January 11, 2014

A New Boxed Paintings: Lines

Lines, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 2 5/8 x 6 5/8 x 3/4 in. 

Last year I started a new painting project: small boxes made of parchment, filled with tiny paintings. My first piece had the theme of Red Yellow Blue and Black and the second Black and White. They used  geometric shapes as their compositions. I thought I'd try something different with this one, using just line, straight and curved, singly or in patterns. It's made for images that are less dramatic, so they don't have quite the punch of the previous works.

Lines, top and inside box

I decided to keep the interior nearly empty of incident and have the cover show basic geometric shapes, topped by a curved line.

Lines, paintings side 1, each ca. 1 1/4 in. square

Lines, paintings side 2, each ca. 1 1/4 in. square

As I worked, I searched for different kinds of linear expression. I threw a lot of pieces away, as many as I kept. Because the parchment is translucent, each painting has a correspondence with the one on its other side, which I kept in mind as I developed each composition. (click to enlarge to see the paintings more clearly) What I learned in doing this piece is that line is harder to control than shape, but I hope it was worth the effort.


  1. What happens in miniature is something I struggle to describe. Maybe the magic cannot be communicated with words but I am moved by the small and jewel-like all the time. Thanks for sharing this. Exquisite work.

    1. Thanks so much, Deborah. This idea came about as a way of having fun with small pieces of parchment left over from stretching panels. I'm enjoying the process.