Glory

The morning glory has spread to cover much of the calf of the Emperor’s right leg, but I want to show more of it reaching up to pass his left foot, perhaps even stretching out tendrils toward his abdomen and increasing the feeling that he is being overwhelmed by the creeping vines. Working on the…

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Bare Feet

I’ve put down the first rough layer of Foundation White that will become the Magician’s bare feet. Pretty plain right now, they’ll be re-drawn and get a couple of layers more before they’re complete. I’m quite pleased to get them started, because they have needed attention for such a long time during the process of…

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Whiter than White Stripes, Alchemical Salts

I’ve spent a short time working with re-rendering the whites of the Magician’s clothing in order to build some substance to the paint and simply to clean up the glazes that had stained the figure while painting the background. The white looks incredibly bright against the more muted tones of the rest of the painting.…

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Alchemical Colours and the Dirt

Fifteenth century alchemical process followed a sequence of colour changes as the work progressed. Black (nigredo), White (albedo), Yellow (citrinitis) and Red (rubedo). Now coloured, the flags in the landscape indicate that this is an alchemical image, with a blue one at the centre of the cross representing the quintessence. The eponymous character demonstrates her…

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Michael Maier on Natural Magic

Early Western science included the study of the medical benefits of herbs, alchemical experimentation with distillation and a philosophical understanding of the evidence of the handwork of the deity in the natural world. Because there was such a lack of understanding of their work, renaissance practitioners of scientific research were often confused with sorcerers. Here’s…

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Elements in the Magician’s Landscape

I’ve drawn the landscape for the Magician’s world onto the canvas, with distant mountain range, a trough of water, a cross of long rags attached to sticks, and rocks and clouds that resemble each other.¬†All four elements are represented in this painting. In the distance, placed on the golden section at the centered horizon line,…

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Magician

I’m planning on shooting reference photos for the next big painting on Friday, with a perfect model for the image. This time I’m working with an image that includes all four elements and a figure who is controlling and in balance with them all. I’m abandoning my earlier idea of a male and female harmoniously…

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Busy

We had a very busy day in the studio. Ethan and Joseph were occupied with the second coat of gesso on the big Virtues canvas, then Joe got into stretching the third of the eight foot square canvas that Cyn McCurry sent from Texas onto its panel, ready for a wash of distilled water prior…

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