This is my latest piece added to Series 52 (a piece of artwork each week for 52 weeks. ) I am terribly behind because I took a break while my husband was having and recuperating from back surgery. It was a roaring success by the way–truly miraculous. He was almost wheelchair bound and all of our local doctors had said there was nothing that could be done, but we found an amazing doctor at Emory Orthopaedic and he is now pain-free and walking amazingly well. After that, I decided to paint the inside of our house — about 1500 square feet worth– which took a minute since I had to rest in between days of work to let my knee recover. The one with the artificial joint worked like a champ, the one that needs an artificial joint did not. Now that that is done and I have time to breathe a bit, I thought I would share my depiction of Raphael, the archangel. This is a mixed media piece of pen and ink, watercolor, Caran d’Ache water-soluble wax pastels (which I love, love, love) and acrylic.
My inspiration for this piece came from a photograph I stumbled upon of the carved statue of an archangel at the Svyato-Uspensky Monastery, near Bakhchysaray, Ukraine. You can see the photo here. The angel is “guarding” the Assumption cave monastery, founded in the 8th century. I’m not sure why it moved me so, but it did. I wanted to paint the angel in the photograph but because I had to have permission to use it, I decided to use it as inspiration for a different sort of painting.
Here is how he started out.
I photographed the drawing and printed it so that I could play with colors and effects to see where I wanted to go with him. My first idea was to go pastel with multi-colored wings and pale yellow hair.
Then I decided to go more red with the hair but decided the multi-colored pastel of the wings was not working.
I wanted him to be more masculine and with his delicate features and the pastel of the wings, he was looking too feminine. So, I tried a different approach with white wings and a dark blue background. This was more appealing so that is the way I decided to go.
The final touch (maybe) was to deepen his eyes and darken his eyebrows. I may add a Caduceus to symbolize his connection to God’s healing powers.
I am still in love with the statue at the cave monastery and want to do another painting of it at some point but have secure permission first. This got him out of my system for the moment, anyway.