Category: Updates

Sunday update – Zero sense of humour

My health has been going up and down this week. I’m a little better but if I don’t pay attention to what I eat, it gets worse again. We had a model class this week. It was ok but it’s not my favourite activity on the whole. Painted many hands and twigs the day before. Also spent time on admin stuff/meetings etc. I’ve briefly returned to Guild Wars 2 to see if my characters were still alive. They were. One of them got a birthday present. Haven’t watched a lot of tv, just the news and a couple episodes of Musketeers. The news was depressing, full of fake news, scaremongering and inane showbiz trivia. The weather reports were mostly wrong. After six the town is cold, wet and deserted.

WIP at home: Made some sketches based on 1920ies film stills earlier this week. Today I worked on Antoine the Big Bastard (that really is his name and title) for the first time in ages. I want to finish him in the coming weeks (the face needs to be dry before I can paint the arrow so I can’t get it done in one week). I put a new layer on the B’s face but I’m still not convinced it is going anywhere. Worked some more on the background of Ilion and put a new layer on the Burgundian comic character (it is uber silly and extremely bad fan art). Brought Louis home because I still need to paint his crown. Didn’t do any work on the larp portrait. “Conceptual” investigations done for a new painting (ie. selected an old picture to start from:/). I also painted the base layer of a new painting. Not sure if that is going to work out. It’s another one for the series For your eyes only. 

I don’t have the feeling I am making any progress with my drawing and painting this year, rather the other way round.

As for Charles the Bold and the Sword quest: I have neglected the research the past weeks. So time to pick it up again. Haven’t started reading the Burgundians book yet but skimmed through the part of the B. No new information but did not really expect that, given the amount of data I have gone through, the past five months. Got to reinvestigate Gideon, I’ve missed something. Still need to find the original source of the boot incident. It is not in Haynin, Marche, Enguerrand or Chastellain, so maybe Commynes. There are also the two volumes of Barante but they’re not contemporary. I must dig up some Italian report I keep finding references to. I am also quite interested in the tactics and army movements of those last battles. Cabanes has some info regarding his mental breakdown and physical deformities I must look into as well. Maybe it is a waste of time, all this. Maybe there is a book Everything you wanted to know about C the B out there, but I haven’t found it yet. Am more and more wondering if I ran into the Bold in a more than casual manner before August but can’t think when or where. Maybe it was my evil twin. With zero sense of humour.

Ramble ramble ramble.


Tablet time

Yesterday evening I tried out my new Wacom tablet. The previous one didn’t last very long, unfortunately. My digital skills are limited, nevertheless. I used the tablet mostly for editing photographs but sometimes it is fun to make quick sketches too. I don’t have the patience for more advanced work.

Here are the two sketches I made, they’re very rough and unsymmetrical.

The first one is the result of a discussion we had during a long car trip. The discussion was about contemporary art and the (ab)use of the stale Mickey Mouse icon. I said that don’t do a lot of fan art, given copyright issues, but that the only comic character that would be good candidate because he has a Burgundian bowl cut is our local icon Jommeke. So I tried out a primitive style Jommeke:

Another sketch I made (not very symmetrical either, I know) is a portrait of Egidius, may turn it into an oil painting with the title Egidius, waer bestu bleven?

Also started a new oil painting last week, portrait of a man in larp gear (based on a picture by but not of my brother). First layer:


Thursday update: Hugo II

Thursday update on a Saturday:

Still not well at all, so don’t go outside much, let alone Bruges. This post is going to be mostly an info dump.

WIP: depends on how well I feel, so mostly in short bursts. Working on several things at the same time in art school, mostly semi-abstract landscapes and anatomical studies. At home: working on the two Burgundians (new layer on the background), Ilion, and two portraits, including a fictional portrait of Egidius, based on some sketches I made last week. I erased that last one yesterday evening, going to start over from scratch. I have an idea for a new Burgundian painting too. Also, the B’s portrait is driving me mad. The library book which has a good close-up picture of the original is due this week so I have to finish his face the coming days but it’s not going anywhere.

My brother tipped me off on a new book about Burgundians. It’s written by a comedian or something, not sure what it will be like, it supposedly contains a lot of anecdotes. I am quite curious. My brain is already overflowing with anecdotes and useless Burgundian info, to the point that I even know what sort of toothpaste the B used. The local bookshops were already sold out (of the book, not the B’s toothpaste) so I’ll have to be patient until Wednesday. Burgundians are still hot apparently. I forgot the title and the author but it’s got good old Philippe on the cover.

Apart from reading a couple short biographies, I haven’t done any other research regarding “the sword in the stone”on purpose but gathered more info by accident.

When I was researching Egidius, my supposed ancestor, the past couple weeks (see earlier posts) I came across an online version of a medieval chronicle by Enguerrand de Monstrel via a simple online search for a certain d’Oignies (can’t recall his or her first name atm) who appears somewhere in the charts. Enguerrand from above writes about a certain Philippe d’Oignies who fought together with Charles the Bold (and died, nb). There is a footnote about Philippe d’Oignies in Enguerrand: “Some call him Gilles”. Gilles is the French form of Egidius (Also spelled Aegidius). However , though this is interesting and a bizarre coincidence, Philippe and “my” Egidius have nothing to do with one another, they’re not even from the same time period, so there is nothing further to investigate about them for the moment. There is a place with the name Oignies in France and one in Belgium so it’s not yet clear to me which d’Oignies my research subject originates from. I have put the Egidius quest on the back burner at the moment, because I’m stuck.

On Wednesday I popped into the thrift store on my way home from an errand. The novel section contained mostly the same old Twilight/Dan Brown/Fifty shades selection but for the first time in months there was a large supply of new non-fiction books. This resulted in two new additions to my collection. The first one is a catalogue about Lodewijk van Gruuthuuse (1422-1492).

I am not going to explain in detail who LvG is here but you can check Lodewijk van Gruuthuse‘s history on Wikipedia (insert disclaimer for the errors here). The ticket of the exhibition in 1992 where this catalogue was probably originally acquired was still stuck somewhere between the pages.

Gruuthuuse was likely the owner of the manuscript that was named after him and which contains middle Dutch prayers, songs and poems. One of the poems in this manuscript is ‘Egidius waer bestu bleven’.

Another book I came across, probably from the same collection donated to the recycling shop:

I have no idea what it looks like on the inside. It is still covered in plastic. The short description of this book on Bol is not very positive, though, lol.

Yesterday morning, while I was filling some boxes, I absentmindedly leafed through a book from the family collection and came across a bookmark on a page about (the somewhat bizarre imho) Marie d’Oignies. I didn’t know who she was so I looked up some information about her, see link. Note that there are several inaccuracies in the English version of the wiki page. Marie was a 12/th 13th century mystic, connected with the priory of Oignies (B). During my earlier research concerning d’Oignies, I had already come across Hugo d’Oignies. He is not the Hugo of the earlier post, that was the painter Hugo van der Goes. Hugo of Oignies was a renowned 12th/13th century metalworker and jeweler, who crafted many reliquaries. As for time period, this is somewhat later than the time Thierry d’Alsace returned from Constantinople. Not sure if some of it is connected in any way.

Book cover with a self portrait of Hugo (Image: Wikipedia)

Hugo is one of the four brothers that founded the priory of Oignies. One of those brothers was called Gilles de Walcourt, who is not only also called Egidius in places, but seems to have some ties to my original Egidius research too. There are also a number of other odd coincidental links, so more work to be done.

Chalice that supposedly belonged to Gilles de Walcourt (Image: Wikipedia)


Art: Hugo

[Art trip to Gent part II – Part I: See earlier post.]

Our next stop was the MSK but as that was a last minute addition I’ll keep that post for the last.

The last exhibition on our list was ‘Sensations’ at the Dr. Guislain museum. The museum is located in an old mental asylum and the works of the exhibition were scattered among the fixed collection, so it was part artworks and part the history of psychiatry. I’m very interested in these old institutes and the ways the patients were treated (treatment being a euphemism for abuse and torture and cruel experiments) and the criteria for being considered not quite right in the head in those days. It’s not for the fainthearted. The items in the exhibitions were limited and were by contemporary artists, including Borremans and one of my personal favourites, Thierry De Cordier, but also by old ones like (technically perfect but boring kitschy) Bouguereau, for instance. I do like the museum, though, and they didn’t lock me up, which is a good thing.

Here are some pictures (with my phone, so not great quality), most of them from the fixed collection:

Artwork from the exhibition
Painting by W Bouguereau, part of the exhibition
A room of the asylum. It looked strangely familiar.
One of the wards
The Psychotron II, a machine for electro shock therapy. At first I thought it was a cynical work of art.
Straight jackets
Shackles
The Malleus Maleficarum and an exorcism book

In a dark corner of the attic there was an engraving of a 19th century painting by Emile Wauters of Hugo van der Goes. Hugo was a Burgundian painter, a Flemish primitive. It looks like there aren’t many original artworks of him left, I assume a good number of them are actually copies. In any case, he did work for the Bold and others but I haven’t looked closely at his work or his history so far.

Here is the painting from the Wikipedia site:

And the information panel of the engraving:

All very interesting. After checking some websites I came across an interesting – but newer – link of my town with the Red Cloister. In 1635 they made an altar for the local gothic church. Here is a picture I took in November with what I assume is said altar.

Interestingly there may be another, more personal link, with the cloister from that time, but I’ll have to find/dig up old documentation for that.

Part III next: the MSK


WIP on a Sunday

I’ve looked at the Egidius problem from a different perspective and by doing so I came across some helpful information. Apparently in the old days not only the first names but some of the last names were written in a Latinised form in the registers. I don’t think it happened with many names so I wasn’t aware of this until I stumbled upon an article about this particular family in which this was explained and with more helfpul information. Anyway, I found the records of Egidius’ wedding. Now I am going in search of his bigamous wife.

The book project thing is more or less finished so I can finally go back to regular oil painting and finish the three paintings that are awaiting completion. The book is quite messy but I don’t want to spend more time on it. Here are some sample pictures (some of them while in progress):


I’ve made progress with Charles the Bold too, but that’s for another Sword in the Stone post.


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