Day 18. Technique/skills
Many of you know that I have been studying a Renaissance painting technique, called the mischtechnik, which means mixed technique. I have been a visionary watercolorist for 30 years. It’s second nature to me. It is easy for me now and doesn’t get in the way of the psychic information that comes through.
I had wanted to learn the Mischetechnik for years. Here is how I was introduced to the technique in the first place. I was at Barnes and Noble in the art section when a book literally fell into my hands. The title : Drinking Lightning, Art, Creativity and Transformation, by Philip Rubinov Jacobson. I sat down in the middle of the floor and opened it randomly and read the page. It made me cry. What Philip was writing resonated so much with me that I had to have the book. I cried numerous times as I read it and when I was finished I had to let Philip know how much his book touched me. This in 2000, before social media so I sent him an email. We stayed in touch over the years and in 2013 I was finally financially able to study with him in a month long seminar. The first trip was to Austria, followed by a month in Bali, a month on the Island of Ibiza, in Spain and a month back in Austria.
What a special treat to be in creative community with other visionary artist who understand!
This painting is done in the Mischtechnik style of painting. This is an egg tempera and oil technique used by the old masters. Because of the way it is painted there is more light coming from the surface of the painting than is found in traditional oil paintings. It is built up on layers and it sometimes hundreds of hours to complete. We make the egg tempera from real eggs.
History, by Philip : “The almost forgotten old master techniques of painting, like Mischtechnik, used by many of the Renaissance masters, was actually never totally abandoned but handed down from master to student over centuries. It was always in use in an unbroken chain, even if obscure and rarely taught at any art school or university. Aside from the great dissemination of this knowledge by Pietro Anigonni and Prof Phil & Mantra’s mentor, Ernst Fuchs and the Vienna School of Fantastic Realists, there have been a number of Masters of Mischtechnik over the last hundred years. This has included Barthel Giles, Otto Dix, Thomas Hart Benton, Paul Cadmus, Robert S. Smulyan, Franz Gertsch to name a few. In Mischtechnik, the method itself creates a sense of living luminosity. Such attention to the creative practice results in paintings embodying a process of alchemical transformation, in which the physical matter of painting itself, the ground pigment, the egg, the oil, emulsions, and handmade mediums are transmuted through the agency of our craft into extraordinary vision.
For me, switching from a technique that I knew like the back of my hand to a complicated, technical process, with a medium I didn’t know was a bid challenge and I am still learning. Learning a new technique gets in the way of the flow of psychic information because you are so focused on learning. That was frustrating for me at first.
This painting is one of the few I have finished. I love how it turned out.
I was blessed to meet and spend time with Ernst Fuchs in his museum before he passed.
I was In Austria painting when I had the second heart attack. I reread Drinking Lightning again from cover to cover while I was in the hospital for a week. It kept me somewhat sane and I felt connected to the people in the seminar while I was an hour away in the hospital.
I still want to go back there someday.