Process and Materials
Three kingdoms, the vegetable kingdom where the wood comes from, the animal kingdom where the egg, glue, bees wax come from and the mineral kingdom where the pigments and gold come from are all united during the process of painting. The painting becomes a microcosm of the cosmos, a prayer and offering back to God for the beauty of creation.
My approach to painting is experimental and intuitive. I love pushing the boundaries of my materials and discover new exciting textures, mark making and effects.
I have been experimenting for a long time until I found a way to paint that express my vision and who I am. It embodies beauty in the materials I use and stillness in the way I apply them. My signature way of painting using traditional techniques of egg tempera, encaustic and gilding have won me 'Lorenzo il Magnifico' painting award in Florence and other accomplishments.
The techniques and process I use are inspired by the sacred icon of the Byzantine and the Italian artist of 15th century Renaissance period before the invention of oil paints. It's a process that forces me to stop, pause, and re-focus. It encourages my awareness of the rhythms of life.
There are specific steps I take to create each painting: preparing the boards, making the gesso, sanding the boards, cracking the egg, mixing the paint, preparing the clay, laying the gold leaf and many more.
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.
You can liken my process and materials to cooking healthy organic food. The ingredients are natural with no additives; the process is lengthy and time-consuming. However, the results are a tastier and healthy meal.
I only use pure materials for each painting, so you get artwork that is healthier for your soul giving you inner peace and beauty.
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 like genuine 23.5 ct gold leaf, lemon gold, white gold and champagne gold. The gold comes in extremely thin leafs, that requires high skill to handle. Around 250,000 sheets will make 1 inch in width. Wow, Imagine that..! When I work with gold I have to treat it with love and care, appreciating its spirituality and beauty. Having a painting with genuine gold in your home adds magical light and beauty.
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, haematites and oxides and mineral pigments like azurite that comes from Azure stone.
I use an egg yolk to bind the pigment. Yes an egg! It's called egg tempera. It's a very strong binder. I also use encaustic wax which I make from bees wax and resin. Both methods of painting are ancient and have been used since the 4th century .
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 6 layers of gesso. It is then sanded to a smooth finish ready for painting.