New Painting: The Goldfinch


   I managed to finish another small painting this week--- "The Goldfinch", inspired by a recent visit to the Mabee-Gerrer Museum last week.
   The museum houses an amazing collection of art from ancient times to modern, but my favorite area was the medieval art, much of which was religious in theme.
   I decided to make my visit to the museum, which is about an hour and a half away, because I was interested in seeing real retablos, like the ones I talked about last week. I saw where this Oklahoma museum had a nice collection of religious works and so I set off one day, baby in tow, to visit.
   The museum is located on the grounds of St. Gregory University, which is a Benedictine college. It was founded by Fr. Gregory Gerrer, whose natural artistic talent led to him being sent to Europe to study the masters and the collection of his own personal art collection. His story is so amazing--- the grand finale being he painted the Pope himself-- that I think I'll save that for a future post. But til then, just know that the whole story and the museum are both equally fascinating.

  I loved being able to see up close and personal such OLD and incredible masterpieces. Something about seeing right before my eyes altar pieces that have been prayed and gazed at for centuries is thrilling to me. How much history, life, love and sorrow these great works have seen. And now here they are, available for me to see, out in the middle of Oklahoma!

  Some of my favorite pieces were depictions of the Madonna and Child (of course!) and a few of the painting had goldfinches in them. Reading the descriptions of the painting, I learned the symbolism of the goldfinch-- a bird that eats thorns-- and its connection with the crucifixion. The birds in the paintings are fairly brown--- not what I as an American envision when I think of a goldfinch. So when I decided to paint my own Madonna and Child with a Goldfinch, I looked up the European bird and found this pretty creature with the brownish cream feathers with a mask of red and a ribbon of yellow through its wings. 

  My piece was created to invoke the style of a very old altar piece, like a retablo, but it still has my style. What I love about the concept of retablos as that the style isnt as constrained and exact as pure icon painting. I am terrible at following directions and being meticulous ;) so....retablos it is!

I listed this painting, which I called simply "The Goldfinch" last night and I am so thrilled to say it wasn't in the shop long and sold. If you'd like to catch an original, I highly suggest following me on instagram because I'm able to share work and updates so much faster on there. And I'd love to send some art your way! But never fear, I'm sure a print is in order for "The Goldfinch."

  Before I sign off though, I wanted to share with you one of these old inspiring paintings--- here on the right is an old altar piece of The Madonna and Child with a little gold finch in the Christ Child's hand. This painting was a huge inspiration to me as I painted my own piece--- the rich colors, the aging (although my aging is fake, lol) the beautiful tones of the skin and all the gold. 
   For the first time with this painting, I experiemented with liquid gold leaf--- that's what the background is. Its so brilliant and shining, I loved how it came out.

  I hope you enjoy this new piece as well! And keep watching for new little originals! It is my plan to continue to have small originals to offer while I work on my big publishing projects. I am so excited that this is what I get to spend my day doing, and I am so thankful that you guys like what I make and come visit me here and on other social media. Thank you! You dont know now much I appreciate it...

Til next time!~
H

3 comments

  1. This recent painting "The Goldfinch" is both beautiful and intriguing. We have lots of Goldfinches wintering in our back yard at the moment so it is fun to know some art history about them. Love this newest piece you created!

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  2. An absolutely beautiful picture!

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  3. A beautiful painting! Glad it sold so fast, too.

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Each and every comment is appreciated! Thanks for coming to visit me :) ~Heather

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