Tuesday, Emerson College, Forest Row

Yesterday was a full day starting at 10 am at the Studio for my Alchemy of Pigment and Sacred Geometry workshop where I met the other four participants: Margi from Holland, Nicky, Mo and Jayne from the UK. At least two of them live nearby. Our teacher is taking over for the regular art professor who is getting surgery on his leg. Apparently, in the socialized medicine systsem, you have to wait for elective surgery to be scheduled and never know when you turn comes - his turn came up suddenly. My instructor Daniel Docherty has always assisted David so he took over. All participants have varying degrees of art preparedness. Jayne does glass fusing, Margi has a great contact for me in Luxor, Egypt and she has done workshops there with the village children and women. Not sure about the others. Most have a good understanding of geometry and using the compass. I had to have assistance a few times  not with drawing circles but with the sacred geometry aspect of making divisions of six and seven. Oh no, math! And I have used a compass several decades ago so it's a skill that I will be learning this week. However Daniel is a great teacher, telling me it is fine and to breathe. He helped me fix my designs so the geometry worked out better. The image below is not mine but in the studio and might give you an idea of the complexity of these compass drawn sacred geometric forms.


I helped grind up yellow ochre or perhaps it was raw siena - then we got to see how heating up the pigment produces an entirely new color - burnt siena which is a beautiful reddish brown. Still glad I am doing this but realize that buying preground pigments is the way to go for me!! Glad I ordered a good number of ground pigments before my Chester County Art Association Lunch and Learn talk. The making of gum arabic should be easier with what I ordered as well as there is a different recipe that involves heating the gum arabic. One thing that was different was adding a spoonful of honey to the gum arabic, distilled water mixture.

We painted our designs using egg yolk for an egg tempera coloration of our seven point designs with the raw and burnt sienna colors. Grinding needed to be finer but looked OK and I will post mine once I get the images downloaded from my phone.

I have a list of books related to color and this class:
1. The Secret Life of Color by Kassia St. Clair, 2016. Publisher is John Murray, London.
2. Materials an Techniques of Medieval Painting by Daniel V. Thompson, Dover Publications
3. The Painter's Methods and Materials by A. P. Laurie, Dover Publications
4. Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul by Titus Burckhardt, Element Books Ltd, n.d.

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