Heather Carol




Egg tempera on a true gesso panel.

46cm x 46cm 2017

This painting relates to my life experiences as a disabled artist and Lesbian, as well as asking the audience to explore and challenge their perceptions about gender, sexuality and disability.

It was inspired by the work of the ancient Greek poet Sappho. I mention true gesso panels throughout this website. In recent times acrylic gesso has become widely available to create a primed surface for canvas or panels. This is totally different from traditional gesso panels which are created by painting at least eight layers of a chalk and glue mixture onto a wooden panel and sanding the layers between each coat. True gesso creates the correct absorbent surface for egg tempera (the surface can also be engraved with an artknife to pick out fine detail). Egg tempera cannot be used on acrylic - it will eventually flake off the surface. Egg tempera pieces need to be created on a rigid support such as a true gesso panel. The egg binder is fragile and will crack if the support for the work is flexible. When created upon a true gesso panel egg tempera is incredibly archival - there are some Renaissance egg tempera pieces which survive today. Although hundreds of years old these Renaissance paintings can often look as vibrant as they did when they were created.


This painting , which is called DETERMINATION, ,was created in 2019 on a 41cm x 31cm Clayboard in Acrylics. Clayboard is an archival surface made by Ampersand which comprises of a sealed piece of hardboard covered with a sanded layer of Kaolin clay. The smooth absorbent surface is suitable for many media, especially ink. Much of the surface of this work was engraved as each thin layer of Acrylic dried. The Roses were created by adding approximately five layers of colour from light to dark. Each layer of paint on the Rose petals was engraved back , and then glazed again with a further layer of thin paint. This glazing and engraving technique created a 3d effect in the finished painting. This painting was shown at a Royal Academy Inpractice session, and I have had the good fortune to present my work at a number of these events. over the last few years. As a disabled artist I, along with many others, have faced barriers in showing my work as many venues are still inaccessible to those with disabilities.. I am a full time powered wheelchair user and also mute. The Royal Academy InPractice sessions gave me, and the other artists invited to present their work (up to ten artists in each event - approximately four times a year). a wonderful opportunity to share my work and ideas with the audience. Other venues and exhibitions at which my artwork has been shown include the Menier Gallery (London), the Islington Arts Factory, ArtPride, the Winter Pride Art Awards (runner up) , and GFEST. I look forward to exhibiting new work in 2021.