Month: September 2008

Inside Outside at 4:20am



I bought 8 small canvases and prepared them with 3 coats of gesso primer mixed with chalk – the canvases were sanded between each painting.

Referring to the internet I followed the instructions to the letter – I rolled an egg yolk in a paper towel – this does not work. Rolled the second egg yolk from hand to hand – being careful it does not break. Three yolks later and I pierced the yolk sac and put it into a little brown dish. If you dont add the same amount egg to water ratio immediately them the yolk starts to dry up.

A small amount of pigment means just that – so once I scooped 90% of the pigment back into the packet I added a few drops of water and started to mix with a few drops of egg.

Ok – hats off big style to Andrew Grassie cos I gave up after 3 canvases – the first was too thick, the second too streaky and the third, although the texture is beautiful and shiny and can be drawn into it is too slow and precise a process to produce the 8 canvases – so I am off to find a new source!!!!!!!!!!

(the following is off the net)

Egg Tempera Paint

Making Egg Tempera Paint
Egg tempera paint is simply made from artist quality finely ground dry pigments, egg yolk and water.
In the first instance, the egg medium should be obtained. The standard medium is pure yolk which is free from the white.
If white is included in the medium it will cause the paint to dry more rapidly and to drag on application.

Obtaining the egg medium

Having cracked open an egg allow as much of the white to drain off then continue the separation either by means of an egg separator or by transfering the yolk from the palm of one hand to the other.

Transfer the yolk to a paper towel and gently roll the yolk towards the edge of the towel.

Pierce the yolk sac and allow to drain into a clean container.

Egg 3

Then add about a teaspoon of water and give it a good stir. You now have the medium which will bind the pigment particles.

Once the sac has been pierced the contents will start to set up. It is therefore adviseable to use a fresh egg each day.
The yellow of the yolk may initially effect the colors, however, the yellow will bleach out within a day.

Most tempera painters prepare their pigments into a paste form.
Water is added to the dry pigments to form a stiffish paste.
Some pigments are gritty and it is adviseable to grind these pigments further.

Grinding pigment
Initial mixing of dry pigment and water with a palette knife.

Grinding pigment
Grinding with a muller and plate.

Making the Paint
Paint 1
Place a small amount of the pigment paste onto the palette

Paint 2

Add about equal volume of the egg medium and mix well making sure there are no lumps of pigment. Some pigments require slightly more egg medium, some require less.

Paint 3

Add water, trial and error will dictate just how much water is required. Any amount of water can be added, the important ratio is the pigment paste to egg medium.

Once the paint has been made it cannot be stored so only make sufficient paint for the particular painting session.
Tempera paint is insoluable to the extent of not being picked up by over painting and when completely dry is relatively water resistant. However, the paint is not absolutely water proof and can be disturbed by the application of water.

Post 9/9/08 – after alan

I’d finally won a poloroid camera off ebay – initially I had planned to re-photo the outside and inside of my house as before and scratching bars onto the poloroid before it developed. However, the film that was sent with the camera was 8 years old and the chemicals reacted very differently.

Although my photos were of the birdcage, the birdcage was unrecognisable – after my chat with Alan my final source has changed.

Inside Outside – Why I chose poloroid film

The poloroid film is concealed/protected inside its packaging – I don’t have to do anything , when the outside light source enters the camera the picture is exposed.

However, the film was partially exposed already so the end result was undetermined.

Having seen the Andrew Grassie exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery I wanted to experiment with different painting styles – in particular egg tempera, so I am choosing to make my final piece a painting – therefore making a permanent record of a fading image.

pre Tuesday 9/9/08

I had been looking at sculpture by Barbara Hepworth (sphere with inside and outside).

taking the inside outside

turn inside out

suitable for inside and outside

what’s inside and what’s outside

living outside


birdcage – keeping the outside inside

like the idea of birdcages – a creature from outside trapped inside and able to see the outside through bars.

Also looked at Louise Bourgeois and her early use of less controllable materials, plaster. latex, wax (pour and flow before they solidify)

Then I got into Gericault and the Raft of the Medusa from 1819 – decided that cannibalism was not the way I wanted to progress!!

Looking at inside and outside literally and I photographed the inside of my house from the outside and vice versa.

I then returned to the idea of a birdcage, and its focus if it were on my window sill.

With thin red wire I built a little bird cage with no door but the spaces were big enough for a bird to escape (or enter)

Man Ray did a horrible photo of a man in a gimp mask and his head in a bird cage – I liked the square shape rather than the traditional curved cage so I made another one with thicker wire.


I am so glad to be back at college – got 1st project, its a two week one and my brain is buzzing already.  RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE.

Building Environment / The House – immediately made me think of bees, their hives and dances.  Other words that came up were walls, windows and doors – I found some great sculpture work by Richard Serra on the net – “There’s no inside or outside”

Domestic Objects – shoes – they bring the dirt indoors also chairs

Books – the obvious – how a book looks – a cover and pages.  Or the Narnia books – an outside world inside a wardrobe

The Body – xrays – or jellyfish (seeing the inside from the outside)

Containers – boxes and mazes

Organic Forms – found objects, rural environment, objects changing over the passage of time, exposure to the elements.

I have been looking at some artists on the net – I found a great picture by John Brack, it was a study of a painting “Inside and Outside” from 1972.