Saturday, April 28, 2012

Advanced Painting / [Law] & [Battle]

"Goddess Series: Iaculus Ipso [Law]"
© Vaughn Reynolds 2012
22" x 28" Oil on Canvas

Here is painting #2 of the Goddess Series in it's current state. I am working on this one and "Proelium Omni [Battle]" (pictured below) simultaneously. These two pieces are also the first pieces where I personally photographed the models for the paintings.

"Iaculus Ipso" is inspired by the heroic and tragic story of Hypatia of Alexandria. My original idea was to make a Goddess of Law, and by law I mean cosmic and scientific law, not the martial type. My professor gave me Hypatia to research and what I found blew my mind. I uncovered things even the professor didn't know about that totally fit into the direction I wanted to go. She was a Neoplatonist, and in this school of philosophy there is something that resonates strongly with me and will be a part of this painting (which isn't shown above yet!); this concept is known as,

"The One" -- "The totality of being may thus be conceived as a series of concentric circles, fading away towards the verge of non-existence, the force of the original Being in the outermost circle being a vanishing quantity." ... This is part of the reasoning for the solar system that will be represented as a 'halo' around the figures head, with her head being the sun, falling on the crown and third-eye chakra.

As for the fish, which you may ask about, they are coelacanth and represent Christianity, which consumed Hypatia in a horrific way.

"Goddess Series: Proelium Omni [Battle]"
© Vaughn Reynolds 2012
22" x 28" Oil on Canvas

I had some loose ideas I had researched for inspiration to the Goddess of Battle. There are a number of Greek and Roman Goddesses whom fit the bill, but I wanted to make something wholly original.

I was fortunate enough to go on an art trip to Italy where we traveled through Rome, Florence, Verona, Venice and Milan. While in Rome we visited the Vatican museum. I would go into further detail on the trip, but that's for another blog post... So, while there I was finally exposed to classic sculptures and I was, to put it lightly, blown away. So I decided to keep an eye out for a figure to inspire the painting. I came across Juno Sospita and found the one that fit what I had envisioned!

Fortunately for me my roommate participates in Medieval festivals and competes in period combat. So, I borrowed his spear and his friends shield. Coupled with my cloak and a mask I had just purchased in Venice I had all the props for the model.

It was an interesting experience working with a person who had never modeled before, and since I'm new to shooting models for a painting I too was learning. It was fun and we ended up getting some great shots.

I chose to place her against a scrubland backdrop to give her more of the medieval European feel, rather than something too abstract. I have an idea I've been playing around with for her hair to make her seem more cosmic... but I'll leave that as a surprise!

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