Bluebells , Egg Tempera on Paper; © Jennifer Pohl
Every now and then I put a piece back, and later pick it up again to find that it suddenly feels finished. This is one of them; I didn’t want to overwork this little painting, which is a study for a larger and more ambitious piece, as well as my first official work in egg tempera making its way to a real world gallery. (You can also see it in an earlier stage and read about how it began.)
Bailing, Oil on Canvas; © Jennifer Pohl
A little dreamscape painted for my first solo show.
King of the World, Ink on Paper; © Jennifer Pohl
It wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t create a new piece for this Illustration Friday’s word fresh. Here’s some fresh work and a fresh baby.
Portrait by Koo Shadler, Egg Tempera
If you’ve been following along you may have read that I’ve begun working in egg tempera, something I started thinking about before the birth of my son, Conor, a little over a year ago. My decisons to put my work in oil on hold and explore egg tempera were mainly for health reasons, but as I find my way, I’ve become smitten with the possibilites.
It is more archival than oil paint, and the colours will stay true and bright for centuries, but it can be a difficult, slow and frustrating medium. It didn’t take long to understand why it is generally not recommended for beginners, but when I see the quality of light in the work of artists like Koo Shadler and Gail Bunting I have all the inspiration I need to continue. Done badly, egg tempera paintings can be… uhm, boring, but when it is done well, there is a light and luminosity unlike any that can be found in other media. I have a huge learning curve ahead of me, but it’s one that excites and energizes me despite all sleep deprivation. A small book by Daniel V. Thompson, The Practice of Egg Tempera (1936) is proving invaluable. I would also love to add Cennini’s fifteenth century handbook Il Libro dell’ Arte to my reference library, but if –like me– you are saving up for art supplies and have a family to feed, there is also an online version.
Now if only I could transport myself to a museum and see a Botticelli in the flesh today, but that kind of inspiration will have to wait….