Zadelpijn (taking a break)

Alexander the Great taming Boukefalos

Ik kruip een poosje uit het zadel, figuurlijk gesproken dan. Ik kan namelijk geen paardrijden.

De komende maand(en) hebben we een paar nieuwe projecten die veel tijd in beslag zullen nemen,  de lessen aan de academie gaan nog altijd verder en er liggen al heel lang een stapel kostuum- en propprojecten en kunstprojecten klaar. Ik weet nog niet of ik aan NaNoWriMo ga meedoen. Ik zit in Azoth namelijk nog altijd ergens op de Mont St Michel.  En dan is er nog al de rest. Ik zal niet veel tijd hebben om de blog regelmatig te updaten en bovendien heb ik geen idee wat ik er precies mee wilde bereiken, buiten een hoop onzin neerschrijven dan. Om een of andere reden is WordPress ook wat doodgebloed de laatste paar maanden. De energie die ik erin stop is niet meer gelijk aan het plezier dat ik er uithaal. Het was wel leuk maarre…. enzovoort.

Ik blijf waarschijnlijk nog een hele poos in Bourgondië rondhangen want ik heb het idee dat ik nog maar een  stukje van de oppervlakte heb weggeschraapt.

De pagina’s van het vaste menu bovenaan blijf ik sowieso nog wel updaten wanneer er tijd is.  In de rechterkolom bovenaan kun je zien welke pagina’s ik het laatst heb bijgewerkt.

Verder post ik waarschijnlijk af en toe iets op mijn andere website (de Chickensite) . Meer dan een gek of interessant prentje en een lijntje info is dat niet, dat vraagt ook niet veel energie.

Zijn er nog vragen? Nee?

Goed, zo. Bedankt en tot ziens in elk geval.


Sunday update – Philippe

The update of the small Philippe de Croÿ after a van der Weyden is done, it was just a study anyway.  He’s literally still wet behind the ears  at the moment.

There is a big change from the earlier version: the black stuff left of him and on his neck. This symbolises the hatred that Charles of Burgundy felt for him and which is going to devour him eventually

(In reality I accidentally smudged black paint from his jacket all over his neck so I made it look like it was on purpose.)

The sketchbook in which I started working halfway through July is full. Good, now I can choose one with better paper. The last three drawings are another version of Rolin and two preparatory sketches for art school assignments.

Some time of the afternoon was spent creating a pattern for a Renaissance style hat which I had already started last spring but then we had a heatwave and there was not much enthusiasm for warm hats. I came to the conclusion that I don’t have any felt lying around so the real execution will be for another day.





The Sword in the Stone Part III – Magic by proxy

[See earlier posts]

To create a replica of Durendal, Roland’s magical unbreakable sword, the following relics are required: a sword, Saint Peter’s tooth, the blood of Saint Basil, some hairs of St Denis and a piece of Mary’s robe.

Well, I have found my first relic. Wedged between the pages of a catalogue of an exhibition of memento mori cards, was something that appears to be a relic:

It reads: piece of fabric that was rubbed against the bones of the Holy Louis-Marie de Montfort (yikes). At the back there is a tiny piece of fabric.

The relic was on the page with a picture of an annunciation by Campin. This not a piece of Mary’s robe, it was lying next to a reproduction of a painting with Mary on it. I don’t know if that’s going to be powerful enough. Well, suppose it is good enough for moths, the tiny little light-sucking bastards.

I have no idea if the relic came with the book originally or not. It seemed to be inserted at a random place but I’ve learned that nothing is ever random in the books I was entrusted with. I looked up who this saint is (click “this saint” for the link).  He was  a French priest from around 1700 who was very fond of Mary (person 2 in the painting) and guardian angels (person 1). Louis-Marie left among others a congregation of the Brothers of St Gabriel behind (person 1 in the painting). Died when he was 43, btw.  No relations with Burgundians whatsoever, I think.




WIP update (on the wrong day)

My blood was stil boiling yesterday evening (see earlier post) so instead of watching tv, I decided to paint some more, to keep the adrenaline under control. It’s a very zen activity, very helpful.

First I worked a bit on the little old de Croy painting. Turns out oil paint over acrylics is not very recommended and it starts to flake a little. Ah well.

After that I touched up the arm of the Ikaros from last year. This one was originally painted in watersoluble oils and  the surface has dried up matte, except where I used the stand oil. That part is quite shiny and still sticky. I’ll probably put a glaze over it with a different type of oil. Not the best possible picture of it but it’s this one:

Next I worked a little on Antoine until he was too sticky and then I put another layer on Charles.

I found some info about the painting in the catalogue of the Berlin museum where the original is on display. It is believed to be a good studio copy from a portrait that is perhaps older than 1460. The painting is listed in a medieval inventory but in the original painting C has a parchment scroll in his hand, not a sword. The original is lost, I believe.

The coarse canvas cardboard I’m working sucks up a lot of oil so I don’t think I’ll put many more layers on it, it’ll get too saturated. It’s just a study so no need to go much further and polish it up and smoothe it out. His hair is terrible so maybe it’s a good idea to order a couple of those special hair brushes. I’ll have to do a separate study because the painting is so dark and I can’t make out the lines very well.  I also have to work a little on his hamster cheeks and he doesn’t look mean enough yet. It’ll need more contrast on the final one too.

For a laugh I placed it on an old style frame I have lying around to see what it would look like.

It doesn’t photograph very well and it has not yet yellowed over time, but the frame does upgrade it a little.

Haven’t done any painting so far today, had some other stuff to do. For the classes I’m going to make some studies for two new paintings. But that’s for another day.



A couple posts ago, I believe, I said I was going to do something about the fruit of Eden. Often the fruit is depicted as an apple. However, on the mystic lamb, the fruit Eve is holding doesn’t look like an apple. There has been a lot of discussion about what the fruit the snake tempted Eve with actually is. In an old book about the history of Belgium  (1619)I found this little passage about van Eyck’s mystic lamb, where the nature of the fruit is discussed:

In this passage it is said that the fruit may be a fig, or an apple. But the fruit in Eve’s hand doesn’t look like a fig or an apple. I can’t remember who said it, but apparently it is some kind of ancient citrus fruit, some kind of lemon. The lemon, so they say, reminds us of the bitterness of the original sin.

The lamb code is not too hard to read once you have the key and a citrus makes sense but it’s not about the bitterness of sin. But where is the serpent?