It’s been quite a while since I last posted on my blog. But I have been busy with my art work. I have had a couple of low key exhibitions. Currently I have work on display at our new shop, Keepers Preloved, at Farrington Gurney in Somerset. Here are a few images of my work, and I will post more later. Though they are all framed, some are only temporary. It’s good to get work on display, and I have had some very positive comments.
Posts Tagged ‘sacred art’
At the Bath Artisan Fair today I saw the work of Asa Bostrom, who was showing wonderfully textural pieces of assemblage, with an arcane and esoteric feel to them. There were a few 3D pieces, objects adapted and added to, creating evocative and attractive antique artefacts. Then there were paper-based works, folders collaged and covered in collected papers and images, beneath layers of wax. Whilst wonderful in their own right, they also suggested possible avenues for my own work.
Asa is a Swedish artist, who has come to Bath recently, and has a multitude of skills and talents; writer, designer, yoga and writing teacher, as well her mixed-media art work. Her website has some wonderful imagery and art works, and links to her blog www.asabostrom.se
Another double page Apocalyptic Illuminated Initial. I have drawn these more fully in pen prior to adding colour. It was started a while ago, along with several others, and I am in the process of attempting to complete them before I start new works.
I have it in mind to make a colouring book-An Illuminated Apocalyptic Colouring Book, of depressing and fatalistic images.
Progress on actual art work has been slow of late, but I have made some progress with reproduction and presentation. I have had several images digitised in preparation for Giclee prints. Having worked on colour balancing and refining the quality and scale of the images they have printed some out for me. It isn’t a cheap process, but will allow me to produce good quality reproductions of my paintings and drawings. I don’t know if you can see the quality, or the comparison with the originals in these photographs. The colour and detail is very good. The only thing you lose is the texture and fragility of the paper they are painted on, and the gold, whilst an accurate colour copy, doesn’t have the sheen of the original.
I have also, finally, chosen a moulding for the paintings, so that I can move closer to having them framed and completed. I have had two thicknesses or widths made, in plain, unfinished wood. If these work I will experiment with the finish. I think I have a good idea of what I want, but haven’t been able to find it in any framing or art shop, so will have to get them custom made or do it myself. I envisage a dark frame with gilding. Upon the advice of people whose opinions I value, I am also considering dark coloured mounts, sympathetic to the colours of the individual art works.
At the moment I am leaning towards the larger, wider frame. I want the works to almost feel architectural, like panel paintings or altar pieces, that require the viewer to lean in and engage with the image at a very close and intimate distance, having been initially struck by the overall impact and “splendour”. Any feedback gratefully received.
After a prolonged hiatus due to work and family intrusions over the last couple of months here is a new post! And a new piece of work!
As is often the case, it took some external stimulus or deadline to provide the motivation, and this time it was a friends’ birthday that lead to the completion of a new piece of work, and hopefully further creative endeavour. So here it is, composed along familiar lines, and with the intention of being a simple expression of life, with some clumsy latin, Veni (I came) and Vita (I lived). Happy Birthday Verna Ventham.
Here are a couple of pages of my initial letters. As I have said before I was exploring the use of words around the trees, selecting words primarily on a gloomy and pessimistic theme. In the first ones the lettering is a fairly standard heavy font. In subsequent examples I started to use lettering that is intended to be recognisable. These two are almost finished. A little tidying up is needed, and replacing of the words at the top, with APOCALYPTIC ALPHABET, I think.
Once again, if you click on the image then zoom in you get a version as seen through a magnifying glass. Really quite interesting.
When I started making art “seriously” again a couple of years ago (that is, working on something with some depth and coherence, rather than just making sketches) one of my focuses was the doom and gloom of news headlines, and the all pervasive news media. I had taken up the offer of a subscription to a national newspaper, thinking it might be interesting and educational to keep up to date with events deemed newsworthy. To cut a long story short I found myself getting quite depressed by the constant doom and gloom of the stories, the pre-occupation with disaster, paranoia and panic. It is easy to get into an apocalyptic frame of mind these days; with stories of fundamentalism, climate catastrophe, fuel crisis, economic meltdown etc. I had been thinking along these lines and developing a variety of ideas and images.
In some works I tried to relate these headlines and texts to my previous interests in illuminated manuscripts and their formal qualities.
In this example the T is from a well-known supermarket chain, there are doom-laden clouds in the background, and a symbolic tree (!) I don’t want to explain them too much, but allow the viewer have their own response to the juxtaposition of several elements. They are painted in watercolours, and some acrylic, on pages from old books.
I do intend some contrast between the bright and attractive colours and decoration and a critical and pessimistic message. I hope that the viewer is attracted at first to the colours and decoration, then gradually notices the text, and other elements within the image. There is a connection in this work to medieval apocalypses, which themselves are rendered with the same care and exquisite detail and decoration as a psalter, book of hours or gospel.
Here are a couple of paintings painted over two facing pages in old books. I have had them mounted in two separate windows with a very thin dividing strip of card between. I am not entirely sure they are fully completed, and I do intend to put some text on the spine tree, which I intend to have greater alchemical and arcane meaning. I may add a little more detail.
These paintings are intended to look like Medieval Illumination, with similarly bright colours and attractive decoration. The imagery is a sort of nature symbolism, representing growth and life, making links between the corporeal and ethereal worlds. The spine tree painting is making connections between the tree and man, with its roots in earth/physical realm and crown in the heaven/metaphysical/spirit realm.
By clicking on the pictures and zooming in you get very interesting close-up views of the paintings, even closer than with the naked eye.
Here are a couple of miniatures, painted onto pages from books. These are the simplest images that I have been doing, (both in terms of content and form) and having had them mounted I am trying to figure out how to frame them. I see them as either devotional images requiring quiet contemplation and attention, or as museum exhibits from some arcane and ancient manuscript. I anticipate the viewer leaning in to scrutinise the pictures at close quarters.
Should the frames be simple and plain, to allow the viewer to focus on the images, or should they be detailed and decorative to add to the overall effect? Should they presented straightforwardly as art works, or as museum exhibits. They are influenced by medieval illumination so perhaps an elaborate surround, extending the decoration beyond the picture might be appropriate. Then again there is a quality about them that lands them to being presented as historical artefacts. I have had them generously mounted which I thought gives them a change to breathe, stand on their own, and force the viewer to focus in on the image.