The Artist in His Shell. Acrylic Paint.

The Artist in His Shell. Acrylic Paint.

Willard Reader

Portsmouth, OH                


Attended Carnegie–Mellon University

Solo Exhibitions

1981   City People, Southern Ohio Museum & Cultural Center
1993   Structures, Southern Ohio Museum & Cultural Center
1993   Structures II-VII, Southern Ohio Museum & Cultural                          Center

Group Exhibitions

2000–2013  Southern Ohio Museum & Cultural Center

Selected Collections

Southern Ohio Museum & Cultural Center

Artist Statement

Paint on an Ostrich egg—a first for me! What to do? Landscape? – No. Abstract? No. Should be my usual Realism. Maybe treat the Egg as an Egg . . . Hmm.

I have an image flash through my mind from Jurassic Park. Tiny T-Rex dinosaurs popping out of eggs. Bizarre! Maybe a person peering through a crack in the Egg would work.

Wait! What if that person was me?  A selfie in an egg. Later, I thought of the title – “The Artist in His Shell”. Fits me all right.

My usual opaque medium acrylic works perfectly on egg shell.

I was afraid to touch the delicate shell with anything but a brush so I had to paint a grid on the surface to transfer an accurate drawing of my face. I never removed the Egg from the box where it was cushioned by bubble wrap. I taped a ruler across the opening to rest my hand on. A tricky technical process.

This project was certainly a change from my usual small-town landscape work.

May all the Eggs survive intact!