day twelve: head of the saint

Today I think I may have finished the painting of Saint Francis preaching to the birds. By the time I was done the sun was setting and I was too tired to do more than take a snapshot to post here. A proper photograph of the entire painting must wait until I have the time to set up the lamps. For the present this detail must suffice.

Next on the easel is Tobias and the Angel. My terrier Jack is to model for Angel Raphael’s dog. Jack is very amenable to being painted, having already modelled patiently for Green George. He has a basket in the studio and chooses to spend a lot of time up there. I think he likes to keep an eye on me.

8 thoughts on “day twelve: head of the saint

  1. Congratulations, Clive, I too can’t wait to see the entire painting but this detail is very beautiful on its own. What a treat your “artlog” has become for me! Like Jack, I’m keeping my eye on you and anxious for the next adventure!

    • Beth I’ve posted the finished painting and so by now you’ll know whether I’ve succeeded with it or disappointed you. All the building works interruptions meant that while I didn’t always get much continuity of painting, I was able to study the work carefully between studio sessions. One thing is certain. I’m going to explore this subject again. But before that I hope to start on Tobias and the Angel tomorrow. I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the Artlog. Thank you for your support.

  2. I’m excited! I can’t wait to see the whole piece. Watching the process like this–getting little peeks at how you work and where you work and how your art takes shape–has been a true delight, not to mention a wee bit insightful. As someone rather limited on artistic capability, I’m always thrilled to see how others accomplish what would be impossible for me (I can scarcely draw a straight line!).

    That photo of Jack is adorable! He does look like the patient model–possibly with ulterior motives, like perchance enjoying a spot of sunshine or keeping an eye on you to make sure you’re around when it’s time for treats.

    • Ah, how well you read the little chap. Clearly you’re a man accustomed to the ways and wiles of the animals you share your life with. Yes, Jacket always has an eye to the main chance. Visitors to Ty Isaf are instantaneously assessed by him for play potential. Within minutes he’ll be depositing his treasured red frisbee at the feet of whoever arrives here. He has an unerring instinct for those who he can bend to his will! He’d have you in an instant Jason. You’d stoop to throw it for him and you’d be lost, led down the garden path and into the orchard beyond. Every time he retrieved it he’d drop it a little way off from where you started out. Throw by throw you’d find yourself far from the house and entirely in his domain. Then you’d be his friend for life. He’s famous for this behaviour.

      You’re not at all short on artistic sensibility. Your photographs and writing bear witness to the fact. Not being able to draw is neither here nor there. You have ‘the eye’.

    • Jack is forever ready for a game or a walk and in that respect he’s what you might expect of a terrier. (He’ll chase his frisbee all day if he can find anyone to throw it for him.) But he’s also well socialised and knows how to behave when we’re out and about. What he doesn’t do… unlike his mother Daisy… is to kill things. When I was rearing him I trained him not to chase after any dogs or squirrels we came across in the park. This was mainly in preparation of him later behaving himself around farm animals when in the country. But Jack took the lessons to heart. Not only do the neighbouring sheep go safely when he’s around, but the field mice, voles, hedgehogs and rabbits too, not to mention our three pheasants. I know this is quite unusual in a terrier, but I’m sure I’d find it stressful were Jack to be a terror to every living thing in the garden in the way that his mother is. (Daisy is quite elderly now, but still has to be watched in the garden as last year she managed to kill two baby hedgehogs in as many minutes when she visited here.) Sometimes I wish Jack would take the odd rabbit as that would keep them away from the tender young plants in our flower garden, but although he’ll see them off in a half-hearted way, he’s much more interested in seeking out our resident hedgehog to sit with her companionably. He’s a sweet little chap and I like his attitudes.

      Yes, a pudding basin haircut for Saint Francis. Hadn’t thought much about that. It just came out that way. Aesthetically I find the style pleasing because it leaves the ears and the nape of the neck exposed. I like clean lines. But you’re right, the choice of haircut is certainly anachronistic in conjunction with his modern coat. I’ll go up to the Battery this morning to view the work afresh. The day after I feel as though I’ve come to the end of a painting is always interesting. It’s as though I’m seeing it for the first time.

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