wings of all sorts

I realise blogs function more satisfactorily when updates are regularly made. However work on Saint Francis has been curtailed as I’m required elsewhere for project managing our house restoration. Today I offer by way of a consolation to those champing at the bit to see another Saint Francis Diary entry, wings of another variety.

This is a painting for my forthcoming exhibition. A study of Gabriel for an Annunciation. (I’ve been exploring the subject for some time and you can see more work on the theme here and here.)

I plan to get time in the studio tomorrow and so hope to post an update then.

5 thoughts on “wings of all sorts

  1. Pingback: from start to finish. part five: the shoes of saints | Clive Hicks-Jenkins' Artlog:

  2. another one of my favorites–i love that gold background, and of course i’m partial to this particular saint 😉
    i agree with db about the posting; except…well, i wish you were chained to your canvas (panel), that’s all 😀
    interesting comment about the wings…however, in my mind saint/angel’s wings are more symbolic, less a physical attribute, and in your paintings, they match the “structure” and texture of the human/angel bodies. bird plumage just has a different glory to it.
    ‘course, heaven, too, would be a symbolic “location,” and that does fit with the idea of it being manufactured (by humans)–but symbolic has a less negative connotation…?

    • I’m on new territory with this Zoe, thinking about something that I’m more accustomed to setting about intuitively as far as painting is concerned. It’s a fact that I watch birds a lot here at Ty Isaf. And while I don’t try to paint them observationally, the images are informed by my familiarity with the subjects. Of course I’ve never to my knowledge seen an angel and so the configurations of those that figure in my paintings are constructs. (I did a lot of preliminary drawings, painted studies and maquettes before arriving at the solutions you see in the paintings.) Interestingly I don’t much care for images of angelic beings with lifelike bird’s wings and I suppose I work quite hard to avoid that particular cliché. That’s probably a reason why some people have compared the ‘wings’ I paint onto my figures as being a cross between wings and flippers, a notion I rather enjoy. My goal is to make images that feel plausible, whatever the subject matter. And I’m so pleased that you feel these ‘wings’ spring from the same universe as the anatomy of the angels. I’d say that’s a really crucial aspect of what I’m trying to achieve.

  3. Clive, I know lot of blogging gurus say that establishing a regular posting schedule is the most important thing, but that’s bunk for us small-time bloggers. My advice: Post when you can, don’t ever let it become a duty, and always have fun! And thanks to’s new subscribe-by-email option, I’ll see your posts no matter when they appear. (I was grateful for the chance to test out that feature. Up until now, external services — Feedburner and Feedblitz — have been the only options for that, and both have their problems.)

    Anyhow, at risk of pointing out the obvious (one of my special skills), I’m struck by the contrast between the synthetic appearance of angel wings in your paintings and the much more naturalistic look of birds’ wings. It seems like a subtle but effective way of suggesting that heaven is a manufactured reality.

    • Thanks for the advice Dave. Much appreciated coming as it does from one whose site and work I so greatly admire.

      Yes. ‘Manufactured’. Good observation. Well, you know me Dave. I’m the unbeliever who paints the very things he doesn’t believe in, a contradiction I barely understand. (Marly has an interesting take on what I do, though not one I’d want to discuss here. But you could ask her yourself. I wouldn’t mind.) Perhaps I paint angelic encounters and the interface between saints and the natural world because I love the poetic truths encoded in these ideas and stories. But at heart I’m a man intolerant of any kind of religious dogma. I don’t think I even relalised these angels sported wings that might be seen as telegraphing my notion of Heaven as a ‘manufactured reality’. However, I think you’re spot on with your observation.

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