‘Selah’ is an ancient Hebrew word meaning to pause, be still and listen.
My studio time is a time where I be still, pause and connect with God, listen and follow my intuition. I call my signature painting process the ‘Selah’ process.
I have been experimenting for a long time until I found a way to paint that express my vision and who I am. My process embodies the beauty of natural materials as well as the beauty of our spiritual nature.
I unite three kingdoms through the process of painting: the animal kingdom, through egg and glue; the vegetable kingdom, in the wood; and the mineral kingdom, in the pigments, chalk, clay and gold.
Each painting becomes a microcosm of the cosmos containing the beauty of our planet. For me, the process of painting is a form of prayer: an offering to the Creator in gratitude of creation.
The techniques and process I use are inspired by the sacred icon of the Byzantine and the Italian artist of 15th century.
There are many processes involved to create each painting and each one takes time:
preparing the boards with glue,
making the gesso,
sanding the boards,
preparing the egg,
mixing the paint using pigments,
preparing the clay,
laying the gold leaf,
burnishing the gold,
sealing the painting with hand made sealant using bees wax
This kind of ritual requires me to be quiet, slow down and focus: to be mindful of my 'Selah' moment. It's time to prepare the materials and prepare my soul to connect with the Creator to co-create and to connect with my collectors through the painting.
These are some of the materials and techniques I use
Gold has fascinated humans for thousands of years and it fascinates me. It’s the most malleable material on earth. I used genuine gold in different colours such as 23.5 ct gold leaf, lemon gold, white gold and champagne gold. When I work with gold I have to treat it with love and care, appreciating its spirituality and beauty.
I use water gilding technique used by Renaissance painter for religious images. It’s requires high skill and the results are spectacular. The gold is then burnished to give different levels of reflection.
When commissioning a painting you can choose the gold colour to suit your interiors.
Pigments & Binders
I use pigments and binder to make my paints. I have a collection of natural colours originating from France, Italy, Russia and more in my studio.
Some of the pigments I use are earth pigments such as ochres, hematite and oxides and mineral pigments like Azurite and Malachite.
I use an egg yolk to bind the pigment. Yes an egg! It's called egg tempera. It's a very strong binder with longevity.
Encaustic painting is an ancient painting technique which combines beeswax, damar resin and then either oil paint or natural powdered pigments to give it colour. Encaustic wax is a hot wax method where the medium (beeswax and resin) are heated to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit and then colour is added to make a hot paint.
I make my own encaustic wax in my studio. In my work I paint wax as another surface to lay my gold leaf on and use pigments to colour the wax. The surface gives the gold different texture depending on how smooth or rough I’ve laid the wax.
Gesso is the base for each of my paintings. I make gesso from animal glue (the by product of the animal industry) and chalk following ancient recipes. Chalk is natural material found in earth that artists have used for hundreds of years.
What I love about true gesso and all the materials I use is that they're environmentally friendly. Each painting has a minimum of 8 layers of gesso. It is then sanded to a smooth finish ready for painting.