Egg tempera painter Mark Thompson visits Beaver Creek gallery |

Egg tempera painter Mark Thompson visits Beaver Creek gallery

Special to the Daily"Southern Exposure," by Mark Thompson.

Mark Thompson has been creating egg tempera paintings 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 fascinating. See the artist at work at Knox Galleries in Beaver Creek Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thompson will be available to explain and answer questions about his painting technique and his newest paintings and etchings.

Thompson’s newest paintings are of Aspen Forests In the Rocky Mountain Region.

“They give you that true three dimensional look, as if you could just walk through the forrest path,” said gallery director Mark Kihle. “I like to say 3D without the 3D glasses for all the people into the new age of high definition. The egg tempera medium he creates using fresh egg yolk yields brilliant, opaque color and absolute realism.”

Egg tempera painting is usually associated with medieval and early Renaissance painters such as Botticelli, Verrocchio and Fra Angelico. 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, an 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.

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