Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New stuff

Pages 46-47 of Through a Glass Darkly
I had been meaning to write about how I bind the split boards books, but somehow that hasn't happened yet, so I thought I'd show you some of my recent pages.

I went to NC just after xmas. I had to go to Barnes and Noble to buy a gift certificate for my sister-in-law, and, of course, I got sucked in by the bargain books. (I always do, I always do...) This time it was The Tudor Chronicles by Susan Doran for only $19.98! t's a coffee table book with lots of pics that goes year by year through the reigns of the various Tudors. There are a lot of cool examples of calligraphy, but, most excitingly, this is the time of the Northern Renaissance, and there are a lot of Hans Holbein the Younger's portraits illustrating the book.

Just seeing them put me on a Hans Holbein kick, so when I got home I had to get a couple of books on him from the library and one on the Wars of the Roses, which preceded the Tudors. It's the most amazing thing. The pictures of all the kings before Henry VII (the first Tudor) are caricature-ish stick figure Gothic things...  And then blam! Along comes the fine, realistic portraits by Hans Holbein!

I decided I wanted to do a portrait like one of Hans Holbein's. And who would be a better person for me to do a portrait of than my Dad? There are only a couple of problems here. One) I can't draw portraits. Two) I can't paint like Hans Holbein. But I'm not going to let little things like that stop me...

Here's another image. This one came to me in a dream. It wasn't part of the dream story, it was just there. It lingered when I woke up, so I decided to put it in my journal.

Speaking of dream images, here's a detail from the first image, another one that came to me while I was dreaming but not part of a story. It's a cat's eye on a pedestal. Does it mean something? Who knows?


journalrat said...

Wendy, I love these images from your journal, and the Tudor kick you have gone one. I saw a really interesting two part documentary (two hour or so long episodes, but they had part 1 and part 2 in the titles I'm pretty sure) about the National portrait gallery in England and the art of portraiture.

I'm pretty sure it was the actress Fiona Shaw who was narrating and interviewing the experts (and then they showed her protrait in the gallery in one episode).

Anyway they talked about the changes in royal portraiture, especially Henry VIII, in ways that you would just love. How things changed. I'm sorry that I can't remember the name of the documentary. I did a search of the TV listings on her filmography and couldn't find it on imbd so I'm not sure. Shucks. Well if you ever come across anything sounding like this, watch it. You'll love it.

journalrat said...

Wendy, I just found it moments after I sent my message. It's called "The British Face," I can only find a couple 4 minute segments on youtube, but there is a whole documentary as I said, and it deals with the "change" at the time you're looking into.



Sadly, neither of these clips has the bit about Henry and the change in portraiture, but it will give you an idea of what she does in the documentary. I really recommend it. And maybe "The British Face" episodes 1 and 2 can be rented?

journalrat said...

Me again, I just found a place to purchase this video


But I'm not clear on exchange rates so I Think 20 pounds and then delivery will be over 50 bucks! Sigh.

I might have to consider this because the blurb mentions including 20 short films looking in detail at single works, and I'm thinking that isn't part of what I saw on TV (it was either BBC America or PBS or IFC or Sundance, one of those channels that showed it).

journalrat said...

Back one more time. My friend Richard Crammer who passed away in 2008


worked in Silverpoint and showed me how. (The image on the blog post isn't silverpoint, but his pencil work has the same exquisite line his silverpoint did.)

Golden makes a silverpoint ground that you might like.

(I just read the text on your journal page and saw you were buying silverpoint supplies.)

Richard would make a pencil sketch, cover the back with sanguine chalk and then transfer the main lines to the gessoed surface. These chalk lines were light and brushed off when he was finished with his silverpoint work. When you look closely at his pieces you can still see a bit of the chalk caught there, you have to really really look, but it also adds something to the whole.

wendy hale davis said...

Thanks, Roz, for all these. I'll see if the library has the video. Sheesh $50! I'll look at the link to Richard's work when I get home this afternoon. It sounds like what they say Holbein did. Now if I can just get the portraits to look like the people, I might get somewhere!

An Li Na said...

Hi Wendy - love the portrait of your dad. It's pretty fabulous, considering you don't do portraits. :-) I'm almost done with my last dragon for a while and then I get to play, in between trips east and west. I'll call you in between trips and maybe we can get together for some fun.

aimee said...

These are all amazing but I am completely taken with your dream drawing!