sd 41, distemper and egg tempera on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
I was in a simple gestural mood while working on this group of small drawings. While toning paper for my drawings based on Islamic design––you can see the most recent here––I use some of the paint to make the small drawings. I tone the paper with distemper, which is pigment mixed with a glue size; I use gelatin. I turn from the solid-toned larger pieces of paper to these small sheets, approaching them freely and intuitively. Then, after looking and thinking, on another day I add a bit of egg tempera; for me this small deliberate addition completes the drawing process. In the work above, I added the red circle to emphasize the subtle ochre one and the blue splash on the left.
sd 42, distemper and egg tempera on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
In sd 42 there's just a small curved purple mark––an echo––on top of the transparent yellow.
sd 43, distemper and egg tempera on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
sd 44, distemper and egg tempera on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
Sometimes, looking at these, I can't quite remember what I added later in egg tempera. Here I think it was two of the three yellow marks at top, and the small blue mark at the lower left.
sd 45, distemper and egg tempera on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
I do remember adding the yellow band at the left, which I hoped would add a bit of tension to the paler bands of color.
sd 46, distemper and egg tempera on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
I was playing with gold pigment in sd 46; I had used it as a layer in one of the toned papers, but here it stands alone: at the bottom is a distemper stroke, made at the same time as the purples; at the top is a stroke of egg tempera. The pigment I use is Colibri Gold from Kremer Pigments.
sd 47, distemper and egg tempera on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
In another drawing with blue and yellow stripes, quite different in mood from the all-over, transparent one above, I added only a small mark of yellow tempera.
sd 48, distemper and egg tempera on paper, ca. 7 x 7 in.
This drawing seems different from the others in this group; I'm not sure why, but maybe it's the saturated blue marks in a white field. One of the marks (if I remember correctly) had an inadvertent splotch of reddish on it––the second from the top––so I added more small reddish marks to balance it. There's a proscenium arch feel to this, as though the blue shapes are actors on a stage. One reason I enjoy doing these drawings is that they're fluid and unplanned, similar to my potato prints, but different from all the other mediums I work with.