this weekend brought the spring equinox, ostara, and the fine tradition of ukrainian egg dyeing. it is a fabulous meditative process which i found i had precious little patience for. but oh well, i did the best i could anyway. it is kind of like batiking an egg. first you apply the wax by way of a kishka that you scoop the wax into and heat up over a candle- then you draw on the egg. then you dye the egg. then you add more wax and dye again in a slightly darker color- times infinity. then to get the wax off, you must hold the egg close to a candle flame (but not too close or you might scorch it) and melt the wax and wipe it off. this takes a long time. then, you poke a hole in each end of the egg with a needle and blow it out using a puffer tool or your mouth. this is challenging because if the hole is not just the right size the puffer tool will not work. and if you blow too hard the egg could break. my friends did a great job with their eggs. mine could have been better- but let's just say i save my patience for countless other painstaking tasks. and i am thankful to my friend for inviting me to participate in her yearly ukrainian egg dyeing ritual- because it's always good to convene with an egg- well, at least once a year.
so, the latest is that mi amigo came over and showed me how to grind up pastels with a mortar and pestle to make a powder with which to mix with the egg yolk to make egg tempera. it was super fun to grind up those pastels. it just felt good. and it was super fun to paint with. when i wanted to add a bit of one color to a color i was mixing i just dipped in the brush and it all the powder stuck to the end so there was no worries about cross contaminating the colors. that was awesome. and it was even smoother than the egg and watercolor lazy mix i did the other nite. we loved the little bits of grit that would sometimes make it to the painting- and the bubble effect from the viscosity of the egg mix. the more egg i used- the more luminescent the colors. i did mix some up with the watercolors too to work with also- those colors just seemed brighter and i liked having them in the mix. there is an earthy quality to the egg tempera perhaps from the yellowness of the yolk. i like that, but wanted some pop too. they worked well together.
this all comes about becuz i am currently obsessed with hundert wasser who painted with egg tempera. so i needed to have the experience to see why. i read that he would grind and mix in different colored bricks and charcoal and clay. he liked to make his own paint becuz he felt that paint he made himself had more life and spirit in it that factory produced paint. and for him painting was a spiritual act. he was also a huge ecologist and into living in harmony with the environment. amen brother.
La Jessica likes to make things and does so often.