Art in the Lopez Library presents: “Egg Tempera Paintings: the Artwork of Sheila Simpson-Creps, June 16th through July 28th, 2017, throughout the library

The Artwork of Sheila Simpson-Creps

The Lopez Island Library is pleased to feature the artwork of Sheila Simpson-Creps. Sheila is well known for her beautiful ceramics as well as her paintings.  Her work can also be found at Chimera Gallery in Lopez Village.  She shared this narrative of her work:
“Egg tempera can be traced back to ancient Egypt, and was a primary painting medium until the development of oils in the mid-1400s. You may be familiar with old, Russian and Byzantine religious icons, which were painted in Egg Tempera, as was the work of Botticelli, and the contemporary work of Ben Shahn.
The development of Egg Tempera was stunted by the advent and ensuing popularity of oil paints in the late 1400s. Many of the oil painting techniques that became popular in the 19th and 20th centuries (impressionism, symbolism, collage, color-field painting) were never attempted in Egg Tempera because by then oil was the dominant medium. Yet Egg Tempera handles those techniques perfectly well as long as one doesn’t paint in impasto
(thick applications of paint). One of the factors that motivate me to use Egg Tempera is a concern for the environment.
As human beings we all pollute, and yet I believe we can be conscious of how much we each contribute to the sum total of human pollution. There were so many hazardous waste
products with oil paints that I searched for a medium that would let me build up layers of both transparent and opaque colors. Watercolors didn’t let me build up the layers I wanted
and I didn’t care for the plastic surface sheen of acrylics. I also questioned the environmental impact of acrylics, which are water based but the plastic binder is still going into the water system, and doesn’t necessarily biodegrade. Egg, as a binder, solved the
problem for me by being biodegradable and Egg Tempera yields an archival, sound surface for my work. Nature has always been a source of inspiration for me. For many years I have painted birds
as a subject matter. Sea Stars became a focus in the past couple of years, as they dwindled due to a wasting disease. With all of the year round green in our environment, my eye looks for other colors. Sea Stars, offer a wide range of color, and I am always pleased to see them. The effect of their loss impacts all of the other parts of their ecosystem and I am aware of the delicate inter-balance of all the environments of our world. The paintings here at the library, honor the creatures of our tidal Puget Sound, which provide us with so much beauty, and sustenance.” -Sheila Simpson-Creps