Yesterday I spent a few hours in the ETSU library with Robert. He did his chemistry homework and I looked at art book – illuminated manuscripts, Hodler, Velazquez, El Greco, Zurbaran, de Lempicka, and Jenny Saville. While scanning pages from an old sketchbook the day before yesterday, I was reminded of how northern Renaissance painters influenced my work. I was interested in the structure – multi-paneled sections of narrative – but also in the visual tools used to explain intangible occurrences. Although most people would probably cite contemporary references for Between Two Thoughts, I’m convinced that on some subconscious level the appeal of earlier ideas were still present.
So this brought me to illuminated manuscripts, which remind me of so many other things. (Click on images to view larger.)
Plus, there’s Mary Magdalene and SATAN in the manuscripts. (I feel the need to say SATAN in all caps because of how I actually say the word. When referring to the Devil seriously, I use his other names. SATAN is only for jest. That’s the kind of relationship we have.)
Oh, and of course, there were horses and dogs everywhere.
My camera battery died before I could record more images, but I plan to track down certain paintings online. Or return to them in the library some other time. I sketched out as much as I could. Mostly monsters and figurative compositions.
Here’s what I was researching about three months ago + yesterday morning when I was busy not being able to sleep.
A couple of the prints are pretty obvious if you know anything about art history – Albrecht Durer. It’s hard to miss that “AD” signature. There’s also a Francisco Goya drawing in there.
Reading about witches, witch hunts, witchery, etc. Primarily mapping the timeline – starting in Europe – and the things that tended to lead to accusation, method for “proving” the woman or man was a witch.
I had a dream not too long ago that I was performing on a stage for a handful of men and one woman. Over the course of my performance, I became more and more changed – seaweed, barnacles, shells, crabs, octopus. They were all over me. Most of the men didn’t seem to see it. Or I assumed they didn’t because they were still interested, giving me That Look. (But maybe they did. And maybe that’s why?) One of the men tried to intervene. I stood on stage after the performance, dripping sea water onto the hardwood stage, spot lite still on me. I watched him argue with the others.