May 1, 2013

Madonna of the Burning Embers

So what does an artist do when waiting for art work to dry, or for pots to burn in a pit? Make more art work of course. But while my pots were smoking away, I decided to end my run of ocarina making for now - the pit firing took too much out of my now frail body - and turn back to drawing. I did the relaxing and easy thing once more by coloring on top of a previously executed sketch of a relief sculpture of a Madonna and Child. The original sketch was made in conte crayon. On top of that I used water soluble pastels for a watercolor effect. This naturally made the paper curl so I had to flatten it down with weights for a while before adding the final layer of soft pastels. While waiting for the drawing to flatten I discovered how to use a dremel to route out some ocarinas for fine tuning - but more about that later.

Whether it was the inspiration of the pit firing or being in a warm mood, when adding the final layer of soft pastels to my Madonna and Child I choose to make a halo the color of burning embers. I now call this work Madonna of the Embers. Strange to associate such a watery or celestial being such as the Virgin Mary with Fire. A halo of embers seems more akin to eastern gods and goddesses and I was perhaps influenced by those. Either way she served well to preside over expectations of the forms and music that would come from the smoke and flames.

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