Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Ascension

A musician colleague in my orchestra invited me to participate in a wonderful event this week: a multi-sensory meditation on the Holy Rosary featuring artwork by fifteen local artists and a performance of Heinrich I.F. Biber's complete Mystery Sonatas for scordatura violin, harpsichord and cello. Each artist was invited to choose a movement for inspiration. Each piece of artwork was then illuminated while that movement was beautifully performed by the trio at the evocative Marigny Opera House here in New Orleans.
I chose movement 12 of the Mystery Sonatas: The Ascension. [For additional inspiration, I used the music of Edward Elgar's The Apostles. Part 7 is titled The Ascension.]
The Ascension, 48"x48", acrylic on canvas, gold leaf and mixed media
I began with a brilliant, red/orange/violet underpainting and covered the 48" canvas with 5" patent gold leaf squares. After preparing the gold leaf, what followed were many, many layers of glazes in acrylic paint. molding paste, handmade papers and texturing techniques. The libretto for The Ascension is Christ's final words to the disciples. These are captured in calligraphy in the beams surrounding the imagery of the Holy Spirit, found at the top center of the painting. The additional calligraphy at the center, Alleluia, is the refrain sung throughout the movement and is done in gold leaf.
I hope you enjoy seeing these photos of my process...
The underpainting in acrylic

Ready to begin painting after applying the gold leaf

Layering begins

Adding the music and handmade papers

Glazing the canvas

Beginning to add color layers

More details

Adding handmade papers in layers for additional texture...

Work on definition

Adding gold leaf to Alleluia

The Ascension - FINAL piece with calligraphy

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