Oil on copper paintings were prevalent in the mid sixteenth century in Italy and Northern Europe. Even after hundreds of years, paintings on copper seem to retain and display their luminous colors, unlike canvas which seems to fade. In fact, if you were to visit certain Dutch museums, the brilliant colors exhibited on the paintings of a handful of artists who used copper instead of canvas might lead you to believe they were painted recently.

Because it is a slick and shiny surface, each copper plate is finely sanded and then coated with fresh garlic juice to give the paint something to hang onto. I use transparent oils and apply a thin first layer. After that dries, I paint more layers very slowly so that the glow of the copper shines through. The smooth surface of copper makes it possible to use fine detail. A mastic varnish finishes the piece.