Friday, March 21, 2008

"East Meets West...Zen Pysanky..."



Once upon a time...I enrolled in an extension course offered by our local community college back in Illinois. It was in the art of pysanky. Pysanky are Ukranian Easter eggs, decorated using beeswax and dyes that are applied in layers. The process is very similar to that of batik. Pysanky decoration is an artform that has been handed down through generations of the Ukrainian people and they are known all over the world for these colorful Easter eggs. The eggs symbolize the release of the earth from the shackles of winter. They also symbolize the coming of spring with its promise of new hope, new life, and prosperity. Legend has it that as long as pysanky are decorated, goodness will prevail over evil throughout the world.

An amazing fact I learned while working in this artform is that it is very important to use flawless eggs...without any hairline cracks...as the egg white and yolk are not blown out. You must be very very careful not to drop your egg!

The colors and the symbols used all have significant meaning. The designs can be intricate and complex. The eggs are coated with a varnish to protect them and enable them to become keepsakes. After several years in safe keeping the insides of the eggs dry out and cause the egg to rattle. It's really cool! The whole process of creating these little art gems is quite remarkable and the end results by professionals are simply stunning.

What is so amazing to me is that when I was about to make today's post...it was to be just the pen and ink drawing....and then...a little voice in the back of my head said..."Whoa! Deja Vous! This is just like the pysanky you made one time!" After I calmed myself down...I scurried off to look for my photos! I found them and to my utter shock while looking at them I noticed my pysanky were signed and dated...14 years ago!!!

So, in the traditional spirit of new hope, new life, and prosperity...I hope you enjoy. :)

Be Blessed...Happy Easter.

13 comments:

Wendy said...

That's amazing, isn't it. Fourteen years. They're beautiful eggs. And I love the black and white drawing. It has such a different quality.

Sherry said...

Both the photo and the drawing are beautiful. I have one of these eggs that I bought on eBay. I bought a kit to try it myself, but never got myself in gear to try. Yours are gems.

SCquiltaddict said...

These are right up your alley...terrific job

PNH said...

Your work is amazing. I love the patience your work shows and what a terrific way to doodle designs, so creative.

Teri C said...

Such gorgeous eggs, both the painted and the zen drawn. And thanks for the info-never knew all that either.

Alan said...

Wow...the detail is amazing.

Jennifer Lawson said...

Very cool, Margaret.

Neil Toulch said...

Your eggs are fascinating and I love the design but I am not clear about your deja vous.

I understand these are the latest eggs that look like the ones you did so many years ago..., right?

So why didn't you post the older ones..., I'm sure I speak for all of us who would love to see your older eggs and how they have evolved.

(OK, this really is beginning to sound a little strange)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have seen this art form demonstrated on tv. It is beautiful. Your eggs are great and your drawing is marvelous. So intricate. I hope you have a wonderful Easter too.

Jean said...

I really enjoy your art style. Beautiful...

Forever Young said...

the word i also use is amazing, beautiful colours, looks so hard to make, such precision, interesting to read about it too.

Deborah said...

A friend and I have tried for a few years to find Pysanky workshops to make eggs. No luck yet! Beautiful! The black and white drawings are very striking.

Margaret Ann said...

Thanks everyone for your visit...I think it's so interesting to learn something new isn't it? Glad you enjoyed my adventures in egg decorating! :)