I like to work in the medium of egg tempera.
Egg tempera paint is basically pure pigment mixed with egg yolk to make paint. The egg yolk acts as a binder that sticks the pigment (color) to the ground. Water is used as the solvent to thin the paint.
Gilding will show up in my work on occasion. The pure color of egg tempera seems to look very good next to gold or silver leaf.
I try to use gilding in a subtle, but meaningful way. I have read that gilding was used for three reasons back in the Medieval days. One was for decoration and stature, another was for the use as a yellow (since there weren’t a lot of vibrant yellow pigments available), and the third was that gold symbolized a celestial space (that’s why you see it in halos).
Because egg tempera can be a fragile* medium (until it completely cures) I like to make my own frames for protection. Some are very simple, and some I take more time on depending on what the artwork calls for and how much time I have.
Since I have worked in the framing industry, I like to make frames from raw wood. Joining them to size, sanding them, and finishing them with paint, stain, casein, wax, etc.
*Egg Tempera dries instantly, but can be easily scratched until it completely cures and hardens (around a year after completion). However, egg tempera is known as one of the most durable painting mediums in history and it never yellows in color.
“Flatiron Building inside a MetroCard”
Conceptually, my work varies from each piece that I paint. It depends of if it is for a themed exhibition, an illustration, a commission, a study, or expression.
Most of my artwork is small, and seems to be getting smaller! There are a few reasons why I like to work small. First, I like to tell stories and I can tell more stories and express more ideas with smaller pieces. Also, I like the intimate scale, detail, and working with smaller brushes.
“The Journey of the Magi” by Sassetta (Italian) (1433-35) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
My main inspiration is Late Medieval into Early Renaissance Painting (13th - 15th century). The craftsmanship, creativity, narration, design, and simplistic painting styles are fascinating to me.
"Graffiti 7" egg tempera & gold leaf on hide glue on subway map & wood.
Living and working in New York City is very inspiring. Recently, I have been painting egg tempera with an airbrush to mimic graffiti and street art.
Periodically, I will contribute to street art and murals around the city.
"Process of Sassetta's "Virgin with Four Saints" circa 1435.
Raw Panel to Finished Painting with Water Gilding.
My egg tempera technique and process is loosely based on the writings of Cennino Cennini in his book written in the early 1400’s; “Il’ Libro dell’ Arte” or “The Book of Art.” First published in Italian by Signor Tambroni in 1821, and translated to English by Mary Merrifield in 1844. This book documents the egg tempera techniques (including fresco, gilding, drawing, etc.) used by Proto-Renaissance Artist, Giotto (1267-1337) and his workshop. These “new” techniques were passed on from Artist to Artist throughout the Renaissance, and were most likely a foundation for High Renaissance Artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Raphael.
Even though I stray from this approach and use more contemporary techniques in tempera, I like to always have a strong foundation to fall back on.
On occasion, I will teach a workshop about these Historical Egg Tempera & Gilding Techniques where students will make a small painting of their own. Experiencing and knowing these foundational painting techniques and processes can help any artist with whatever medium they work in.
If you are interested, e-mail me and I will put you on the e-mail list to get the flyer for upcoming workshops. Thank you!
Feel free to send me a message. I am available for commissions as well as for shows. I always love to hear what viewers think of my work. I look forward to hearing from you.