Tag Archives: mixed media assemblage portrait

A Piece of Me # 56, egg tempera

A Piece of Me #56 – egg tempera on panel over pre-sculpted pastiglia, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4

Here on the left is the first in a long 64 part series, now officially “off the press”. A full description of the whole project is on my companion wordpress web-blog site, atelierartisanal.com. So in all these panels I want to create a painting – interesting and hopefully beautiful in its own right – separate from any recognizable form either I or the viewer might want to impose.  These are then, all abstract paintings (which in fact are based on close-up sections of a photograph). Thus aesthetically, I am trying to pay attention to: composition (the play of light and the tensions inherent to the already given shapes); color (the contrasts and relations of hues); paint (areas of opacity and translucency); texture (the tactile qualities of the paint, collage, or pre-sculpting); value (highlights, shadows and everything in-between). And though I am interested in reproducing the original image, I’m not interested in absolute fidelity (as, for example, a Photorealist might be). Dissonances can and should arise. Therefore, most designs are transposed free hand – not mechanically. And relative to this image, you can read more about the low-relief sculpting process of pastiglia here.


mixed media portrait of Anna

Anna – a Mixed Media Painting, May 2011

Back in the 1970’s after graduating from college, I did a series of “puzzle paintings”. My idea at the time was to explore the different media that can be used to create painted images. So I made three at the time, and was preparing to create a fourth, when my direction in life and art changed. So I packed up the little blocks that I had had cut, and moved out west.

I finally pulled them out of storage some 35 years later. I had already determined that, psychologically, this piecemeal approach to image creation seemed most successful when applied to human portraiture, So when my friend, Anna, became seriously and unexpectedly ill, my choice became clear. I was able to locate a photograph of her that I liked (secured permission from its owner to use it) and set to work. Oil, encaustic, collage and egg tempera on small individual panels. Each panel measures 9 x 12.7 cm or 3 1/2 x 5 inches. The assembled piece measures 44.5 x 63.5 cm or 17 1/2 x 25 inches. May 2011.