These pieces are from a class on Tempera Painting that I took in Italy. The process we learned was the same one practiced by icon painters of the late middle ages: mixing raw pigment with egg yolk. We made our own grounds by covering wood boards with linen soaked in rabbit skin glue. Once that dried, we gesso-ed them with a mixture of chalk and glue. It was so interesting to work with such natural materials, especially since our previous class was with toxic, toxic oil paints.
Our professor was an ex-nun who made foot pilgrimages from Switzerland to Jerusalem. She spoke only a little bit of English, but so much of the class was showing us the technique of making and using the medium that it hardly mattered. The topic for a lot of our work was meditation on Genesis and the creation of the world. But our first two projects (one of which is shown above) was copying work, or composing copied images, as was done with icon painting. Our last project (top image) was to portray our "garden of Eden" or where we meet with God. It was quite interesting to work in a class that was worship based instead of serving whatever our personal agendas are for our art.