images and thoughts from Sean Kramer
"Humans do not live very long,
and having seen just a part they boast of having seen the whole."

"We make assertions and denials of what is next to it,
but never of it."
Dionysius the Areopagite

Monday, December 14, 2015


Sean Kramer, 10 Weeks
SA 6 A Monday 9 – 12 February 1 – April 4
SA 6 B Wednesday 6 – 9 February 3 – April 6
Tuition $300 Materials Fee $120
Sanctuary Arts, Eliot, Maine

In this course you will learn painting techniques originating with the Egyptians, practiced throughout the Middle Ages, and continued into the present by artists such as George Tooker, Andrew Wyeth, Michael Bergt and others. We will first work on a number of small projects to learn and practice the basic techniques of egg-tempera panel painting. Then students can work on a painting either of their own design or based on a prototype. We will begin by learning multiple methods of preparing panels: using 'true gesso' made from marble dust and chalk, as well as other plasters. Then we will make our own paints from earths, semiprecious stones and modern pigments. The making of other paints (oil, acrylic, distemper, watercolor) from the same basic pigments will also be demonstrated. We will learn a number of methods for using gold leaf and other kinds of metal leaf in paintings (gilding, assist, patination, painting over metal leaf). Multiple techniques of applying egg-tempera will be learned: dry brush, petite lac, glazing and scumbling. This will be craft-based painting course.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

a drawing game

I did these with patterns, but you can do it with other images-- figures, colors, etc.
you start by filling in the top horizontal squares and the left vertical squares. You can make those up, take them from somewhere, or have someone else to fill them in.
In the inner squares, you have to make an image that combines the vertical above on top, and the horizontal from the left. If you look at these you can probably figure it out.
One person could start by filling in the top horizontal row, and another person could give the left vertical ones – and each could see how they come up with the combinations.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Podcast interview on Project Bring Me to Life

Due to technical difficulties, they finally got me onto the podcast about 20 minutes in.
Click link below to view.

 Cloud painting (acrylic on canvas)

Monday, January 19, 2015

"Alchemy": plaster, distemper and oil on wood


This is a painting symbolizing the evolution of the macrocosm (universe) and microcosm (human, the small universe).

I started by mixing-up some plasters with sand and marble dust for texture, and applying them to a wood panel.  Then I made distemper paint (pigment with natural glue as binder) and tinted the plaster with different colors.  On the border I put metal leaf, which I patinated with chemicals.  I mixed lac (an excretion of insects) with alcohol and coated the whole surface, which allows oil paint to go over it. I made oil paints which I used to paint the figures.

The bull represents the material realm and the angel the spiritual.  The world evolves through the influence of the angels on the material world—each of the steps forward in evolution comes from an influence of the angels.  The spiral figure in the womb of the angel is the universe, unwinding and evolving through the nurturing of the spiritual beings on the material.  The head of the spiral is the human, which is the material world becoming conscious of itself.

Around the border are the symbols of the ‘microcosmic orbit’ from Taoist inner alchemy.  The symbols correspond to areas in our body that themselves correspond to the parts of the universe.  In Taoism the lower parts of our bodies correspond to the earth, our head corresponds to the heavens, and our chest and heart correspond to the human dimension.  The microcosmic orbit is an energy practice that transforms the bodily-earth energy (jing) into chi and then into shen (spirit energy).

So the painting portrays both the evolution of the human person and of the whole universe and how they correspond to each other.

In the painting, the plaster represents the material world, the paints (which are made by mixing earthy pigments with more fiery/heavenly oils and glues) represent humans, and the metals represent the planets and heavens.