My 5”x 5” egg tempera portraits (embellished with real gold leaf) based on the quote:
“Every woman I know has been storing anger for years in her body and it’s starting to feel like bees are going to pour out of all of our mouths at the same time.” Erin Keane @eekshecried
When my friend Kristen shared this tweet with me, I instantly wanted to create an image based on it, because it resonated so completely with how I've been feeling for the last few years... Raise your hand if you also are a woman who is so pissed bees are coming out of your mouth. The timing of this inspiration also correlated with my desire to change up my preferred medium, which has been acrylic paint. I love acrylic paint. But I hate plastic.
What's an eco-artist to do?
I had learned about egg tempera, which is pigment suspended in a substrate of egg yolk (as opposed to plastic like acrylic), from a couple icon classes I have taken. However, I have felt too intimidated by the alchemist-like preparation one has to do to use this ancient technique. You have to crack an egg, separate the yolk from the white, mix it with distilled water, then mix it with the pigment, make sure not to inhale.... that's way too many steps, dude. Luckily a fabulous artist by the name of Fred Wessel came to Whidbey Island and taught a class, and I finally was able to take the leap. I now find that I prefer using egg tempera: it is like painting with velvet - both soft and rich in consistency and color.
This has also changed my painting/brush technique a little bit. With egg tempera, I'm building up my colors and shading with small little strokes, as opposed to blending the colors like one would do with oil... or the "puddle and push" technique I learned with icon writing. I imagine the more I use it, I will come up with some blend of all of these.
The Bee Girlz are available for purchase HERE.
Above are some in-process photos: the portraits are started with a base of either a blue tone or a green tone, and then layers of flesh colors are applied until they aren't so smurf or corpse like.