Wednesday, 5 March 2014



MINI MASTER 4" x 4" on canvas panel
Homage to a Famous Artist on their birthday

To view my Gallery or purchase this painting please visit Daily Paintworks. Larger originals or prints may be available by contacting me.

I don't follow the masters in order to create an exact duplicate, there are many factories in Asia churning out that kind of thing, so why bother? I am an investigative painter. I examine exactly how the brush strokes were laid down, the thickness of the paint and the translucency. I study the way the master has treated light and what colour palette was used. It is always a fascinating experience. Here, I wanted my MINI MASTER to appear as it did when the master completed the work, not as it looks today, cracked and retouched.

When Michelangelo painted the original, it was painted right into wet plaster. A lot of the time he was laying on his back under the ceiling in cramped space, or working with his arms stretched above his head, causing his heart to work overtime supplying blood to his fingers. It wasn't only uncomfortable, but restricting, causing numb fingers, neck and back pain and it must have been unbearably hot and stuffy. It was a large and lucrative project, but Michelangelo tried to quit many times and he was very unhappy. As an artist I know how emotion can influence my work and I'm sure it had it's effect on the Sistine Chapel. 

I am out of my studio currently and not in control of my environment. While I was painting this MINI MASTER, the acrylics were drying fast, so creating a sweeping line was difficult. As I peered at the original master brushstrokes, I noticed that much of the shading was dabbed rather than stroked, I also discovered that it was easier to paint short narrow lines in thinner paint and layer as necessary, just like I see in the original. When I copied these techniques things went easier. As Michelangelo painted, the drying plaster sucked the moisture out of his paint and similarly, as I was painting, heat was doing the same thing to my paint, creating a similar effect. 

Another thing I discovered is that the hands used as a model for Adam and God were very distinctive and it occurred to me that Michelangelo probably did what most artists do, and if they have a question about the way the light lies or the angle of a certain joint, they look at their own hand. I got the distinct feeling that I was copying the hand of the great master when I was painting Adam's hand. The slightly flared end to the thumb and the elegant finger tips, suggest to me the hands of a real artist. I felt a real affinity for the master.

What do you think?

(or as we know him Michelangelo)

Born 6 March 1475, Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci. He was a contemporary with the early Tudors in England but his influence harks back to classical art and architecture.

Michelangelo was considered one of the greatest artists of his time by his contemporaries. Because of the apprentice system at the time, artists developed at an early age, so, two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. His life was long and highly productive in many fields, although he is best known for painting the ceiling of the Cistine Chapel in Italy.

He was the first Western artist whose biography was published during his lifetime; in fact there were two. He was also often called Il Divino ("the divine one"). He created a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur and it was the attempts to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned style that resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.

2014 was the 450th anniversary of his death 18th February 1564 and it is marked by many important exhibitions.

Cat 14049 The Finger of God