Part of the beauty of ancient art is the atmosphere that the ‘damage’ of time has given the work. In this post I will describe some processes I am exploring to incorporate effects of distressing, layering, cracking, patinating. I will also introduce some of the classes I will be offering this fall, especially a week-long group of workshops at the beautiful Villa Vigneto in Austin Texas.
I. Process of a painting
A. Some of the special and even mystical atmosphere in some ancient works of art comes in part from the effects of time and age on the materials they were using, such as frescoes and plasters, egg-tempera, earths and stones and metals. Here are some samples of paintings I am working on, using fresco, plasters and distemper, in which I am striving to incorporate some of those effects:
B. Example of steps and layers
For the following icon style painting I began with a wood panel, and applied random abstract painting.
I added metal leaf and bronze and iron paints.
Then layers of gum arabic and rabbit skin glue and pigments (to get cracks), and chemicals (to patinate the metals).
After isolating those layers with varnish and garlic (rubbing garlic on gold leaf was a trick icon painters used to get the paint to stick to the gold), I drew on the design.
I then used transparent layers of lead white and naples lead yellow (lead white is maybe the most beautiful, luminous and translucent white) to paint the image.
And the completed painting:
II. Workshops and Classes
A. Villa Vigneto in Austin Texas
Please join us for a very special week at Villa Vigneto Texas!
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2018
Sean Kramer, accomplished Artist and Iconographer will lead our week-long series where Contemplative and Sacred Art instruction, meditation, and the quiet of nature come together under the oaks in the beautiful Hill Country setting of Villa Vigneto Texas.
No art experience or skill required, just the desire to take “a little pause in life” to express your creative and spiritual heart!
Yantra Mandalas Tues., Sept. 25th , 8:30 am to 6 pm
Learn about the symbolism and practice of Yantra making, an ancient art used in meditation and worship. You will design and create your own Yantra to enhance your meditation practice.
Contemplative Art Wed., Sept. 26th, 8:30 am to 6 pm
A workshop of intuitive art making and meditation; a contemplative practice and process of creating art from your intuitive heart-mind.
Creating Sacred Art – Holy Face Thurs. Sat., Sept. 27 – Sat., Sept. 29, 8:30 am to 6 pm
Drawing from the medieval traditions of egg-tempera panel painting and icon painting, each day will consist of time creating your Sacred Art masterpiece using the geometry of the human face, gold leaf gilding, and making our own paints. There will also be time for meditation, practice and contemplation.
General Daily Schedule
8:30 – 9:00 a.m. – Gathering Time – Coffee/Tea/Pastry
9:00 – 9:30 a.m. – Morning Guided Meditation
9:30 – Noon – Art instruction and discussion, design and draw
Noon to 1:00 – Lunch Served at the Villa
1:00 – 5:00 – Paint, Draw, Completion of Work
5:00 – 6:00 Guided Meditation and Persona Reflection Time/Close
Courses this fall and links for more information: