My small canvas studies base on the monochrome illustrations in Cesar Ripa’s iconologia continue. These are learning aids in a way, embedding postures, fabric folds and symbolic elements in my muscle memory to enhance my improvised drawings.
During my MA studies (Grays School of Art, 2019-2021) I was fortunate to receive a an award from the Royal Scottish Academy to spend time studying in Florence.
I took the opportunity to visit this autumn, and was in my element visiting chapels particularly to investigate the fresco’s of Giotto, Daddi, Gaddi, Masaccio and their workshops. Opened up a way forward to develop my methods of narrative drawing.
A highlight for me was the Palazzo Vecchio, which I visited a couple of times to admire the murals.
I will of course add some photos of my time there, and the outcomes, but for now here are so images of my journey from Elgin to Florence: Train from Elgin to Aberdeen- Bus from Aberdeen to Edinburgh bus station- arrive around 1am- start walking from Edinburgh bus station towards the airport- walk past Haymarket and Murrayfield- walk a few miles and give to wait for a bus, sweating through my hoodie and jacket- bus to airport, try to doze sitting against wall- early flight, self conscious about sweaty ness from big walk, fly to London, couple hours wait, eat a burger- fly to Florence, even more self conscious of sweaty stinkiness and regretting not just getting a bus to Edinburgh airport in the first place- arrive in Florence, tired but happy.
For years I have periodically painted still life paintings of skulls. Sometimes these have taken a vanitas approach incorporating incorporating other symbolic elements (flowers/coins/ objects) to suggest a narrative or deeper meaning to the viewer.
More frequently they are something of a portrait of the skull where it is the sole or primary aspect of the composition .
In addition to attempting to develop a striking image, these paintings function as a form of painting practice, where I try to develop aspects of my skill and techniques.