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About Traveling icon #004

Traveling icon #004

Draw, erase, reshape, extend, distort, flip, paste, cut… When creating these icons, I not only think of the form from which they come to life, but I also react to what I get back from the icon itself, even if it is only a fragment of something recognizable.

For Traveling icon #004 I started off with an imprimatura: a base color used in painting that allows light to reflect through the paint layers. I chose an odd value of brown which seems to reflect light. Let me explain: digital art is seen on a screen, we look into a lamp. Choosing a brown color, even if it’s a dark color, shines. The degree to which it shines depends on the value of the color. On top of the brown layer I added a luminiferous blue. This gave me a firm base to work on.

Since a couple of weeks I have been fascinated by how creases and folds in clothing were painted in the Middle Ages. I suspect there is a rhythm to the folds, but I am not sure. I can't really say what I find so interesting about these geometric shapes in clothing, but imitating it helped me find a figure in the mess I created.

What is so typical for medieval art is the way people are portrayed, with their dull looking eyes, broken postures and symbolic hand gestures. I put more emphasis on hand gestures than on an accurate representation of a hand and since scale and proportions are used freely by artists of the Middle Ages I don’t mind extending arms, wrists or whatever to my liking.

So I made a hand with a stretched finger. The other hand needed to hold something. A BOOK! Apparently medieval people have to hold some kind of object when stretching a finger. I was looking for a thick, heavy and stiff book, I don’t know why, but it had to be futuristic. By now a posture emerged.

The back of the piece was too even and clean. I drew thin vertical lines which I then gave a thick three-dimensional volume. They looked like shelfs and covered up the whole piece, but it had something to it I liked. Carefully I erased parts of the shelfs to reveal my saint. At this stage the actual drawing began, because I had to bring all the loose ends together. My saint needed a face, I had to determine rhythm and the amount of chaos I was willing to show, there was composition, coloring etc. The piece needed to come together.

But yet again I had erased too much of the shelfs, the background was too neat. This time I thought of a polkadot pattern. Kings and queens wear royal mantles with stoat fur that have black-tipped tails. That was it! I made little tails and divided them in the background like polkadots.

The overall looks like a futuristic space ship with stars in the background. That is quite the contradiction to what I aimed for, but that’s okay. My art derives from the unknown and I wish to add something I have never seen or felt to the arts. Traveling icon #004 does just that!

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