Tag Archives: mixed media assemblage portrait

A Piece of Me #56, egg tempera on panel.

A Piece of Me # 56, egg tempera

A Piece of Me #56, egg tempera on panel.

A Piece of Me #56, egg tempera over pastiglia on panel, 21 x 13.3 cm or 8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.

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.

A technical write up of the lessons learned about egg tempera in this series of panels here.

 

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Anna Front. A mixed media painting on panels. 44.5 x 63.5 cm or 17.5 x 25 in.

Anna, Front – a Mixed Media Project, May 2011

Anna #09. Encaustic on wood panel. 9 x 12.7 cm or 3 1/2 x 5 inches.

Anna #09. Encaustic on wood panel. 9 x 12.7 cm or 3 1/2 x 5 inches.

Back in the 1970’s, I did a series of “tiled paintings” (what I now refer to as Deconstructed Realism). Principally the idea is to break up a found image through exploring the different media that have traditionally been used to create art. I did three such projects at the time, and was preparing to do a fourth, when my direction in art and in life changed.

However I had already asked a local carpenter to cut twenty five identically sized hardwood blocks for this new project. I had envisioned it as a double sided painting so I asked him to drill a hole exactly down the centre of each panel. I pictured five rows of five panels each that could swirl interactively, front to back, somewhat like an abacus. Well, that was my idea back in the day. Still, I set it all aside, packed up my little blocks and moved out west to explore a new chapter in my life.

Anna, #16. The mixed technique over pretextured relief on wood panel. 9 x 12.7 cm or 3 1/2 x 5 inches.

Anna, #16. The mixed technique over pretextured relief on wood panel. 9 x 12.7 cm or 3 1/2 x 5 inches.

Fast forward about thirty years and I finally decided to pull those little blocks out of storage. I still wanted to use them to create a double sided painting and decided that portraiture would be the best genre for such a project. But I had not decided upon any particular subject until a friend of mine (Anna) became seriously and unexpectedly ill. My choice then became clear. I located a photograph of her that I liked, secured the copyright and set to work.

Anna #08. Egg tempera over a presculpted relief on wood panel. 9 x 12.7 cm or 3 1/2 x 5 inches.

Anna #08. Egg tempera over a presculpted relief on wood panel. 9 x 12.7 cm or 3 1/2 x 5 inches.

For the front panels I used the mixed technique (a hybrid of oil  and egg tempera), Dorlan’s cold wax tempered with oil, encaustic (hot wax), and egg tempera. Some were pre-treated with collage elements while others were textured with a light relief. Still others were left untreated ( before the application of the chalk gesso ground). They all were painted in a full chromatic range as well as a full range of values. See the detail images included here above, left and right. This front side was completed in 2011, though because of its piecemeal nature it was undisplayable. 😦

Additionally, I did not see how to execute the back side so that the whole piece could be displayed. The project languished then in a corner of my studio until 2021 when I picked it all back up. The back side can be seen here, the glueing and framing solution here.

The assembled piece measures 44.5 x 63.5 cm or 17 1/2 x 25 inches. When framed it measures 50 x 70 cm or 19.6 x 27.5 in.