Leonora Carrington Workshop

“Painting is like making strawberry jam – really carefully and well”


Carrington often worked using egg tempera, a technique in which ground pigments and egg yolk are mixed to obtain paint. On her canvases and panels, the artist first drew the figures with a pencil, gave them volume and depth with shades of green, and finally applied the other colours in thin glazes. The use of egg in this technique evokes the domestic world of the kitchen and is reminiscent of the hermetic practices of alchemical transmutation, in which an egg-shaped cauldron was often used. Carrington first encountered egg tempera painting in 1932, when she visited the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and saw works by Francesco di Giorgio, Matteo di Giovanni and Sassetta.