Original publish date: Oct. 2nd, 2011
Award winning watercolor artist, Barbara Coburn has been painting the beautiful New England countryside since her early college days. She got her Fine Art degree at Anna Maria College. From there she was very successful in the advertising and marketing world. Her first love, however, has always been painting. Lately she has discovered a new medium. Studying with some of the great egg tempera artists she has come to love this new to her technique.
Egg tempera is a painting process that uses egg yolk to bind pigments, the color, into paint. The artist must manufacture the paints herself by finely grinding the pigment and mixing it with water and egg yolk. The paint is then applied in a method where the optical laws of egg tempera are obeyed thus the unique surface of egg tempera will be achieved.
Tempera paint dries rapidly. It is normally applied in thin, semi-opaque or transparent layers. Tempera painting allows for great precision when used with traditional techniques that require the application of numerous small brush strokes. When the final painting is created then it is sealed with an organic varnish. This is needed especially if you have a cat around who might want a little lick of that egg!
With the ancient egg tempera technique Barbara creates a luminous glow in her work. The detail that she can achieve is amazing. Every blade of tall grass in the field by the old barn is visible. All the paint peeling off the old boat is there!
Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist. Egg tempera was a primary method of painting until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting. Andrew Wyeth was one of the most noted egg tempera painters. His painting, Christina’s World is very well known.
Barbara's new paintings will be showing at Harvest Gold Gallery through the holidays. Stop by when you are by Lake Kezar in beautiful downtown Center Lovell.