This is a log or diary if you like to record my progress and development as I learn. My work entails wildlife,seascapes,figure and a bit of fantasy myths and legends. A wide range of subject matter. I work in acrylic and oil but will try anything that brings about the effect I desire. To portray a story or stir an emotion in the viewer. This is my aim.
I have been working hard to portray myth's and legends onto canvas, which by the way is no easy task. This latest piece has taken me almost 8 weeks to complete.
It is called "Gwion Bach's Awakening" and is taken from stories in the Mabinogion.
In brief, the story is about a Celtic Goddess called Ceriddwen who has three children, two are fair but the third, a son, is unfortunately very ugly to behold. She asks for a recipe for enlightenment from the wise men that live in the mountains so she can give her son great knowledge to counteract his ugliness. The brew has to be cooked for a year and a day so she employes a young boy named Gwion Bach (Welsh for little innocent) and an old blind man named Morda to tend the fire and to make sure the brew doesn't boil dry. As the time nears for the elixir to become ready and as Gwion stirs the bubbling, boiling liquid three drops splash out onto his thumb and he instinctively puts his thumb into his mouth to cool the scald. In so doing, he naturally ingests the elixir of enlightenment albeit accidentally and as only three drops of the magic potion can be used, this renders the rest useless and deprives Ceriddwen's son of her gift. Ceriddwen becomes furious when she finds out what had happened and chases Gwion in order to kill him. He knows his life is in mortal danger and runs but she is faster but the elixir has enabled him to shape shift so he changes into a hare so he can run faster but Ceriddwen changes into a black greyhound and soon she is snapping at his rear...................To read the full story you have to read the story of Teliesin and how Little Gwion became Teliesin, the greatest Bard of all time.
This is the third painting in my series of Celtic works. This painting represents the wild raw masculine and the gentle soft feminine aspects of nature.
Cernunnos of the wild wood meeting his gentle lady Gaia, to welcome the beginning of summer.
I have also uploaded 5 pictures showing the painting as it developed. I always draw a working image of the main subjects and then copy them onto frisket film, from there I can arrange the main subjects around the canvas to the right composition area whereby I can peel the back off the frisket and stick the drawn images onto the canvas. I then paint the background and then work towards the front of the picture, I then peel off the frisket and finish the main characters.
Here are a couple of small details of St Pauls which I painted last year, they were painted in acrylic which is what I seem to be using a lot of just lately, I supose its because oil takes so damn long to dry.
This was the hardest story to put on canvas that I have ever done so far. The story is of Blodeuwedd (pronounced bluh DIE weth) she was a maiden created from nine flowers to become the wife of Lleu by the great magicians Math and Gwydion. Lleu was cursed by his own mother never to to take a human wife. The magicians Math and Gwydion fashioned Blodewedd from nine types of blossom, Oak, Meadowsweet, Broom, Cockle, Bean, nettle, Chestnut, Primrose and Hawthorn, and breathed life into her. They lived conentedly until one day Lieu left his wife to visit Math. While he was away a stag hunt passed by the castle and Blodewedd spied the leader of the hunt, Gronw Pebyr and fell in love with him. It wasn't long before they declared their desire to be together and plotted to murder Lieu. Gronw Pebyr lay in wait and as Lieu came by Gronw slipped out of the shaddows and thrust a spear into Lieu's groin, Lieu did not die, he turned into an eagle and Blodeuwedd was cursed and turned into an owl for her part in the treachery. Blodeuwedd meaning "Flower-Face.
I have been working on new stuff over the last few months and so have not had much time to update my blog. I'm not much of a writer so as you can see from my posts they are very sporadic, I'm sorry about that but thats just me. Anyway, the work I am concentrating on now is Celtic Mythology and I'm really enjoying the chalenge. The other thing I am doing, is reworking old paintings, I have realized that work that I was reasonably happy with a couple of years ago, no longer please me and so have decided to tweek them about a bit, with better results.......I hope. I say this with tongue in cheek so to speak. I would welcome any comments, positive or negative because after working with a painting for any length of time, one can become oblivious to its faults and another pair of eyes can see what a painter has missed. This painting is of Cernunos, God of the hunt and of wild animals, he represents the wildness of nature.
This painting has taken me three weeks to finish, not the usual composition that I am used to because of the increased detail but it was a challenge that I set myself to see if I could accomplish the task. I personally don't like it, it comes accross far to busy for my minimalist taste. The medium is acrylic on 18" X 14" canvas board. My next project is abstact which is well out of my comfort zone but one has to try everything at least once.
This is the first time I have had the chance to update my blog since Yule. I haven't done much artwork lately due to the Kitchen needing decorating, the worst part of this job is preparation, there I was up a ladder pulling out all the rawl plugs from the wall where the last occupants of my house had drilled, when I missed my footing and tumbled off the ladder, the result is a very bruised leg and nothing further has been done to the kitchen since. While I recover from my silly accident, I did get the time to do a drawing of an old beggar. This photograph was taken in Egypt and I gained the permission from Barry Maytum the photographer to use the image as subject matter for my drawing, his website is worth a look www.ahigherplane.co.uk I used graphite and pastel on A3 paper to capture the careworn facial image, there is a sadness in the face which I hope I have managed to portray. I really enjoyed working on this face because of the wrinkles and leathery skin, it was certainly a challenge.