Category Archives: Painting

The Medieval Greenhouse of Eden

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Greenhouse of Eden 35 cm x 35cm

The Medieval Greenhouse of Eden plays on the same ideas as the other room paintings in this series. It uses a 13th century style, with its weird perspective and limited palette to create a modern image in a Medieval way.

It takes inspiration from my neighbour’s banana tree, the florist over the road and the tall umbrella pines that populate the nearby park.

 

Medieval Garden

The facade is drawn as a front-on elevation linked to multiple vanishing DSCN7344points throughout the painting. The idea is that viewers are forced to use other depth cues in order to create a three-dimensional view. This ultimately gives the painting a topsy turvy feel.

Strange perspective

Blurring of the images behind the glass windows, overlapping, size difference and aerial perspective all give depth and three-dimensions to the painting. The blue sky and verdant green background, orange ochre tiles and red pots create a spacial effect and make the conservatory stand out.

escherroom

Like an M. C. Escher etching, the viewer believes and disbelieves in the same breathe. You can see the depth in one moment and then are unable to the next. This is how one-eyed people see the world, through a series of snapshots that on occasion don’t add up but then with a twist of the head, all make sense again.

 

 

Medieval Garden Shed

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Medieval Garden Shed – watercolor 20cm x 30cm

I love the idea of combing eras and this one places a modern garden shed in a medieval style Gothic, herbal garden. The shed design is based on one from a B&Q garden centre catalogue but it has been given a 13th century twist.

It features iron hinged, shutters, a trefoil fan light and is drawn in a flat perspective. Inside, the storage box and plant pot come from the Ikea product range.

Medieval Garden

Medieval Herb Book

Medieval Garden

The medieval garden draws inspiration from an ancient herbal manuscript, with its twisted trees and over grown plants. Meanwhile, the gardening tools are taken from an old German wood cut.

The colourful marrows and onion plants look strangely at home alongside the modern, wooden shed, stocked with its range of intimidating implements.

Others in this Modern Gothic rooms series, include the library, kitchen and the bathroom.

Prints, postcards and mugs of the Medieval Garden shed are available from my  on-line shop.

13th Century Cigarette Lighter

Lighter

Cigarette lighter

If in the 13th century Ismail al Jazari had had the opportunity to design a cigarette lighter, I feel sure his painting would have looked something like this.

He would have incorporated a sealed pot to hold the gas and somehow tied down a piece of flint. There would have been a cog that when turned could adjust the height of the flame and the whole mechanism would have been put in a decorative box.

As with the previous machines, I’ve used the phonetic alphabet to give the painting an air of mysticism. The strange symbols and the addition of the mathematical formula for a burning match gives it a real sense of this being a scientific document.

Prints, postcards and mugs of this fascinating Medieval Lighter are available from my on-line shop.

The Modern Medieval

CoffeeMachine

Carrying on from the modern landscapes in a Medieval or International Gothic style and the contemporary saint avatars, I have started a series of medieval instruction manuals.

I discovered the 12th century, Arabian polymath, artist/inventor, Ismail al Jazari’s works and have taken them as a starting point. Al Jazari produced a manuscript book detailing 100 different machines that people could make. These included fountains, clocks and musical machines.

Ancient manuscript

Using the format and devices Jazari created I am producing drawings of modern appliances in his medieval style. This includes strange spiky cogs, flaming furnaces and water wheels, all linked up to power and operate my machines.

Al Jazari machine

Al Jazari’s Manuscript

Al Jazari’s designs also contain Arabic lettering and symbols to explain the working of his creations. Not speaking Arabic and not wishing to write complete nonsense I decided to use the phonetic alphabet to annotate my drawings. This gives it a mysterious feel but is also legible if you know how pronunciation is written.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the first design is a coffee machine. Obviously water flows from the tank on the right, into the boiler and is pumped up into the filter from where coffee drips into the cup. If you have any ideas that you’d like me to try out please add to the comments section. 🙂

Prints, postcards and mugs are available of the wonderful Coffee Machine from my on-line shop.

 

 

Archangel St Michael

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This forms part of the modern emoji saints series. The idea that if Byzantine or Early Renaissance painters were working now, how would they have portrayed religious topics. As emojis, obviously.

St Michael

So, if you’re looking for an angel to take your battles to the enemy, Saint Michael is your guy. He is often pictured as a warrior angel, fighting the foes of heaven. In Revelations he takes on Satan and wins, there are also paintings of him defeating serpents and dragons.

Attributes of the saint

St Michael is fully equipped for the task and is shown wearing armour, carrying a sword and spear with his banner attached. He also is depicted holding the scales of justice, where the lives of sinners are in the balance. Tradition has it that the colours associated with him are Royal purple and cobalt blue, this accounts for his colourful attire.

The archangel is a popular figure as patron saint, he is the protector of Jewish people and guardian of the Catholic church. The people of France, Germany, the Ukraine, Brussels, Kiev and Dumfries. Enforcers also look to St Michael, so police officers, the military, paratroopers, firefighters and paramedics call upon him. Strangely enough, so do grocers and the sick.

Other saints in the series – St David, St George, St Andrew, St Patrick, St Francis

 

 

The Saintly Chemical Brothers

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St Cosmas & St Damian

The two brothers, Cosmas and Damian came from Arabia. They were Christian physicians who freely administered care and relief to the sick of the area until their martyrdom in Syria, in 287 AD.

When arrested and tortured they proved pretty indestructible, surviving hanging, crucifixion, stoning and being shot at with arrows. Still they refused to recant their beliefs, so the Prefect of Cilicia ordered the pair beheaded.

The brothers are most often depicted together  surrounded by medical paraphernalia. Due to their healing skills they have been adopted by physicians, doctors, surgeons, dentist and veterinarians as their patron saints. St Cosmas is usually associated with physicians and is depicted holding a pestle and mortal, while St Damian is normally shown holding some form of remedy.

Other saints in this series – St David, St George, St Andrew, St Patrick, St Michael and St Francis

San Francesco Preaching to the Birds

neal-winfield-st-francescoFollowing on from the Saints of the British Isles series, next we have San Francesco, one of Italy’s favourite saints.

Sites of St Francis

The churches, monasteries and hermitages of Saint Francis are popular places for both locals and foreign travellers to visit and down the centuries his stories have provided artists with inspiration.

Giotto’s paintings

On the subject of inspiration, this latest watercolour takes Giotto’s paintings and combines his preaching to the birds with the background of  the painting of St Francis receiving the stigmata.

The hills represent the landscape at La Verna in Tuscany and amongst the various birds he preaches at are two Twitter logos. The tree is also a representation of Giotto’s oak tree, with a golden background.

Like the other saintly paintings, St Francis can be bought as a postcard, poster or on a lovely coffee mug.