eggs as canvas ….

May 5, 2015

DUCK EGGS ARE THE BEST for receiving watercolour pigment.  They have a satiny shell surface.  Chicken eggs are better if one is using the ancient Ukrainian Orthodox, bees wax, kitska stylus, and dye method.

Chicken eggs have a kind of chalky, calcium-like surface which, yes, can be painted, but feels like the cheaper version of a duck egg.  [Oh my, that probably tops your abstruse observation quota for today]  Ahem….plowing-on into the arcane . . .  a duck egg is more forgiving a surface because removing mistakes is easily accomplished using a Q-tip.

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(above) Chicken Egg Christmas ornament using bees wax, Ukrainian kistka stylus and traditional dyes

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Watercolour Painted Eggs, (four duck eggs, one goose egg)

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Hand-painted Christmas Egg Ornaments, watercolour, with multiple, clear fixative layers applied for protection.

The impetus for exploring eggs as a painting surface came from my having seen, as a child, hand-painted blown eggs with Spring flowers on them, gathered and hung by streams of ribbon for an Easter breakfast within our German church.  Their beauty gave me new eyes and I viewed my grade school wax crayon attempts with a certain childish contempt.  And it perplexes me still, that such a long ago vision remained an artistic impulse to do for myself what I saw modelled back then.

What has put my egg art enjoyment on (permanent?) hold is my having received two Peacock eggs that I delayed blowing-out….only to have them explode all over the walls and ceiling just as I was finally drifting off to sleep one night, months after they were given to me.

You seriously do not want to know the level of grossness — the vile, rank, and utter foulness — of having to clean up an entire living room punctuated, peppered, with rotten Peacock egg at one o’clock in the morning.

My childhood vision of hand-painted Easter eggs has been forever cataracted by the Peacock eggs from hell.

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Spring means….bunnies

April 17, 2015

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Arctic Hare

March 11, 2015

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Pushing my cart into the supermarket yesterday I almost ran someone over.   I’d jerked my head around to make sure I was seeing correctly–there in the middle of the aisle was a big fat display of this year’s new vegetable and flower seeds!

I mean to tell you, it is -10C, and snowing out there right now like it’s just going to keep on all night, and they want me to start planting seeds?

So okay–in the spirit of all that, raise your glass.  Here’s to a touch of Spring . . .

"Juvenile North American Robin"

Egg Art

January 4, 2012

I first experimented with painting eggs in the late ’70’s by using the Ukrainian method of alternating vegetable dyes with finely applied bees wax.  Not a great fan of geometric patterns, my goal was to take the same technique and compose actual scenes.  I produced a series of Christmas tree egg ornaments of villages in the snow and moonlit landscapes until I discovered how well eggs received watercolour.  Since then I have confined my efforts to the use of watercolours on blown eggs.

By far the best eggs for watercolour are duck eggs.  The surface is creamy white and satiny, and the eggs themselves can be very large indeed.  Goose eggs are even larger,  but not quite as lovely to paint on.  My least favourite surface is a chicken egg due to its chalky white quality.

Here are some examples of egg watercolour art:

Hand-painted egg display

This egg was painted as a Christmas Tree ornament, depicting one of the Twelve Days of Christmas:

Christmas Tree Ornament Egg

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