The Glam Ass wanted to learn the art of guilding. Being the man he is he wanted to Do It Properly; no short cuts, no cheap imitations....
The vehicle for his learning was icon painting which I've mentioned previously. For almost 4 years he has driven up to Chester on a Sunday to join a class held in the Stanley Palace. It's a time consuming process and each stage has its own skills and complications; from preparing the ground of multi-layered gesso to painting in egg tempura - an art in itself to those of us more familiar with the plasticity of oils and acrylics. Then the gold leafing itself; applying sheets of fine and precious metal so delicate that a breath can blow them away.
And this is his latest piece - which took my breath away when he unwrapped it this weekend. 'Madonna, Child and Goldfinch':
The Goldfinch in art comes with a history;
the ornithologist Herbert Friedman traced no fewer than 486 devotional
pictures containing the Goldfinch attributed to 254 artists, 214 of them
Italian. The little bird is said to symbolise the Passion and also
Redemption. A folk tradition has it that the red marking on the
bird's head came from Christ's blood on the day of the Crucifixion.
Isn't it beautiful?