Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grace and St. Stephen's--or--Leslie's Piece of Art

(all photos should be clickable for larger, more detailed views, which represent the work better)

When I read Leslie's blog post, quite a while back, about her church basically being held hostage, of the congregation not having their traditional home of worship available and the trials and tribulations that everyone went through in the process of waiting for a court to pass judgement on the issue, I knew that somehow, this would have to be incorporated into her piece of art. And when they made their return home, that was when the creative juices began to brew.
The front is a transparency of the building, sepia toned and muted---I wanted a hint of abandonment in the flavor. Then, coming from all directions, the small butterflies, the souls returning to their home. The peonies are snagged from a photo from her blog, that are in the actual gardens the members returned to a state of proper care.

The sides show two larger moths, a bit tattered, representing the guardians of the property and symbolically representing the clergy, standing firm, reopening the doors for all to enter. I found a marvelous rubber stamp that suggested the ornate designs on old doors and added a brass nail to the center for the door handle.

The back of the piece was an utter delight to work on, as I knew I would be using gold leaf, along with stamped tissue paper on the inner *walls*, another transparency, and assorted other items. By the time I got to this point, things were going well and it was just a matter of being patient enough to let each layer DRY!

Here is a full back view; St. Stephen (the first Martyr) with a halo of German glass glitter, three stones in the corner as he is always depicted in paintings and a martyrs palm in the opposite corner. The one thing I added, as I felt it would be nice, is the small *candle*, lit, reminiscent of the many, many vigil candles I have lit in my life, or those used at Christmas Eve service.
The gilding holds more color than showed up in the photos, and I was pleased with how it came up in the process of glazing it. Everything shines, but there is still that implication of wear and age.
There is so much I could write about this piece---how many stages it went through where I thought I had completely failed, how I had to be sneaky to ask Leslie about photos, playing dumber-than-usual and using the excuse of collecting images of church spires....well, actually I do! And then just plain keeping my mouth SHUT!!!! To not give it away in an e-mail or an off the cuff comment on the blog.
So Leslie, for you and all those in your congregation, this is your piece of Art. May it bring you joy and happiness, and may you forgive my slowness with it........but I think after seeing what I had to collect and figure out how to put together properly, you can understand why.
May your studios always be the home of your art, and may you all have a special place that is the home for your soul.


Leslie said...

OMG! I am too overwhelmed at the moment to comment in any worth while manner...

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

That's okay......kinda the reaction I was hoping for! :)

yoborobo said...

It's beautiful, Anne! I love the back. I bet this just glows in person. Gorgeous! :)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I hate to brag, but it truly does glow, and that's something I cannot capture in the photo. The front has some of that very tiny irridescent glitter in the clouds and the flowers, and it just makes it seem ethereal.
I almost ruined this twice, due to scrubbing too hard on the transparencies, but stuck with it.
So I guess it is a testament to PATIENCE, which I usually have extremely small amounts of..... ;)

teri said...

Missed you last night.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Missed you too but was dead on my feet...too many Dr. Appts and trying to bore out the studio.....and get some work done.
Sometimes real life has to come first......

Anonymous said...

OMG! Anne, this piece brings tears of conveyed the message so beautifully!
What a lovely thing to do for Leslie..
I have never thought of using both sides of a canvas like that...amazing.. and the glitter
and glazing...what a feast! the gold leaf, leaving a touch of the red showing is fantastic...even the staples look great! lol!
You can certainly be proud of this work of art!

audrey said...

This work of art is S T U N N I N G !! The goodness of your soul shines through this painting. The time and thought that went into it is obvious. I am honored just to have seen it. I can't imagine how the recipient must feel.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I should do a tutorial on how I do the gessoing on these canvasses....I think people could learn from it. It would just be a matter of trying to get good contrast on the photos.
And the one and only gesso I use, Demco, is made in Canada!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

what a provocative and intriguing piece ... I just love it.

so many disparate techniques to create one complete whole.


Lucky Leslie - what a treasure!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I'm getting yours packed as I write this---*Fortune*. Hopefully tomorrow I will have everything to the Post Office!
Oh, when you get yours, look down behind the little panel in the back.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Audrey---hey! You slipped in there on me!
It was a fun piece---I like doing work that has some meaning beyond just looking good.
Of course, I'm always happy when it *looks good* too! ;)

Jan said...

This definitely looks more than good. Leslie will be in awe when she receives it. Anne, this is so wonderful for you to be sharing such gorgeous works of art. I am honored to have my own piece from you. You are so generous, thank you.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I am delighted to have good friends to share the talent with.
Because at the end of the day, that's what it's all about.
And I hope your computer gets fixed soon---seems to be going around.......

peggy gatto said...

Glorious, just glorious!!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks! I wish you could see it up close where all the details show.....
I think I need to read my camera manual, after--oh--4 or 5 years???

LOL! ;)

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