's something about the layering of another medium, and the thought and attention involved in choosing to make those marks, that makes the drawing richer and more solid for me.


12 comments:

  1. Uplifting. Another example of your open-hearted sharing of your sense of wonder. A word, winsome, came to me as I looked at these.

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    1. Thanks so much, Larry. Winsome is a lovely word.

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  2. The fright is addicting for me.
    The price is overcoming the laziness for all the preparatory work.
    Doing that, and letting time go by's like water-vapor waiting for a dust-speck to form a snowflake.
    I like your gentle articulation - verbal and visual.
    WHO wouldn't want a piece of that on his wall!?

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  3. wow, thank you very much, JBS and Julie.

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  4. These particularly speak to me. Really a magical series Altoon. Thanks for posting.

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    1. Thank you, Deborah, so nice to have your compliment.

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  5. In their delicacy they are still strong-willed. I especially respond to the first one, #17; but they are all moody and inviting at once, very beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Ravenna. It's great to have this positive response to work I feel so uncertain about.

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  6. I love them. There is something quite magical about them. You are channeling something special here, even if it feels uncertain to you.
    TAH

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