I thought it best to take a photo of the work done so far and decide on the way forward by manipulating in a couple of scenarios. I do not believe this is cheating…it is just a more efficient way to test and visualize how the end work could eventually look.
The inspirations behind this picture are many. First Saint Francis himself, a wealthy, worldly man who turned his back on all things material and decided to embrace poverty. A shining example through the ages, perhaps more so in the modern, consumerist, must-have-now world we live in today.
There is also the medieval angle to the composition. I simply love Proto Renaissance paintings…the stiff figures and poses…the gold everywhere…the unlikely landscapes…the architectural motifs… the heavy Byzantine influences… Think Duccio di Bouninsegna, think Giotto, think Fra Angelico - you get the picture (Comparisons are odious I know, in this case they border on the outrageous). To this day these paintings are among the foremost I look for in any major art museum I visit.
I will not necessarily adhere slavishly to the landscape, columns and motifs I have added digitally to help me map the way forward but they will certainly help.
I reckon this picture will take a few more weeks to complete.
I had previously completed "Visitation" in 1995. (image on left) showing an anonymous saintly nun being visited by an unabashedly unclothed angel delivering a rose. I remember that the rendering of the massive archway was murder but the nun was a joy to draw - a wobbly curvy shape with an equally oval face.
This remains a favorite work of mine (even if I say so) and I like the subtle humour of the work.
There are obviously parallels between the drawing I am doing now and this one.