The Illuminator's Garden
This painting is the first in an intended series celebrating the flora and fauna of my everyday environment: suburban garden and allotment and the extraordinary work of Jean Pucelle, the 14th century French illuminator. The art of Pucelle and his workshop was exquisitely tiny - one has to see it very closely to appreciate it fully. In this painting I have stripped out the sacred text , enlarged the 'page' and used a durable gesso support instead of vellum. I have married the Gothic conventions of page design and stylised representation with a more contemporary naturalistic approach for the birds and animals. Here is a splendid tabby who visits my garden, flower, birds and critters, and one of the famous black squirrels special to the garden city of Letchworth. The gilding is a combination of burnished and embossed work for the background, raised gilding for the leaves and flat gilding with transfer leaf for the curlicues. The photographs can't convey the brilliant three-dimensionality which traditional gilding gives.