Baltimore-based artist Nora Sturges works with a very unusual paint medium for her pieces, eggs. For her smaller paintings the artist uses a technique called egg tempera, on medium density fibreboard in order to “get a very smooth surface,” she tells It’s Nice That.
“I was interested in using egg tempera for the way it forces me to be a bit more simple, and graphic (than usual my usual oil), it’s really not possible to blend the paint on the surface of the painting.” The texture of the food-based medium differs slightly to paint, “In real life, the egg tempera has a slightly chalky, matte surface, somewhat reminiscent of fresco.” Nora makes the egg tempera herself simply from “powder pigments, egg yolk and water”.
The results however are far from what you’d expect from using a product found in the kitchen. Nora’s paintings are clean, simple, with an overarching darkness, referencing recognisable objects in an altered aesthetic. A main influence of Nora’s is the Italian painter Giotto, “some of the paintings in this series use details of Giotto’s frescoes as jumping-off points,” she explains. “A couple use work of lesser known artists of the 1300s, and other draw on my experience as a modern-day viewer of old art in Italy.” Nora’s aim is to “capture something of what I love about these artists, what keeps their work so fresh for me”.
Nora’s paintings have been exhibited globally from Toronto, Washington, Berlin and New York, to name just a few. She has also received three Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and has been included numerous times in arts publication New American Paintings. Currently Nora is the Professor of Art at Towson University, Baltimore.
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