Hello and welcome to Magpiehaven. I've been busily preparing for Christmas this week - not because I'm super well organized; but because I want to create gifts to sell in the gallery of a local garden centre run by a friend, and to give to my friends and family. I've cut lots of little MDF house shapes ready to transform into brooches or Christmas ornaments and I've been using scans I created to give them faces and characters.
This week, over at Kim Dellow's wonderful 'Show Your Face' here, Kim is encouraging us to share those established artists who have inspired us and to provide a link to their work. Kim has been thinking about female artists, which has set me off on an exciting trail for next time, but this week I've been exploring the work of an artist I've always associated with Christmas! I've been looking at the work of Sandro Botticelli - The National Gallery has some beautiful images of his work, including this portrait of a young man here. Botticelli (1445-1510) was such a remarkable, early Renaissance painter. I love the faces he created, strange and other worldly yet so vital and alive they seem to beckon us into the mythological or mystical realms they inhabit. I always felt with Botticelli that a story was unfolding and that he had stopped time for just a moment so that we might step in and walk around in a magical narrative, especially in paintings like The Mystic Nativity or The Birth of Venus. What I wanted this week was to immerse myself in his work and then create some faces that I could scan, reduce in size and then feature on my gifts. Obviously I don't possess the artistic genius of Botticelli, but I wanted to somehow capture that magical world in miniature, to create the sense that his work has of us stumbling for a moment across a magical story in the making.
I used Pan Pastels, 6B pencil and just a touch of Inktense to create these two characters. The face on the right is based on a young Italian man, but he is not a copy. I wanted to create the impression of him turning for a moment to see who has tapped his shoulder in the crowd. Whoever it was has vanished, dissolved into the blue Italian afternoon and he is slightly confused as he gazes back over his shoulder. Could it possibly be a ghost from the future, if such a being exists?
The second picture is based on Botticelli Madonnas. Here I used Pan Pastels again, but I used a tip from Christy Harris to fix the pigment by applying Gesso over the pastels.
And here is my Renaissance inspired brooch, trimmed with Lynne Perrella stamping, which could be a steeple or a hat! The floral paper from a Graphic 45 pad reminded me of Botticelli's Primavera. In the coming days I'm going to be working on more brooches, adding embellishments and playing around with different Renaissance inspired faces - I have not had time yet to create one using the young man's face. Thank you so much for stopping by today and taking a look at my work in progress, inspired by the incredible Sandro Botticelli and - of course - Kim Dellow's great idea to Show Your Face on Friday and share art inspiration!