Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Here we are at the end of another year.  This year has gone very quickly!Snowy-Jura-Mountains-France-photo-by-Nat-Wildish-430

It has been a year filled with many challenges and also beautiful things. White-Peaks-Jura-Mtns-France-photo-by-Nat-Wildish-430

As nature sheds its leaves, resting and in preparation for a new beginning next year,Snow-Jura-Mtn-Colors-France-photo-by-Nat-Wildish-430

I hope that this coming year will be even better, and that we can each, in our own way, make the world a better place.Lampost-View-Snowy-Jura-Mtns-photo-by-Nat-Wildish-430

Thanking all of you who take the time to read this blog and wishing you a very good holiday season and new year.

Snowy Peaks Jura Mountains, France

Snowy Peaks Jura Mountains, France

best wishes,
Nat Wildish, aka DweezelJazz


How To Frame Egg Tempera Paintings On Paper Adhered To Glass

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I received an email from Juliet, an egg tempera painter, asking a really good question about framing and I thought I’d answer it here.  Here’s the question:

“I’ve been using egg tempera for a little while now (for religious icons) and I’m really hooked on the medium.  I’ve been casting around for a suitable support for more secular pieces which is less laborious than preparing gesso boards, and your way of adhering paper to glass is really interesting.  Do you find you have to frame your glass-mounted pieces afterwards or can they be hung as they are?”

The great thing about egg tempera paintings on paper adhered to glass, is that it allows for many options when it comes to framing. If you’d like to find out how the paper is adhered to glass, and why, the process is described in “How To Paint With Egg Tempera“.  I’ve framed egg tempera paintings successfully in the following ways:

  1. Hanging the glass just as it is with the painting on it (the glass used in this case is tempered glass, 4 mm thick).
  2. Framing the painting in a standard frame, in the same manner as an oil painting is framed.

If the glass is tempered the painting can be hung directly on the wall just as it is. The “Maldives Palm” egg tempera painting is hanging on our living room wall. The painting is hung with a fixture attached directly to the glass just like mirrors are often hung.  There’s card backing on the back of the glass.  You can see the result in the photo below.Maldives Palm Egg Tempera Painting Framed by Nat Wildish

A traditional frame could be added around the glass in whatever sizing appeals.  The flexibility of how these paintings can be framed leaves options open for a person to find whatever appeals to them. As you can see with the “Aguille du Midi” painting, it’s now possible to add a backing and/or a conventional frame around the painting.  Aguille du Midi Egg Tempera Painting by Nat Wildish

I originally used the same glass that is used conventionally in picture frames; this glass isn’t tempered and is thinner than the tempered glass. I used wheat paste to glue the 300 g/m2 watercolor paper to both sides of the glass in order to strengthen it. As the paintings become larger in size, care does need to be taken because the glass does flex when it’s in larger sizes. However, they are robust and don’t bend if they’re not set down on uneven surfaces.Portrait of a Horse Egg Tempera Painting by Nat Wildish
Portrait of a Horse” is one of the paintings done on normal glass and it has paper glued on both sides of the glass.  It has been propped against the wall on top of a cupboard with no ill effect. It could be framed in a traditional frame right over the edges of the painting with a solid backing to give it support, like the “Purple Flowers” painting shown here:Purple Flowers Egg Tempera Painting by Nat Wildish Framed

Another demonstration of the robustness of the paper on normal glass with paper adhered to both sides of the glass is the painting of the “Fisherman’s Bastion“, Budapest, which you can see in the photo is sitting on an easel without a solid support behind it.  This painting is 14″ x 18″ (36 x 46 cm), which is fairly large. It has been on display long-term like this and it works just fine.Fishermans Bastion Budapest Egg Tempera Painting by Nat Wildish

If you want to hang the glass just as it is, then it’s most definitely best to use tempered glass because this doesn’t flex even at larger sizes. I’ve put a lot of thought and experimentation into determining the best ways to frame the glass to ensure that the painting remains in perfect condition on a rigid surface.  If you have any questions or suggestions for other ways to frame the artwork, I’d love to hear from you.


What Does An Artist Need To Know In Today’s Technological World?

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

This seems to be the time when ebook readers and very small portable computers are starting to really catch on, not to mention all the ways it’s possible to read content on smart phones.

I recently read an article, The End of Book Publishing As We Know It, on Michael Hyatt’s blog.  In  the article there’s a video showing a slim, portable, color-format reading device Time Inc has developed for magazine content.  It allows for audio, video and normal text print content to be accessed very easily all in one place at the touch of a finger.

Time (no pun intended) will tell just how much these new devices and combinations of media will affect the conventional publishing industry, but it is already true that the publishing industry is experiencing tremendous changes.

There are many new opportunities available for the individual in this evolving technical environment.  Software applications at relatively low prices have made it possible for individuals to learn how to accomplish things that used to only be possible for experts with very costly equipment.  One such area is the ability to print a book using, for example, Adobe InDesign or even one of the applications made freely available by online book printers such as Blurb.

The tricky part that comes with having direct access to performing these highly specialised tasks is that in order to create quality products there’s a great deal for an individual to learn.  It’s crucial to assess which facets will be important to forwarding one’s own work.  There are a variety of reasons for limiting just how much you intend trying to learn to do:

  1. learning a little of everything results in doing most things in a mediocre manner because there just isn’t enough time to truly develop more than two or three things fully and deeply
  2. time spent on one thing means less time spent on another which could be more important in achieving your goal
  3. you might end up spending much more time than you intended doing something you really don’t enjoy very much

So it’s really important to pick and choose what to learn, finding the balance that allows you to move forward with your goals, but doesn’t drain too much from your primary ambition and passion.

My primary passion is stories.  I think I could do without many things, but not stories, and stories with pictures, well, I just think that’s the ultimate.  I love movies, but have no interest in being directly involved in the film industry.  So I’ve been concentrating on understanding what it is about the visual elements that go into art that make it successfully communicative, and what elements are important to a story to make it really interesting and exciting.

I’m still experimenting with just how my passion will express itself in my art.  To try to get closer to this, I’ve been delving more deeply into color theory, composition, technique, and all types of art from fine art to illustration, cartoons, animation — everything I can set eyes on.  I’ve experimented with digital painting, and more watercolor and egg tempera painting techniques.

I have also been studying writing, visual storytelling and story-boarding, and am writing a couple of fiction stories to see where they go. For the more practical side of how to communicate the art, and possibly stories, during the last year I have completed courses in all of the Adobe Creative Suite applications.  My year’s subscription with Total Training will end on January 1st and so this spurred me to complete the InDesign and Illustrator courses during these last few weeks.  I have also studied web design, print design, composition, layout, and a little about typography.

So that’s it for the heavy-duty studying for me, thank goodness!  Now I need to develop my artwork so that it expresses my passion – and I’m not quite sure what that is yet in terms of style or subject.  I think it might be bound up in expectation, and if I can let that loose, my style should just be there. When I write I have no expectation and my writing style seems to be there just simple and unsophisticated, for better or worse.  I haven’t yet reached that with the art.

So here’s to the New Year, bringing new discoveries and challenges.  If you have any comments on what you think it’s important to learn in today’s environment, and/or if you have any advice on reaching your own style, I’d love to hear them.