Medieval Angel

smoke, acrylic, charcoal, feathers, collage, tag on w/c paper 11 X 15″

A variation on the Guardian Angel figure theme of late.  I was trying out the technique of painting with smoke which lent a somber feel to the piece and made my figure look more like a witch than an angel.  Of course it is likely that many of the witches who were burnt at the stake were actually healers, Shamans, medicine women.  And so my figure became a Witch Angel.

Witch Angel from the Middle Ages, come wave your wand at me.  Banish the ill humours and restore balance to my life.  You stand amidst smoke and carry a parchment made of papyrus from Egypt.  What writ is this?  Will I stand with you in meadows green some day – Ireland perchance, and sing the Celtic songs of old?  My baggage packed and tag addressed, “To the land where lasses roam free in the heather and soar with the hawks.  And the wind blows the fragrance of earth, of peat and bracken.  To that land will I go.

You may want to try the smoke painting, although you must do it outside.  I made the mistake of not waiting for the rain to stop and doing the first application in my studio, which smelled horribly for the rest of the day!  You simply light a candle with a plate beneath it to capture the dripping wax, and then incline the surface of your paper over the flame, close enough to actually bend the flame back until it releases the smoke onto the paper.  If you get too close to the edge of the paper it catches fire, so you have to be ready to douse the flame.  I love the mysterious quality it lends to the paper surface.  The smoke smudge is water soluble so it’s not easy to glaze over it.  Have fun!

We’re starting to frame my art journal type paintings, including this one, for my upcoming show, “The Personal Image Revealed” at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts which starts February 11 and runs through March 21.  I hope you’ll be able to come!  The exhibit will include my art journal books from the past 6 years, wall hung art, my new book Conversations With the Muse, and demonstration videos.

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