Mikael Sjælevejeren- or a Danish Soul "weigher"

Archangel Michael holding a scale, taken by the most beautiful Danish fresco painting of “Mikael Sjælevejeren” found in Højby Kirke in Denmark. A combination of Northern european, medieval painting with a modern eye.


St Michael religious icon mixed technique on wood

After 3-4 weeks of wondering how am I going to paint temptation in St Michael’s kalkmaleri- yesterday I decided to skip the question all-together and just focus on what I know how to paint.

And then the rest was pretty easy cause I ve painted a miniature (less risk) – and then to compete with the very impressive feathers of the original I decided to use gold, then the highlights were certainly golden, and the colours were already found (from your welcoming committee) etc, etc

The icon has the proportions to be fitted in a 8×10 icon favor (as you can see in the final pic)

 

Shedding "light" on St Barbara – and another Iconography "How to"

The final steps on a byzantine icon – adding the lighter colors in the flesh”, “underlining” the facial features, adding even more light in the form of  pure white lines  marks the moment” when a portraits starts to become a saint, the highlight of the whole process.
 
Following the process in this  picture collage of St Barbara on the broken paddle – we follow the path to the light-  the essence in byzantine iconography,
Picture collage with the three final stages
In the first part of the pic the “second light” (the lighter flesh) is applied, near the eyes and nose- as well the blond highlights on the hair
In the second part – pure black in a very thin form , underlines the contour of the face, the pupils of the eye, eyelids and eyebrows, the nostrils and the corner of the lips- the expression.
 
 
Finally we have Psimythia- The pure white lines that are added on the forehead, over the eyebrows and under the eye on the nose and the tip  of the nose, the chin- the radiating pure light of a Saint-
 
Hope I ve “shed” some light on the process !
Danish St Barbara on the broken paddle

Saint Mary and St Martha- Legends of Provence

It is believed that later in life Sts Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus- reached the shores of Provence, where they lived until the end of their lives.

Sts Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus
Saint Mary the Hermit

They stood true to what they always represented [(Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42]


Martha represented practice- Mary was theory- Martha was Vita Attiva and Mary Vita Contemplativa- Two life’s examples that influenced Christianity for the centuries to come- A perennial dilemma for the spiritual man, a theme of an actual and philosophical debate that lasted for centuries.




St Martha of Tarascon

Saint Mary chose the life of a hermit in  Sainte Baume – while saint Martha established and led a religious community in Tarascon. There are a whole series of legends in this regions connected with the two sisters and the mighty dragon of Tarascon and how they two have help people to be free of that menace.

The two  saints are pictured at this stage of life- St Mary dressed as a hermit, holding the cross with the inscription Sainte Baume (liberally translated in Greek as holy balm) and Martha as a religious leader holding some leaves of basil to sprinkle holy water onto  the faithful.

Martha and Mary of Bethany in their later life

 

Unexpected sources of modern

A very modern representation comes sometimes from the most unexpected source; A medieval manuscript.

Inspired by a medieval manuscript -Adam and Eve  egg tempera on canvas



Copper gold background in a small panel
I just loved the basic, clear colors used, and also loved the simplicity and the power of the lines especially in the movement of Adam, the effort that is shown in the lines of his garment, in the clothes of Eve and her rounded belly.

– And then, the verses of the bible came to mind:…”cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
  
This is one of the religious stories told in my work, if you want to see more you may visit my section dedicated to religious art: https://www.etsy.com/shop/angelicon?section_id=15857113&ref=shopsection_leftnav_2

Romance is a thing Medieval!

 

Against the common belief that in Medieval Period, Europe’s main occupation was “groveling in the mud” Middle ages was a fascinating period and a the “incubation tube” for many of the so called modern  Western ideas (source http://thewestologist.com/2014/02/05/the-misunderstood-middle-ages/),


Medieval Lovers- inspired by the  illuminated Manuscript of Codex Manesse



For example the idea of Romantic love.  “Romances”  were  the medieval stories of courtly love sung all over the continent, by the troubadours. In their poems,  passionate love tales with lovers has won an equal place with the epic warrior sagas. Emotion was abundant and for the first time, women that were portrayed in them were given an exalted an almost “goddess like” status.


Lovers hugging in an egg tempera on canvas painting- Inspired Again by the illuminated manuscript of Codex Manesse

Romances was the genre that gave birth  to later trend of Romanticism and, there we are, ready to hear another version of those tales in yet another romantic movie!