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The Art of Egg Tempera Painting

Egg Tempera painting was popular in Europe in the Middle Ages through the Renaissance, gradually falling out of fashion with the advent of oil painting. It possibly goes further back in time, to the Egyptians.


In all paint there are basically three elements; powdered pigment, a binder that holds the pigment to the surface being painted, and a solvent. Egg Tempera paint consists of powdered pigment, often made into a paste so as not to deal regularly with the powder (which may be toxic), the binder, which is egg yolk, and the solvent, which is water. Because of the egg yolk, the paint must be made each time you paint.


Egg Tempera must be done on a rigid surface that is absorbent. Traditionally, the surface was a well-dried wood panel coated with a number of layers of gesso (Gesso - made from rabbit skin glue and chalk or marble dust). My paintings are on Baltic Birch panels which I coat with seven or more layers of gesso. Do to all the above, there is a certain craft element involved. 


Unlike oil paint which can be applied thickly and blended, Egg Tempera is done in many, many thin layers, eventually taking on a unique luminescence.  The blending is the result of the many layers. A painting may consist of a hundred or more layers. My paintings are labeled “Egg Tempera and True Gesso on Baltic Birch Panel”.

Sampling of My Work 2020 - 2021

My Framed Art Work in 2020 - 2021

My handmade frames are solid walnut wood, in an assortment of moldings. They all have gold leaf over the innermost portion that covers the edge of the painting, securing it in the frame

Peonies (from the (Marsteller Farm, Ca 1892)


(from the Marsteller Farm, Ca 1892)

6 1/2" W x 9 1/2" H

Tulips, Spring 2021, Framed Painting

Tulips (Spring 2021

6: W x 9" H

Thru the Looking Glass Framed Painting

Through the Looking Glass

6 3/8" W x 7 1/4" H

Winter Morning Framed Painting

Winter Morning

6 3/4"  W x 7 1/2" H

Time Swiftly Passes By Framed Painting

Time Swiftly Passes By

7"W x 9" H

Tulips Spring 2020 Framed Painting

Tulips Spring 2020

6" W x 8" H

Lupine and Sweet Potato Spring 2020 Framed Painting

Lupin & Sweet Potato Spring 2020

6" W x 8" H

Lavender Spring 2020 Framed Paining

Lavender Spring 2020

6" W x 8" H

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Out with the Old framed Painting

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