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The original artwork

In a world saturated with the digital image, there is something very visceral about taking a closer look at a real artwork. Not only can you see the work up close, the marks, the nuances of the medium but it is quite a connoisseurs thrill to know you are witnessing a living breathing one of kind piece of art.

 

Tempera and old mediums

I am, what they call, an emerging artist. It's only been a couple of years that I have been consistantly working in the studio. I love all art, classical and contemporary and have a particular hunger for art history, always have. The passion for old mediums kind of began in an undergraduate painting tutorial when we were given a quick demonstration of the technique – tempera. Mix one egg yolk with water, add pigment, make small brushstrokes and don’t expect too much of it. I was curious and wanted to know more.  I got the impression that it was an outmoded method, mostly used by artists wanting to re-create byzantine icons so I was surprised to discover that tempera has had a vibrant albeit checkered art history with many well known artists having used it at one point or another. It was inspiring to learn that plenty of twentieth century artists had used the technique to push boundaries to great effect for contemporary expression.

 

While doing my Masters in Melbourne, I saw many varied and beautiful tempera works in the collection and conservation departments of museums. I began to explore the idea of researching the method for a PhD. It became obvious that to be able to comment on the works of other artists I would have to dive in deep and learn the technique for myself, with it’s many challenges, nuances and rewards. So many of the works you see here are experimental in nature and more reflective of the research. Looking at tempera has led me to find recipes for making inks, paper, pigments and all manner of old school ways of responding to the raw materials. I love my local art shop but the more I look into the history of painting the more I see that we have lost touch with so many interesting and intriguing alternatives to 'store bought product'.

 

Inspired by nature, I am compelled to make art, and yet I must acknowledge that I live in a world that is getting warmer, more populated and where every action has an impact on future generations. I am now on a quest to be more accountable, with paintbrush in pocket, a newfound respect for the materials and history books as guide.