December 10, 2014

A New Painting: "Zigzag"

Zigzag, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 6 1/2 x 9 in.

Each summer when I go out to find motifs for my paintings I think that my vision will become more pared down, more and more minimal. In general it has done so over the past few years, but I still fall in love with quirky, more complex images such as in Zigzag; I find myself unable to be a minimalist purist. Though in a way, I can see this as a humorous variation on a stripe painting. 

Zigzag detail

I had to paint many layers of color––lighter/darker, warmer/cooler––to get the hues and values to show convincing light. It is easy to do with the fast drying egg tempera, and its translucency, which shows the shifting color, adds richness to the surface. People think of egg tempera as laborious, but it's not at all like that; it is quick and full of light.


  1. Wow, Altoon - what a wonderful painting!

  2. I'm imagining how the translucent layers are doing a waltz with the warms and cools

  3. Thanks, Dotty and Mia, for your nice comments.

  4. I always see lots of light in your painitngs. That is one thing that makes them unique.

  5. It's a perfect balance of wit and sobriety.

  6. Thank you, Lisa and Ravenna.
    I try for that light.
    Sometimes the image embodies wit.