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Advent is soon upon us and to celebrate its coming I painted this little folk art style angel. As the angel told the shepherds in the field to ‘fear not’ so may we apply these words to our own lives. My prayer is that our hearts be filled with peace and good cheer. Let all fear, doubt, and worry be far from us all.
Happy Advent to you………..
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This is newest work out of my studio. This piece measures 4×6 inches and is a combination of mosaic and oils on stretched canvas. You can see that the head is painted and the clothes, background and border are all done in small beads.
Needless to say these pieces take a while to do, but are very rewarding.
While working on this piece I mediated on the Gospel passages that tell of Christ at the wedding at Canaan. All marriages face many challenges, but Christ’s love is bigger that any opposition or problem. May Christ’s blessings be on all marriages.
Below are two pictures that show a little of the making process. The white on the border was to light and I had to cover the white with an acrylic gold. The over all effect turned out better than I thought. Working as an artist has its rewards.
Thanks for stopping by….. May the blessings of Christ be on us all.
This icon was written for my son and was done on a large canvas measuring 24×36 inches. Orthodox Christians believe that a guardian Angel is appointed to one at baptism. A few weeks ago I asked the Lord to show me our kids guardian angels and this is what came out to be our son’s guardian Angel. I like how the eyes of this angel turned out. The eyes reflect a watchfulness which is a good thing for a guardian angel to have.
First step was to create a drawing. As always, I do my drawings on transparent paper. Transparent paper makes a good drawing material because it can be turned around to view the drawing backwards. When viewed backwards drawing problems are easily spotted.
Once a good drawing was made I then used an overhead projector to enlarge the drawing onto the canvas. Some artist don’t like using an overhead projector, but I view it as a tool.
Once the drawing is transferred onto the canvas, I used acrylics to outline the drawing. Using the outline color, I then worked in the areas that would be darker. This process is known as an underpainting and is a traditional method.
After the underpainting dried the next step is to cover then entire canvas with a yellow-gold acrylic wash. This unifies the canvas and will give the painting a golden undertone.
The final steps to the painting were all done in oil. First I painted the angel’s face and then went onto painting the garments, wings, halo and background. Once all the colors were blocked in I left the painting for a few days to give me time to study it. This process is important because over the course of a few days I able to pick out the weak areas that either need to be strengthened or lightened. Currently this piece is hanging in our livingroom. I tease our son saying his angel watches TV with him. After a few weeks of studying the work I may feel the need to work on a few areas especially the darker areas, but for now it is finished.
A big part of being creative for me is getting outside…….I am for the most part a studio artist….but I have tried Plein Air painting and found a myself wondering how in the world did Van Gogh do it. Northern Europe has strong winds to contend with….. so Van Gogh’s dedication to capture the colors while fighting the winds always inspires awe in me. But getting outside and experiencing the elements is an important aspect to tapping into the creative side of one’s brain.
Last night I did just that. My husband and I joined a group of folks to paddle lake Hartwell in Tugaloo State Park’s ‘Harvest Moon Paddle’. We had such a great time! Even though it was a bit cloudy the moon did peek out a time or two giving us a full-moon smile.
Hope you are able to get outside soon to enjoy the wonders of God’s creation!
ANGELS and ARCHANGELS
“The teaching of the church about the world of spirits is constant and simple: there is such a world, it is important, it comprises good and evil beings, and it influences our world.” (Coulson, John. The Saints A Concise Biographical Dictionary, Hawthorn Books, INC. 1958, page 31.)
Many people believe in angels even if they say they don’t believe in God. Angels for the most part are considered the good guys who help us out, watch over us, and keep our children safe when we’re not there. Many of us have seen angelic beings and a few have heard them speak. Think of Mary and the words spoken to her at the Annunciation.
The Greek word for angel means “messenger.” Angles are present in both Old and New Testament and are depicted not just as messengers but often as champions against evil. In Tobias the angel Raphael defends, guides, and gives company to Tobias.
The original ‘Angel with the Gold Hair’ is from the the Novgorod school and dates from the mid to late 12th century. The Novgorod school quite simply gets its name from the Russian city that it was located.
Icons are some of best Novgorodian art and I think this is because the Novgorodian iconographers didn’t just import the Byzantine style, but they fused it with their own traditional folk art. Making the Novgoronian icons distinct and lively.
“Angel with the Golden Hair” is a wonderful example of Novgoronian liveliness and despite the damaged panel this icon reflects it’s intended spiritual strength through the usage of a strong contrast of darks and lights, saturated bright colors, and an energetic usage of drawing. This icon’s liveliness reflects a heavenly energy.
By the late 13th the Novgorod school began a shift in style. Figures became more flat and the palette changed from the lively folk colors to the deeper colors of brown, green, and ochre. However during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, the Novgorod school produced some of Russia’s greatest Medieval works of art.
But still my favorite of all the Novgorodian icons is this one. This angel for me expresses in a real way the beauty and grandeur of the Heavenly Host.
As you can see my copy is not an exact replica, but hopefully I have in some small way captured the spirit of the original icon. The first notable change is color usage. My icon has a distinct Ultramarine Blue as the background color. Trying to copy the damaged part of the panel was beyond my artist capabilities so simplifying the background worked best for me.
I enjoyed using contrasting colors of deep blue and the yellow family. I felt like the contrast of darks and lights work well in communicating heaven’s battle of good against evil.
The lesson I was mindful of while working on this icon was the ever presence of God. He is always with us. The angels of God are His messengers and He sends them to our aid. I hope you are encouraged by this icon and my prayer is you experience His eternal peace.
In addition to icons and landscapes I have just recently started doing paintings for children. Theses are fun 8×8 inch oil on canvas board and come framed or unframed. If you are interested in any of these little darlings contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org