Friday, February 12, 2016

The Illuminated Manuscript

I've always been fascinated by illuminated manuscripts; they are like Gothic cathedrals in the pages of a book. In my paintings, light is an important quality I try to capture, but pattern is the graphic equivalent of light. It can inspire the mind through the eye. 

Many years ago, in the late 1980s, I did a short calligraphy course, and it inspired me to create my own version of the illuminated manuscript. 

The designs were worked out in sketch form first and then drawn onto the paper with pencil. The border designs were done with watercolour and gouache paints, and the text with black ink. The gold is water-based paint, an alternative to the burnished gold leaf used in medieval books. The rose in the top work was painted from life, and I've introduced its image into other calligraphic works. Although the rose has many symbolic meanings, I portrayed it simply because of the feeling one gets from just looking at it. The top one measures 58 x 41.75 cm and the other 54.5 x 42 cm.
I've always loved philosophical sayings, and have written some of my own. I keep my sayings brief to evoke an idea to contemplate.