Starting 2018 with… Creation!

Happy belated New Year everyone! I don’t know if new year’s resolutions are a thing for you, but if you haven’t broken your resolution yet, congratulations! :)

I don’t do resolutions, but I do set goals. And one of those goals is to complete new art work that serves a good purpose. Despite my health issues and other things, this is something I am working towards.

In this sense, things are off to a good start, because I got an illustration comission from one of my professors! He needs 6 illustrations of the bible’s creation story for his lectures. A classic theme, a good cause, so I gladly took the job.


These are the rough sketches for three of the days. The other three days are basically the same pictures without the pink objects/animals, hence the pink-grey color in the sketch. (This is due to the parallel literary structure of the biblical text, not because I’m trying to be lazy). The actual illustrations will be done as combo of digital painting and collage. Hopefully, they will be done by April!

 

Highlights of the Week: Art History, A new Painting, a finished Mask

I had another busy week at seminary. Classes, projects and art progress.

What I am learning more and more is that there are quite a few connections between art and theology. I am, for example, going to give a presentation in Church history about the 12th century German mystic Hildegard of Bingen. What I find interesting about her is that she wrote down a lot of things, most notable her visions, medical teachings and her songs. The illustations that accompany those writings are among the most interesting of the German middle ages. And the fact that she did all of that as a woman in a male-dominated society makes it even more interesting.

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The Creation of the world in 6 days (From Hildegard’s “Scivias”)

I could also get some art done this week: sketches, drawings, painting ideas, as well as a finished second “Kasperle”-mask. Unfortunately my camera is messed up again, so I can’t upload any pictures. But I’ll post pictures when I can.

The mask is painted in the same style as the first, but the colors are more red and green as compared to magenta-blue. I actually think this version looks more refined than the first. It’s nice to see progress!

The drawings are preliminary sketches for my children’s book “chasing chickens” and a colored pencil caricature of a guy I saw at the “Montmartre”-art show.

I also (finally!) have an idea for a new painting, and I think it’s size will be about 5′ x 4′ (150 x 120 cm). Again, I don’t have a picture to show yet, but I want to try something in the direction of Van Gogh, Hopper and Pieter Doig. It will be based on the view from my bedroom window (flat rooftops, an appartment on the right, hills in the background), but with the uncanny atmoshpere of a Hopper and the “mystical” style of Pieter Doig. And I probably want to use a similar color style and brush stroke as Van Gogh.
These artists are all great in their own ways, but my goal is not to simply copy them. I want to be inspired by them and make the pictures that come of that my own. We will see what that means for the art piece. Whatever the case, it will be fun to pick up a brush again :)

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Pieter Doig’s “Swamped” (1991)

Inspired and glad to be Home (Italy in Retrospect)

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I just got back from a 2-week vacation in Italy with my family. The first week was in Tuscany, the second in Venice. I could post updates in the first week, but when we were in Venice the internet connection was next to inexistent. So here’s Venice after the fact:

Day 7: Trip from Lucca to Venice. A very long and stressful trip, because my sister Jessica is autistic and afraid of large crowds, new places, and water. Venice has all these things, so it took my parents 7hours to get her from the car to the appartment. I and my younger sister Sarah couldn’t really do anything except carry luggage and go on ahead. So we were all exhausted, but relieved when we finally all reached the appartment.

Days 8-14: Venice. We went to see parts of the city, some churches, museums and shops. My dad loved the water and going different places with the “vaporetto” (the water-bus), Sarah liked the beach at Lido and some shops and gelato, Mom loved the Santa Maria de Salute-church and the Frari-church. I liked the light and the art, both in museums and in details all over the general city. All of Venice is a work of art. I got to draw some of the details, faces and other things, as well as see the Guggenheim-Museum, the Accademia, and the Frari Church (which contains a lot of art in its original setting).

The trip home was almost as stressful as the trip to Venice. But we got home after 16hours. Glad to be back!

Art History…done!

I had my art history exam this morning and it was great! The exam was actually kind of fun :)

So now I can focus on other stuff, like painting and gardening… and a part time job!
I will be working at the local grocery store stacking shelves 3 times a week. I’m really happy about this job, for several reasons: it’s income, it’s local and it means that I’m healthy enough to work. For several years I had real problems with being tired all the time and couldn’t find the reason why. I still don’t know what caused it, probably never will. But I feel much better now! For the first time in forever… :)

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Things sometimes come differently than you want them to, but in the end I can only be thankful for my life and for God’s provision. He’s there with me!

Art…History!

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I have an art history exam coming up on Feb 3rd. The exam is only 20 minutes and oral, but you still need to know your stuff.
My desk is covered in notes and books, and will be for the next few weeks. It can be a bit tiring to read all the books and commentaries on artists, but you also learn a lot of significant things. I need to study 8 topics, I have 5 down, 3 to go. So far I’ve learned about Diego Velazquez, John SInger-Sargent, Jeff Wall, Marcel Duchamp and Frank O’ Gehry. I realize just how talented, hard-working and prolific some artists were while others were lost in philosophy and thought, to the point of producing very little work. I also see how much art has changed over the centuries, showing the change of culture, thought and values that go with it. Modern art was a reaction to the new theory of relativity and new technology (automobiles, cameras). One was fascinated by new technology but also felt that art no longer should imitate nature. (cameras could document reality in a “neutral” way now. Painting was emotional, subjective, no longer “authentic”) Instead, art split into countless groups, all trying to make sense of a senseless world. Some worshiped rational thought, while others idealized the subconcious. In either case, it was a reaction to reality.

So my lesson from that: Art should be “real”. I don’t want to be pretentious, nor pretend to be unpretentious. Knowing where art came from gives you an idea where art could be going.