a casein bird and an egg tempera cat

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

        ― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle


As I play with these small paintings on paper, I am reminded that in the Spanish language the word used for a new-born baby is criatura, which translates to creäture. I’ve studied anatomy for a good amount of time now, and working these small compositions I am most aware of how much structure we share with the animals.  I believe I have a better sense of why a cat is flexible and can jump high, and why a bird is able to fly.

I decide early on when first looking at cat anatomy, that I will make 4 cats. Very naturally, a bird enters this one set up. And because I have one more sheet of prepped paper, I plan to bring in a rodent because I am curious about their bodies and I admire Banksy’s rats.


I mention in the previous post I am experimenting with a new surface. Usually I work with both casein and egg tempera on one image, sometimes using casein as under-paint. In this case the bird is pure casein and the cat is pure egg tempera.  I wish I could give you a better sense of the surface especially in the image below. Texture shows nicely by the  lines I set in and the lines I carve out.  I think of aboriginal weaving while completing the pieces and play that up some.


I want to mention that I deal very differently with these animal studies as opposed to my large figure work. Though I am looking at basic structure, the figure work is a much more subtle study. One more play with animal structure and design and I then I plan get back to the large paintings.

3 thoughts on “a casein bird and an egg tempera cat

  1. You’re welcome Ted.
    Kind of different…
    Two works -yes, but only one actual piece. I’m figuring out how to hang it.


  2. Pingback: no woman is an island – continues | Monica Aissa Martinez

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