I’m continuing to sketch in the skeleton’s legs this morning, and contemplating the  multitude of skulls upon which he stands with some trepidation, just because there are so many of them. I should get pretty good at painting human bones with this kind of workload!

This layer has all been about sketching the structure of the skeleton – now that its in place and mostly correct I’ll start making things accurate and placing the details of the bones onto it. The wings are going to be interesting to do, if only because of their scale.

Visitors to the studio keep asking about what I plan to do in the background. The obvious choice would be to go for images of the inferno, or the eternal torture of the condemned. Although I like those magnificent scenes of hell found in Bosch’s awe-inspiring works, I’m not a fan of the doctrine of hellfire and damnation, being an out and out heretic as far as that goes. I think death is neither  need not be a terrifying event, nor a change that catapults us to hell or heaven, but a change of consciousness, so if I’m going to stay true to my beliefs in this painting I will need to consider the nature of death as a transition to be taken, simply as a movement 0f the energy of being from this incarnation to the next, in whatever form it takes. The world around the character should reflect this.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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