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Eileen Kennedy - Mastering the Ancient Art of Egg Tempera

Eileen Kennedy - Mastering the Ancient Art of Egg Tempera

Eileen started painting at 15, and she earned her BFA at Pratt Institute when she was 22. Later, she did additional studies at the Art Students League of New York and continued to take workshops throughout her life. She was inspired by the work of George Tooker, Remedios Varo, Frida Kahlo, and the early Flemish painters, as well as early Renaissance painters like Botticelli and Fra Filippo Lippi.

Eileen has exhibited throughout New Jersey, New York City, and the Mid-Atlantic Region. Some venues that have shown her work include the Cooper Gallery in Jersey City, the Painted Bride in Philadelphia, Widener University Art Museum, Noyes Museum, Brooklyn Museum and others. In 1995, she was awarded an artist fellowship grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Her current work is inspired by fond memories of growing up in beautiful coastal Monmouth County, New Jersey.

She works in egg tempera on wood panels and creates silverpoint drawings. Egg tempera is an ancient medium in which artists make their paint from scratch each day using egg yolks and dry pigment. This medium was used by early Renaissance painters such as Botticelli, as well as contemporary masters including Andrew Wyeth, and George Tooker. It is a labor-intensive medium. Most of Eileen’s works take 4 to 5 months to complete. The water colors in the current exhibition, Spring Fever, were studies for an egg tempera painting.

Like most artists, Eileen has struggled to find enough time to paint while still caring for family and holding down a paying job to make ends meet. Five years ago, she decided to take the plunge, left her full-time job with benefits and took a part-time position that gives her 4 full days plus evenings to work. It has been hard, but she is still here!

You can shop for her work here:

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  • Anne Hamilton