EGGcellent Art

My dad is a mechanical engineer, a college professor, a husband, a grandfather, and an absolutely amazing artist.  Along with using different mediums such as watercolor and acrylic to paint on canvas and paper, he uses oil paint to created intricate scenes on a very unusual and extremely delicate surface--egg shells!

His paintings have been displayed in various venues such as university museums, public libraries and, of course, our home as long as I can remember.  There is such a sense of pride when someone walks into our home, sees his paintings and exclaims in surprise as they notice his signature at the bottom corner of each piece. People are often astonished because he is known for being very technical and down to earth.  He tends to keep his artistic side hidden and only when his artwork is viewed do people get a chance to see another side of him.

The painted egg display in our home is very high up on the mantle because of its extremely fragile nature. Not many people have seen such exquisite and extraordinary breakable art in person. It is a long and tedious undertaking to be able to paint on an eggshell. Before the process of creating the actual painting even begins, one has to prepare the eggs with extreme care and patience.  When I was quite young, I remember my dad using a toothpick to make two very tiny holes in the egg itself.  Somehow he would blow out the egg white and yolk.  Often the egg would crack during this process and he would have to start all over again.  On those particular mornings, my mom made omelets for everyone--whether we wanted to eat them or not!  He would then carefully boil the empty shells and lay them out to dry on the window sill under the hot Texas sun.  This preparation lasted quite a few days. Because he only had time to pursue his hobby on the weekends, it would sometimes take weeks just to get started on the paintings.

He would start by sketching out a scene VERY carefully on the eggshell using pencil.  Sometimes it would be different types of flowers. Other times he would paint boats and yachts. One time he actually drew the Taj Mahal onto an egg! To this day, it is still one of my very favorite pieces of art. After drawing the image on the egg shell, he would begin to carefully paint using oils.  I remember him sitting in the dining room near the window for optimal light to paint on such a tiny surface. The finished product was carefully put into a glass case that my dad made out of wood, velvet, a couple of small hinges and a frame.  The egg display--as well as the box that they are displayed in--are admired because of the creativity and the very delicate nature of the art itself.

You can see this stunning form of artwork for yourself in the following books.  There are step by step procedures included in each book that exhibit the artistic technique and amount of care and patience that goes into creating these fragile and unusual pieces of art.  Even if you are a novice and have no idea how to begin, the photographs in the books are nice to look at and you never know, maybe there is an artist hidden inside of you, too!

Painting and Decorating Eggs:  20 Charming Ideas for Creating Beautiful Displays by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

Decorating Eggs:  Exquisite Designs with Wax and Dye by Jane Pollak

Decorating Eggs by Dana Meachen Rau

- Kaneeze, Hightstown Branch


  1. Very nice article Saiyada. You are an amazing writer. Keep it up. My Duas are with you.

  2. This is a very interesting and intricate process. It's interesting how egg painting was apart of the writer's childhood. Maybe I'll try this hobby some day.

  3. This is an impressive skill!


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