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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Saturday, 9 January 2010

The Painting Muse, by Sean Flaherty

Painting is sheer pleasure and exasperating toil. Almost invariably, an artist will at some point encounter a drive to express something. It's usually a theme that lends itself to a particular genre of painting -- bleak landscapes that evoke the cold winter of the soul, for example, or the beautiful, languid figures by Modigliani with their empty eyes, portending the allure and despair of a life lived only for pleasure.

Sometimes a painter's muse is a cruel and jealous taskmaster demanding singular loyalty and longsuffering focused labor. If the artist is to adequately birth the muse's spiritual child, an indefinite bond of slavery must be entered into. The gestation period can be long and protracted. Family and friends will sigh and throw up their hands.

But bent in toil, the artist takes up the brush, loads it again with paint and pushes it over across the canvas, slowly and faithfully breathing spirit into the cold, barren weave until that self-same spirit is starting back at him in its fullness. Does it give him a sense of accomplishment? No, he just starts on the next painting. Does it bring great wealth or even put food on the table? No. Does it bring respect and esteem among his peers? Probably not.

Not much is given the artist to understand. He is a true slave. I know when a painting is done. I can't fuss over it anymore. I've nursed it right out of the house. The epicene and enigmatic faces that I paint are begotten by a muse. Their gazes are cryptic, arcane. Painting them is rapturous.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Faerie, Oil on Linen

Inspired from a Victorian painting by Sophie Anderson

Mary of Bethany, detail


Eaton Bishop Madonna, Stained Glass

I painted this at Cain Studio in Fluvanna County, VA in 2004.
The original is part of a 13th century or older church window in Herefordshire, England. It's still sitting in Wayne's studio. For Sale.

Virgin, detail from Annunciation Mural at All Saints

These murals I did using egg tempera on plaster. I used the same brush for the whole painting. Every day I showed up and mixed my paints (powdered pigments) in a bowl with egg yolk and water. There was so much dripping, I see why people use acryllics nowadays. But I like the luminosity and translucency of the egg. It's rare to see. These have been coated with Liquin lately by a friend, and I'll post photos of them when I get pictures in a few days.

Gabriel, detail from Annunciation mural at All Saints

Apostles, detail from mural at All Saints, 8 x 10'

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Assumption of the Virgin, detail

After Bartolomeo

Assumption of the Virgin with Slavonic Caption

Church Slavonic at the bottom says: "My soul doth magnify the
Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior." This is inspired
by a western European piece I saw in a book. I changed a few things to
make mine unique. 13 stars indicate she's the woman in Revelation. The initials stand for Mother of God. For Sale.


This is 14 X 16. For Sale.

Santa Rosa, Indian Girl Saint 16X 20

After Grace Hudson, 2007. For Sale.

Friday, 1 January 2010