Category Archives: Art

Resurrection and Gilgamesh

Okay, so I’ve made this post sound more exciting than it really is.  My good news is probably only interesting to me but I want to shout it from the rooftops.  Here is a video to provide some interest while you read the rest of this post (it helps if you have it turned up nice and loud):

The fact is, my drawing machine, which has been out of action (thanks to a Windows update) for what seems like a lifetime, has been resurrected at last.  We have it running Linux and responding to finger gestures and the stylus  correctly.  It may not sound like much but I love my drawing machine like other people love their iPhones or their cars.  I would now like to say something rude about Microsoft but I’m resisting.  Aren’t I good?

Tree of Life – Update

This is the art project I was working on before Windows decided to “improve” my drawing machine with an update.  Here’s where I’d got up to:

Tree of Life new

Interesting Art Experiment

What happens when you let ordinary Internet users from around the world collaborate on a piece of art?  War!  But the results are fascinating.  See here for the story and here for a close up of the result.  I love it that the Welsh flag appears at least twice even though it is a difficult one to draw small with pixels (see below).  I also love that the Union Jack appears in a heart with the Italian flag.
500px-flag_of_wales_2-svg

Icon Writing Course

0317patrick-irelandHappy St. Patrick’s Day!
I’m interrupting my blogging break to tell you about a course I’ve just booked onto. It’s an icon writing course run by a charming fellow from Greece. Here’s his website with the relevant details: http://www.theodoreicons.com/icon-painting-workshop-knock-ireland.html

So if you’d like to visit Ireland’s national Marian shrine at Knock, and learn how to write icons, why not kill two birds with one stone?!  The course isn’t until October so you’ve got plenty of time to get organised.  Hey, and an extra bonus – you get to meet me! 😉

Unexpected Discoveries at Knock Museum

I have lived within twenty minutes drive of Knock Museum for more than fifteen years.  I finally went in a few days ago for a class, but I still didn’t get a proper look at the exhibits.  I did make some interesting discoveries though, and I learnt how to make a St. Brigid’s cross.  My first discovery was made in the museum shop.  I saw some products there that looked very much like the kind of thing that I aspire to make, based on the Book of Kells.  The artist has a website where you can view and purchase his work if you want.

The second discovery was through meeting a Spanish lady in the class.  I couldn’t catch her name – Pilar – until she spelled it out for me.  I’m sure she was fed up of explaining its origins but I had to ask.  She told me that it is quite a common name in Spain, where babies are named in honour of Our Lady of the Pillar (Pilar in Spanish).  Below is a photo of a Marian statue on what is reputed to be the pillar in question.  It is obscured in the picture by a blue and white origami mantle (please don’t ask why; I haven’t the foggiest).  The apparition is claimed to be the first Marian apparition and happened when Mary was still alive.  Our Lady is said to have appeared to Saint James when she wished to gather the apostles together for one last time before her assumption into Heaven.
Virgen del Pilar

I thought it might be fun to do a post listing and describing all the Marian apparitions but looking at how many there are on the maps by National Geographic, I changed my mind.  There are nine major Church-approved apparitions, and the one at Knock is among them.  I would have only been able to list five of them before I started my research; how about you?  Have there been any in your area or country?  Knock is the national Marian shrine of Ireland.  You can see it marked quite clearly on the National Geographic map of apparitions in Europe.  So now you know where I live, roughly. 🙂  One day I may find the time to have a proper look around the Museum.

Almost Done

Just some spiral patterns left to do, and a bit of tweaking here and there.

(The pencil underdrawing won’t be in the final version.)

holyface

Facing Reality

Well, I thought I was going to be able to finish this project before Christmas but that doesn’t look very likely now. Somebody asked me to do a standalone (as opposed to tile-able), digital version of my Holy Face design.  Here, below, is the work-in-progress.  I’ve adapted the border from my Tree of Life design.  The spiral background will be modified so that it fits the new border and joins with it at top and bottom.  (You’ll see what I mean when I’m finished.)  I’m experimenting with the colours.  Believe it or not, the colour scheme below is based on the colour scheme on a halo in the Book of Kells.  It looks very carnival to me.  I had a lot of trouble adding colour and shading to the face without straying off a very fine line between bad manga and bad realism.  It might still need some tweaking.  I’ve taken the opportunity to make the central trinity spiral a bit more circular.  My pencilled spiral was quite triangular.

holyfacecrop

Passion

Familiar words can have different meanings in Catholicism.  “Passion” refers to the sufferings of Jesus after the Last Supper.  The passion flower has been taken to symbolise these sufferings.  For example, the five anthers are said to represent Christ’s five wounds and the three stigma the nails.  I thought I’d try to draw a passion flower halo for my Tree of Life design with the 72 radiating tendrils representing the crown of thorns.  Today is the Feast of Christ the King.  A king who has thorns for his crown.  A king who is not only just, but also merciful.  A king who loves us more than we love ourselves.

passionflower

I’ve also done some more work on the border.

tree-of-lifesmalldovehost

Sacred Music

I have a feeling that some of you might be in need of some soothing music today.

The YouTube channel “Callixtus”  has a nice selection of sacred (Christian) music illustrated with sacred art.

Tree Progress

tree-of-lifecropped

So I got all the lettering done except for the initial “G”; the first draft anyway.

Please don’t ask me what is up with the animal head coming out of the “d”. I don’t know why his tongue has got knotted up with his mane. It’s just one of those things that happens in this kind of art. I guess the monks that spent so many hours of their lives making themselves blind doing this stuff liked to have a bit of fun with it. That, or they drank too much homebrew. Monks were/are pretty good brewers, or so I’m told.