Return to health continued, Holbein

Holbein may have enjoyed a healthy life but in general I haven’t, least not as an adult, years of severe disability are finally catching up with me. Health is extremely important to do pretty much anything, most people know little about fine-art painting and the hours you have to spend as an artist, not only on the paintings that are part of your ‘oeuvre’ but forever learning and maintaining technique; fine-art painting actually requires a fairly high degree of physical and mental stamina. One must always be a student and as I still don’t have the strength to spend hours at the easel on bigger more involved paintings, I’ve taken December’s partial return to health to make small A4 sized or less copies of renaissance, ‘great masters’ works. I have about 7/8 on the go, all in various states of completion. The aim being as a life-long student to improve technically, in classical art, ‘art’ meaning all disciplines, music, poetry, writing sculpture etc. technique serves emotion, it is the bedrock of the meaning.
I’ve managed to complete so far a detail from ‘The Ambassadors’ by Hans Holbein The Younger (1497-1543), painted in 1533 it is known not only for the consummate skill of Holbein in rendering texture and detail but the astonishing anamorphic skull, which today looks like a Photo-shop effect. See here, for my exert from the much larger painting, for the anamorphic skull, search google. The Ambassadors_detail Sorry for the photo quality, my little painting is far superior 🙂
I hope to complete the rest by the end of January at the latest and then if my stamina is ready to be tested I can move onto the bigger ideas I aim to complete in 2016. Three paintings to be rendered in oils are, ‘The Last Judgement of Pope Frances’ which I hope will cause some controversy, a female nude surrounded by a Möbius strip and my second painting in a series of realisations of poems by Wilfred Owen.
Owen’s poem, ‘Spring Offensive’ with its descriptions of buttercups catching the blood of the fallen and the shock of meeting a hail of bullets, having climbed a ridge. Literally like falling off the edge of the world, will be painted on a wooden panel prepared in the renaissance way, using rabbit skin glue and six or so fine coatings of real home-made chalk gesso as opposed to cotton canvas or linen which I favour. I hope I can do it justice, I can certainly imagine it now as I did when I first read it many years ago.
I have many sketches to turn into paintings so I hope my health holds up and that I can be busy painting again this year and finally get around to selling high quality Giclée prints.

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Return to health? Life, painting follows.

For the first time in ages I’ve been able to do what I love doing most which is to paint, not a lot to ask you would think but everyday when your feet jump around remorselessly and mercilessly, you feel cold and tremble, you have no energy, long term health problems have stolen my usually irrepressible spirit and left me feeling a little depressed. Anyway some good news is that after months of self medicating and applying my own bandages, compresses etc. things seem to settling down neurologically and I’ve been at my easel trying to catch up on lost time.
Though not painting, I’ve been drawing and sketching ideas for next year and keeping an eye on the politicians who are most likely to get us into serious trouble. Trump and the G.O.P. seem to be at the head of this box of snakes but in England the Tories are hard at it trying to drag England back to a time before the second world war when the working class doffed their hats to their ‘betters’ and ‘knew their place’.
Along has come Jeremy Corbyn to throw a spanner into the works of this plan and the few who own England really don’t like him, as like Sanders in America he represents real change and an end to the plan. All the knives are drawn in the Tory media to finish him off quickly but much closer to home too, the Cuckoos (as I call them) in the Labour Party, the Tory eggs, cached there to surface on such an occasion are moving to finish Corbyn off and make it look at the same time like the natural machinations of the left.
The Cuckoos are the career politicians who see their bright futures dimmed by actually having to care about their constituents and do some real work, all this real politicking is getting in the way of things, an eventual solution to this may be the de-selection of the likes of Simon Danczuk and Jess Phillips or hopefully the forming of a new ‘progressive’ labour party minus the baggage of the Blairites, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and the rest of their sour faced ilk. See if anyone votes for them in their own ‘elite’ party.
The political financial elite who own the media are going to do everything they can to fight this new push from progressives but they may this time have under-estimated the number of people who feel disenfranchised by politics and are waiting to join a movement that represents their progressive feelings. Progressives are essentially humanists where the state is secular and justice for all is paramount. The welfare state is the bedrock of a just and forward looking society, the N.H.S. provides the health care necessary to maintain the work force of this society and a revised education system elevates young minds to realise their potential, presently buried under the current system.
I hope Labour can rebuild under Corbyn as a progressive party where intellect and nuanced ideas are prominent in deciding how to create a just society that is inclusive for all, and in so doing build a new interest in politics and encourage the voter participate in shaping their own futures.
More important than that is that I see an improvement in my health and I can get back to painting as before, non-stop everyday – almost.

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