Continuing on from the Stage 1 post for this piece, I show you now what the border drawing looked like when all filled in. In the two subsequent photos you’ll see the colour being gradually added, using Winsor & Newton watercolours. I wanted to give each ‘direction’ in the Psalm its own colour variation. The top is light blue to represent heaven, the bottom is a murky black-blue to represent Sheol. The left is the rosy-tinted East and the right is the slightly more orange-toned red. The ‘flame’ pattern at the bottom also hints at Sheol.
This April (April 15-18, 2019) the Transept Artists’ group of the University of St Andrews Institute of Theology, Imagination and the Arts is putting on its annual exhibition. This year’s theme is ‘Space( )Between’, based on Holy Saturday but also more generally exploring the in-between places and states of being we all experience. I am part of Transept this year, despite not being a student in ITIA and have thoroughly enjoyed my time with this group.
When thinking about which Scripture passages I could use to go along with this theme, I decided upon a portion of Psalm 139 which describes the infinite space that God’s presence occupies and also mentions hell (Sheol). It encompasses the upmost heights and the deepest lows.
I decided to go with an elaborate illuminated calligraphy piece and over a few posts I’ll be showing you the progress of the work.
One day in December a couple years ago, I was passing by a home furnishing store in my town and noticed a gorgeous natural wreath made with dried oranges and cinnamon sticks. It really caught my eye and I went home to find a reference photo and start a digital painting of it. Here is the result.
A good friend commissioned this piece for her husband as he had just recently submitted his PhD thesis and this quote was a key part of his theme. The script is Uncial and there are small thistles inside the illuminated initial M.