Understanding Egg Tempera Painting

Understanding Egg Tempera Painting with Gregor Kammerer
Saturday, March 17 & Saturday, March 24, 2018

Warwick Center for the Arts : 3259 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886

Whenever I happen to mention painting in egg tempera, I often receive a look of both curiosity and confusion. I respond that the yolk of an egg is mixed with pigment, and this provides the binder that enables the paint to adhere to a gessoed panel. It seems to make a bit more sense when I explain how yolk will stick stubbornly to the surface of a glossy non-absorbent surface such as a plate.

This class will delineate the protocol of painting in egg tempera:  how to prepare a wood panel support and how to create a proper medium; understanding the particular way paint is applied to a surface; and coming to appreciate both the incredible capabilities and the limitations of egg tempera. I will thoroughly explain the materials needed to begin painting, and share what I now consider the somewhat ritualistic process I follow in preparing to paint. While a bit more involved than squeezing paint from a tube, there is a beauty to egg tempera that is unmatched by any other medium. Some of the Renaissance masters got tired of all the fuss with tempera and a bit lazy when oils came along, but for them this new medium opened up dimensions in painting that were never thought possible.

For over forty years, I have been experimenting and attempting to push at the boundaries of painting. I’ll be sharing many of the techniques that have evolved. A number of my pieces are mixed media, and I have come to consider myself as much of a scratcher as a painter. I believe if a particular method succeeds in the creation of an art piece and that it will endure the test of time, one should continue to trust their instincts and create artwork true to their own exploration. Students should come with their sleeves rolled up and an accompanying enthusiasm as I assist in helping to demystify a medium that isn’t for the faint of heart – but certainly is not as forbidding as the reputation that precedes it.

I will provide:

  • the freshest of  eggs from a roadside stand
  • pigments which are suspended in a water solution
  • some tools I have found to be invaluable in both applying and scraping paint

Students are asked to bring:

  • a range of your frequently used brushes
  • a tray for the arrangement of at least six to twelve colors (my preference is a small Job Lot muffin tin)
  • a small whisk and jar
  • a few small rectangular scraps of gessoed panels
  • a water container for cleaning brushes
  • a small but not tiny eye dropper
  • both small (4 x 6) and medium (8 x12) gessoed panels similar to those used for acrylic

For more about the artist please visit his site:  www.gkammerer.com