This paining is an image that I enjoy painting. Although it is a primitive, it has quite a bit of meaning for me.
As I painted this, I thought of the hours spent watching Father Nathaniel, formerly of St. Theodore House, Galion, Ohio, paint icons. Althought this is no icon, and is completed using linseed oil and not tempera, I was inspired by his icons. Father Nathaniel passed away several years ago, due to a lung ailment. I remember his admonition to avoid making paint, with raw pigments. He indicated that his health was affected by breathing some pretty nasty pigments in his youth.
I heeded his warning, and in making all of the paint for this painting, I used the proper safety equipment. The colors were for the most part earth colors, and non-toxic, except of the yellow ocher. For this painting, I used red iron oxide, lapis lazuli, yellow ocher,raw sienna, titanium white, and burnt umber. The pigments were obtained from Sinopia, Maimeri, and several other sources. They were all hand mulled in cold pressed linseed oil, and a little amber varnish, added at the end. The painting is on wood panel, and is varnished with amber varnish, that I made several years ago, and allowed to age. It is enjoyable to make paint, but considering that it took approximately one hour to mull each color, it is so much earier to simply uncap a tube, and squeeze out a paint nut.
These types of paintings are very different than images that I normally paint, yet painting a primitive, in this manner, is almost meditative. It does improve the focus.