Artist Mark Thompson demonstrates his painting technique in Beaver Creek |

Artist Mark Thompson demonstrates his painting technique in Beaver Creek

Daily staff report
"Columbines With Wild Roses" by Mark Thompson.
Special to the Daily |

Artist Mark Thompson will demonstrate and answer questions about his unique egg tempera technique at Knox Galleries in Beaver Creek Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. He will explain his painting technique and discuss the compositions of his newest paintings and etchings, including “Violin with Silk Tapestry,” “Soft Landing,” “Egg Tempera” and “Columbines with Wild Roses.”

Egg tempera painting is usually associated with medieval and early Renaissance painters such as Botticelli, Verrocchio and Frangelico. The medium as used by these old masters was a painstaking process, so when oil painting was developed, most artists changed to the new medium. Because the switch was so complete, egg tempera became a lost art until 1844, when an English woman translated a book written in the late 15th century by Cennino Cennini. Although egg tempera remains technically demanding, modern methods and materials have simplified the methods of the old masters. In order to make paint, three basic ingredients are needed: pigment, adhesive or binder, and a solvent or thinner. Egg tempera paint is made up of dry pigment, egg yolk for the binder and water for thinner.

Thompson has been painting in egg tempera and wowing collectors for more than 35 years. Not only is his subject matter of still life and the female figure captivating from a distance, but up close his detailed brushwork is just as fascinating along with his treatment on any reflective surface. The egg tempera medium he creates using fresh egg yolk yields brilliant, opaque color and absolute realism.

“They give you that true third-dimensional look as if you could just walk through the forest path or into the room. I like to say 3D without the 3D glasses, for all the people into the new age of high definition,” said Mark Kihle, Knox Galleries director.

So while out enjoying Oktoberfest in Beaver Creek, visitors can stop by Knox Galleries and enjoy a few moments viewing one of Thompson’s exquisite paintings and learning more about this lost art.

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