Creativity comes in many forms, especially when there is a lockdown and not much to do. Enter Steve, my client who has more ideas than anyone I know. They seem to come out of everywhere!
Steve is into dinosaurs, and fossils, and bones, and anything unusual. I had been painting backgrounds for his shadowboxes, where he would present “creepy critters”. The gallery “Prehistoric” located in Oregon and St Augustine Florida housed his creations.
Steve came up with the idea of painting an emu egg as if one was looking into the egg and seeing an embryonic creature, or one trying to hatch, or whatever I wanted to do. Seemed fun. However, painting on emu eggs is not all fun at first.
The egg needs to be prepared. Whatever the surface is will not hold paint. I thought at first that if I did a layer of paint it would be a base coat. No luck. The paint would not stay. I then used a layer of gesso on the area I wanted the image. Pure frustration. As I painted a texture, a shadow, whatever---I would come back to it dried as if I painted on a paper towel. Flat, lifeless, no depth. Trying to assembly line six emu eggs, I was in tears. This was going nowhere. Not to mention the time being spent.
Craig is a long time client who I also assemble his shadowboxes. His Etsy store Forest2Frame is thriving as he sells framed butterflies, moths and exotic bugs. I also paint the backdrops for him, as you will read in another blog. He is the manager of a hardware store and I expressed my frustration about painting the eggs. He introduced me to a binding primer called Stixx---and it is WONDERFUL! A slight aroma, not offensive, it makes a very smooth surface to paint. I loved it. Now I was in business.
I completed the six eggs, project done! Until a big box came in the mail with FIFTEEN more eggs. Ahhh----- so here are examples of the end results. Three of the eggs were Ostrich eggs, same thing just a bigger platform to paint. So I have a fighting scene between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Spinasaurus. I have learned so much about dinosaurs in the past two months...