Fra Angelico

Some time ago I was leafing through a Dutch book about Fra Angelico, printed in Antwerp 1941. (The book has a paper sticker with Boekhandel Krooneman, Jansstrasse, Arnhem. It has had quite a journey in the 70 years since it was printed and is now in a small village in Sweden.) I started noticing the fabulous fabrics hanging behind Maria and child in many of Fra Angelico’s paintings. So the pattern on the yellow background is copied from a painting (1437-1440) that is now in the St. Marcus museum.

The luxurious brocade fabrics were of course only for the wealthy and powerful in the upper echelons of society so it is appropriate that Maria with child are sitting in front of a shimmering wall of silk. I used a ‘frame’ to place plants and a planet in a similar position of importance.

Fra Angelico is a monoprint with block printing colour, watercolour and colour pencils.

Graphites

The problem with photographing graphite on paper is that light bounces off the surface making even dark areas look grey and uninteresting. From a group of drawings entitled Being these came out the best. The one on the right though is called Icarus and is my reaction to seeing, in a documentary about free climbing, a climber fall from a great hight almost down to the ground before releasing his parachute. I honestly thought I was going to witness a death. The relief when the parachute opened was immense.