Drawing the Circle

It was so satisfying to get to work on drawing the girls in the new painting. We’ve been very focused on preparing the conference, including a trip to San Francisco to visit Sadie Valerie and the wonderful exhibit at the Legion of Honor, the Cult of Beauty show that has traveled from London’s Victoria and…

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Purple, orange and green

If you had asked me ten years ago what colours I would use most in 2012 there is no way I would have predicted that Cadmium Orange, Viridian, Lead White, Carbazole Violet and Raw Umber would have begun to make regular appearances on my cart. I used to use an almost entirely earth tone driven…

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Hanged Man Emerging

I’ve started work on the Hanged Man, painting a first layer of Raw Umber to start defining the figure. I’m particularly happy to see the foreshortening of the figure working well. Pitture infamanti were part of a tradition that was designed to cause humiliation to its target by displaying in public the shame of the…

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The Return of Gnosis and Hermeticism

I’ve just cracked open a collection of essays from a conference titled “Gnosis and Hermeticism” which looks promising, although I want to get through Dante’s Paradiso before I really get stuck in. There’s a passage in the introduction that I liked: “…one openly fights an enemy as long as one fears that he still might…

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Paradisio, while the last of the leaves appear.

Welcome relief has come to the studio with the completion of almost all the leaves and flowers. I’ve reworked the areas that got a little too much of the cobalt blue and ┬áthe white glaze coat, and fixed up lots of little transitions where the vines twist onto each other and around the legs of…

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From Plato to Ficino to us.

“So, if the intermediate world of the stars and planets corresponds to the imaginative faculty of the soul, it is then, through the imagination that we can resonate sympathetically with the heavens; the imagination which will lead to a deeper, more unified kind of knowledge. We must distinguish here from our common use of the…

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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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Bouguereau and Photoshop

I want to look at a caveat from the great master painter William Bouguereau, who I regard with awe: “I detest realism” he told us, “for it is nothing but photography, neither more nor less! Well, if you are a painter it is so that you can do better than photography, so that you can…

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Using Millais as a Reference

There’s nothing like building upon the foundations built by giants to make certain that your own work is of better quality. At the Getty we visited some of my favorite paintings (Alma-Tadema’s “Spring”, a lovely Sargent portrait, a pair of Tissot society ladies and one of Godward’s best pieces, “Mischief and Repose”). But I was…

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The Emperor Begins

Following shooting photos of Amy for the figure sitting on the ground I sketched the drawing onto the canvas using a simple one foot grid as a guide. I like this composition very much for a couple of curious reasons: first, the way the woman is seated refers to a figure on the Gundestrup cauldron,…

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