Modern Pysanky


The eggs in this section are pysanky which are largely traditional in theme and in method, and use traditional motifs, but may use modern colors and have some nontraditional design elements. Some are updated versions of true traditional pysanky, others are completely new and original designs.  One type, the Trypillian pysanka, has its design origins not in earlier pysanky, but in neolithic pottery patterns.

This type of pysanka is sometimes referred to as diasporan, made by “overseas” Ukrainians, but is now often found in Ukraine as well. I refer to them sometimes as “quasi-traditional.”  In other words, they are modern inventions of an ancient art.

I’ve tried to note the sources of the patterns when known/remembered.  Some of the eggs date back to the 70s, so it is not always an simple matter. Even when I do recall the source, copies are never exact.  The dyes may take differently, a different type of stylus used, small mistakes may be made, there are differences in skill and technique, substitutions may be purposely made––in the end, a pysanka may look quite different from its model.

I’ve tried to organize these modern (diasporan) pysanky in some sort of fashion.  There are several special categories of diasporan pysanky with their own sections:

White Pysanky: This was an ancient traditional technique, and is beautifully adapted to creating beautiful modern designs on a white (or light) background. The white pysanky in my collection are few, so they’re all on one page––those I’ve made and those I’ve collected. The ones I’ve made myself are either my own designs (floral) or adaptations of traditional designs.

Brown Egg Pysanky:  Pysanky were traditionally written only on white eggs, so that the colors would be bright and vivid.  Writing on brown eggs gives interesting–and quite gorgeous–effects.   These pysanky are almost all my own designs; there are a few that I have copied from the web (two, I think), and a few others that may have been adapted from multi-colored designs.

Trypillian Pysanky: This is a diasporan style which has become quite popular.  It adapts Ukrainian neolithic pottery designs to eggs. These eggs are all copied––I haven’t yet gotten proficient enough to create my own designs––but usually with mistakes and modifications.

I’ve created a section for my goose egg pysanky, which I began writing in earnest in 2009.  There are not many traditional designs, or even non-traditional ones, out there for goose eggs.  Most of these eggs are either my own designs, or adaptations and expansions of traditional designs. These super-sized pysanky include diasporan designs, (modified) traditional designs, sorokoklyn designs, copies of art (avtorsky) eggs, and thoroughly non-traditional eggs (frogs, autumn leaves, snowflakes).

The rest, which are called here “ My Modern” are divided into groupings based on the main motif of the pysanka. They are a grab-bag of types––slightly modified traditional designs, true diasporan pysanky copied from books, postcards or the web, and some that I’ve made up myself. This section is a work in progress, and all of the eggs in it can be found in my annual collections or in various galleries.  This section is an attempt to bring all my diasporan designs together in one somewhat organized section.

I have a list of sources (with abbreviations) on the next page, although I don’t always stick to them precisely.  (If I vary, it’s to give MORE information rather than less). 

(NOTE: To see true traditional designs, go here.)

These are my “modern” pysanky:

Trypillian Pysanky

White Pysanky

Brown Egg Pysanky


        Brown Egg Variations


                Brown and Red Eggs

                Diamond Pysanky

                Barrel Pysanky

                40 Triangles


                Other patterns

Goose Egg Pysanky














My Modern Pysanky


                Vazon Motifs

                Tree and Leaf motifs

                Pussy Willow motifs

                Wheat motifs

                Vegetable motifs

                Fruit motifs

                Simple Flower motifs

                Fancy Flower motifs

                Sunflower motifs

                Poppy motifs               

                Floral variations

                Vinok motifs

                Sokal floral motifs           


                Fish motifs

                Bird motifs

                Insect motifs

                Snake motifs

                Mammal motifs


                Star motifs

As always, click on the underlined links to go to the desired section or page.  If there is no underline, that page is not yet complete/available.

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