Rosemary Sylvanus Antel © Copyrights
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|Egg Tempera Paintings|
|"Wheel of Life" 22k gold and egg tempera
on masonite 56cm (22") x 56cm (22")
This work was created as a part of a series on the Black Death which was exhibited in the Nordic Heritage Museum in 1999. During the time of the plague, the wheel of life was a common image, reflecting the transience and cycles of life. It was during this time that the skeleton figure of death with a scythe, the "grim reaper", first appeared in art.
|"White Peonies IX" egg tempera on masonite
81cm (32") x 122cm (48")
I grow many peonies in my garden, but my favorite is the white or palest pink double peony. This one was an ancient plant growing in the garden when I moved here, so I do not know the name.
|"White Peonies II" egg tempera on masonite
80cm (31.5") x 122cm (48")
This peony is the variety Festiva Maxima. I especially love the streaks of red that appear in the center of the blossom. Their heavy blossoms scent a whole room.
|"Norwegian Musicians" 22k gold and egg
tempera on masonite 23cm(9") x 30cm(12")
Traditional Norwegian music played by musicians in their native costume set a mood that is like going home to me. I love to paint these costumes because of the large white linen shirt sleeves that remind me of the peony blossom, the way they catch and reflect the light.
A work painted in egg tempera is alive, constantly changing, many paintings in one. As the source and color of the light falling on the painting changes, the painting looks entirely different. The pearly pink morning light emphasizes the delicacy and grace of the pigments, highlighting irridescent passages of paint application. The hard, blue white light of the noon day sun brings out the cooler passages, especially blues and green blues in the painting. The early afternoon gives the painting a mellow, romantic cast and the orange colors of sunset bring out rich passionate yellow oranges and reds in the work. The reason for this magical change of colors is nature of the paint itself. The particles of pigment are surrounded in a very thin waxy coat of egg phospholipids and lipids. There is very little medium to interfere with the reflectivity of the pigment particle. If you have noted the beauty of a rock in a stream and taken it out and let it dry, you know how dull and lifeless, colorless, it becomes. The pigment particle undergoes the same degree of change when encased in egg. It becomes much more intense and glowing in color, even after drying. Best of all, this medium is a very, very stable medium. Icons painted with this medium have survived in excellent condition for hundreds of years, no browning or cracking as happens with oils.