‘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 during my MFA that expresses my vision and my authentic voice as an artist. 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.
Each painting is sealed with hand made varnish using bees wax.
Water gilding in action
materials and techniques I use
Water gilding is the Rolls Royce of the gilding world. It is the pinnacle of this craft and produces the best results with the most longevity. It has many different stages that must be completed for the final finish, and each stage is a skill and craft in its own right. It consist of applying loose sheets of genuine gold on a layer of prepared red clay (bole). The bole supplies a flexible surface that allows for polishing the gold with an agate burnisher (stone) thereby obtaining a brilliant and very smooth effect. The bole gives the gold red reflections due to the gold transparency. This technique of gilding requires a significant investment in materials and long practice to obtain good results.
When commissioning a painting you can choose the gold colour to suit your interiors.
Egg tempera is the most-durable form of painting, being generally unaffected by humidity and temperature. It’s long lasting and the doesn’t yellow over time. It’s been used as early as the Egyptians and perfected during early Renaissance period.
Egg is mixed with pigments to produce paint. I have a collection of earth and minerals pigments such as ochres, hematite and oxides and mineral pigments like Azurite and Malachite and cobalt. I use high grade azurite that comes from the Azure stone to create luminosity in the painting.
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.
Each painting has a minimum of 8 layers of gesso. It is then sanded to a smooth finish ready for painting.