minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.

Archive for the tag “art”

Obsecro Te

After the Gospel readings it was common to have a set of prayers to the Virgin Mary. I have completed the first and longest of the two prayers. This is the Obsecro Te, which translates as “I beseech thee”. Devotion and prayers to The Virgin Mary date back to the earliest years of Christianity and so it’s not surprising to find these in a book of hours. The prayers to the Virgin were sometimes personalized toward the intended owner of the book of hours. I have opted to represent the prayer as translated.

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Reading from Luke

Gospel reading from Luke. The Evangelical symbol of the bull belongs to Luke. Stuck to a more traditional book of hours scheme for the reading on this one. Lots of gold mixed with vines and wildlife.

Reading from John

Here is the reading from John. Was able to find some pictures on the net to reference the Evangelical Symbols. Johns is the eagle. I also chose to start the reading in Latin which will continue on the other readings.

September with fish and turtles

September ended up more on the whimsical side. Was partially inspired by a recent visit to St. Augustine, Florida. Some of the seaside local art helped me along with the theme for this month.img_0472img_0473
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August Thistle and Rose

August was a re-visit to the Flemish art style. Flowers with shadows make the panel art seem to pop out of the page. My first try at this was in February with Oak leaves.

So the top picture is obviously a rose surrounded by gold foil, the side panel… Are doodle flowers and I’m not sure if they could be tied to an actual type of flower in existence.

On the second page is Thistle surrounded by gold and on the side panel are Geranium. These grew wild in Alaska and I had a few of these planted in my yard when I lived there. They came back every year.

July. Ivy and Peacock Feathers

For July I looked back on January. My first attempts in my book of hours were full of trial and error. I revisited what I envisioned and here is the result. I will probably continue to re-do the first part of the year in the second half to see where I grew.

Ivy with gold leaves and a few animals. I used watercolor pencils for the peacock feathers and took a quick lesson on you tube on how to make them. Overall very happy with July and seeing my progress.

First page had a huge blunder on one date where I put the Saint on the wrong day. Blotted out to cover and shows. Will start focusing on the illuminated letters going forward. I figure that once I complete the calendar and move into other parts of the hours I will allow more room for this and have some fun.

Second page had no big blunders. Mixing the gold leaves with a few greens, red berries, a bird and a snail.

May full of Sunflowers

Final for May in my book of hours. Had some fun with sunflowers for this page. I was thinking about what to do on this calendar page and all I kept getting was that old rhyme about April showers bringing May flowers. So I went with it.

On the first page I added a few Celtic trinity symbols that seemed to go nice with the sunflowers. Gold leaf fills in the rest of the center. Also tried a 3D spiral on the header bar that I saw in a real book of hours.

My wife has planted sunflowers before and while you know they are a big flower, it’s still amazing to see them up close and just how very large they can become. Once they are ripe the birds came in and devoured the seeds in just a few days.

A few more Celtic inspirations on the second page with some knot work. My knots need about as much work as my calligraphy. Lol. Still I like the result. The page is full of light and life.

February and March

February calendar went a little better. Still had a few mistakes but didn’t need to patch anything like I did in January.

I tried a few different styles in February. The first page I tried to follow the look of a Flemish Book of Hours. Focus on objects shadowed to allow them to pop out of the page. Flemish book of hours often used natural objects like flowers, plants, vegetables and even animals like fish shadowed on a flat color background.

The second half I tried at a more Celtic approach. Found a design n the web that I thought would fit in the side panel and went from there.  I also took a different approach to applying the gold foil to keep it more flat and avoid the embossed look I ended up with in January.  Because the paper is rough I still don’t get a smooth shine but I am satisfied with what I get here.

March went even better than February, still working on the calligraphy, and seems I always get one date wrong and have to redo. Regardless, I felt much more at ease completing March as the process is becoming familiar.

The pictures this month were inspired by art I saw while in Mexico recently. The suite at the resort we stayed at was right on a pond with fish, turtles, frogs and iguana. I suppose this is the first month where I had a theme that seems consistent. January was just doodling, February had oak leaves timing it together, but March is all about the fish pond.

So a little about the calendar. A book of hours started with a calendar noting the various feasts and memorials of the church. Seems like there was always a day around the corner to remember, celebrate and maybe even prepare a special meal for. There are letters next to the calendar days which allowed the calendar to function as a perpetual calendar. These are dominical letters. A simple but brilliant idea. By adding these letters, from a to g for the days of the week, a person only needed to know what letter aligned with Sunday for the year they were in, then the rest of the letters would follow and they could know which weekdays each date corresponded to. For instance if Sunday (Domingo) this year aligns with “c” then every date with a “c” next to it is a Sunday for this year. That means that “d” will note Monday’s and so on.

Autumn Fire

Autumn Fire

Autumn Fire

Growing up in A small New Jersey town on the edge of the suburban and rural parts of the state I found the Fall to be my favorite time of year. The colors in the Northeast are like nowhere else I’ve ever been. Spattered out across the hillsides and meadows as if some mad artist spilled all the burning colors from his pallet across a massive canvas in bas relief; the clash of cooler air and the warm fiery panorama conjure thoughts of pumpkins and apples, Thanksgiving and All Hallows’.

I spent a lot of time in the woods as a youth, especially in the Autumn. Hunting, three wheeling, camping and hiking throughout the forest behind my home. Exploring the ruins of old structures reclaimed by the decades, looking for old bottles and plates left by the former inhabitants. Hunting for the mythical graveyard which was said to be in the woods somewhere but hidden by time and which I never did find.

Late September and into October the Earth would begin to change. You could feel it in the air, the brisk cool autumn, smells of smoke from chimneys dormant through the summer. Leaves would begin to fade from green and fall from their branches. The sound of wind rattling the tributary branches of trees swaying amidst a rain of confetti leaves swirling in a vortex or rolling like a wave down the forest path. All eventually to find their place on the forest floor and await the snows of winter.

Sunflower

Well it’s been a while since I’ve been able to get out in the garage and hack away at the canvas. For some time now the idea of making a stained glass picture has been bouncing around in my mind. Staining glass is a mystics art. It requires light to reveal the scene like any other picture but it’s when light penetrates through the glass that all is revealed. Anyone that knows me should have seen this coming. After all I have stained most of the windows in my house and love to check out those beautiful gothic cathedrals and church buildings adorned with this art. I chose a simple idea, the sunflower (which also happens to be my wife’s favorite flower ;). ), and tried to keep the colors rich and strong to retain the feel of a stained glass. This was such a fun project that I’m already gearing up for a few more in this style. IMG_0298.JPG

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