getting medieval





In keeping with this retrospective, I'd like to now examine another period of my work. The paintings here are from fall 2008 to January of 2009, but I will still occasionally use this style or integrate it with other influences--I really like the solid black bodies and the saturated jewel tones. There's still evidence of the way I worked earlier, with the pale, creepy faces and the unnatural coloring, only these were done after I discovered the joy of glazing. I can't work in any other fashion now. The bottom image has a light linseed oil glaze on the faces (it's pinkish over the blue-gray underpainting, and I was going to do more, but I liked how it looked and I stopped), and the other two have a stand oil glaze. Because stand oil is the best stuff ever (and also responsible for the shine that somewhat interferes with the photographs).

They are inspired by medieval pieces, mainly from illuminated manuscripts and the like. It probably also helped that I was taking a medieval art course and a medieval literature course at the time. The top image is Jesus from the Godescalc Gospel Lectionary (Frankish, ca. 781-783 C.E. Godescalc was the guy who made it. Note the lack of beard on Jesus--that didn't become the tradition until about the mid 1000s. The Lectionary was written in gold ink on purple parchment and is generally REALLY REALLY PIMP. This has been your art history lesson).

Top to bottom (not counting the Godescalc image): The Pardoner, The Silver Tree, and The Council. The Council was inspired by the way people who live with one another come to form a way of communicating particular to them, and the gold background is likely an influence of Byzantine art. The Pardoner, of course, comes from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (if your haven't yet, read it. Read it now.) The pardoner is my favorite character because of how creepy he is, the way his guilt manifests itself in his mania, and the way he is convinced that he is beyond redemption and talks of his evilness in a way that is both proud and despairing. Good stuff. And those are pig bones around his neck. If you want to know why, read the book.

Currently, The Silver Tree and The Council hang in my mom's living room, and The Pardoner hangs in my bedroom. It's one of my favorite paintings and I'm quite pleased with the way I got the eyes to follow viewers around, and even though he's creepy I've developed an affection for him. My boyfriend, however, has not: "You hung it UP? Now I can't escape it!"