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.
The facade is drawn as a front-on elevation linked to multiple vanishing points 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.
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.
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 – 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 Herb Book
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.
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.
Continuing with the modern emoji saints, here we have St Emygdius. Born in Treves, Germany, he converted to Christianity and made his way to Rome. On route he performed a number of miracles and cured the sick, as a result the pope made him a bishop and packed him off to Ascoli Piceno.
When Emygdius arrived the governor, Polymius, offered his daughter’s hand in marriage and tried to get him to worship Jupiter. Instead Emygdius converted her to Christianity, incurring the governor’s anger, who then had him beheaded. St Emygdius simply picked up his head and walked off into the hills, where his followers built an oratory.
When, in 1703, Ascoli Piceno was spared destruction during an earthquake, people put it down to the hand of Saint Emygdius. He has ever since been invoked against the effects of earthquakes and is always shown holding up a crumbling building while dressed in his episcopal robes.
Other saints in this series – St David, St George, St Andrew, St Patrick , St Michael and St Francis
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.
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
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