Not sure how to begin talking about this piece, the first illustration of the year; I suppose it’s easier to start with the idea. I wanted to paint something to keep a promise to myself and something that my mother would like as well, for good luck.
One of her favourite icons is Panagia Glykofiloyssa – Παναγία Γλυκοφιλούσσα in Greek, a beautiful painting of Mary and Jesus. Mary is holding the Child, touching him with her cheek while the Child gently touches her face with his hand. I’m not sure why, it always felt sweet but sad to me, which got me thinking. I’m sure there was a lot of joy and laughter in this relationship as well, how could it not?
So after a little digging I discovered these: “Madonna col Bambino” painted by the Master of the Winking Eyes, circa 1450, and a relief called “Madonna and Child”, sculpted by Andrea Pisano, 1340.
The common feature here is Mary attempting to tickle baby Jesus. It was so cute, endearing and humane; I loved it, made such perfect sense. Both images btw can be found in a very thoughtful article appropriately named “Did the Virgin Mary Tickle the Baby Jesus?” If you are interested in the matter, do read it, it’s worth it. Apparently I was not the only one with questions that the post addresses. But I digress.
To get back to the point, I concluded that a tender, smiling illustration of the Madonna was the perfect idea to make a nice gift and a fresh start. I make fresh starts all the time but hopefully this one will stick a little more.
I started as I usually do, a bit hectic, very eager and in a rush. For some reason I’m always in a hurry, I feel I don’t have a lot of time. But I love, love, love to draw. I finished the sketch with pencils and graphite and moved on to colour. Eventually I managed to complete it and not feed it to the bin like I do with so many other pieces, score one for the fresh start – and ending lol.
Unfortunately, I am not very pleased with it to be honest. I find a lot of issues with the values, the composition is a mess and several other things I would change. But I decided to let it teach me some humility and move on. Additional lessons learned are:
Oh and of course to finish what I start and be humble.
Well now it’s done, time to let it go and move on to the next one. More on the process in another post though, I blabbed long enough.
If interested this piece is available as a digital download at my Etsy store here. Feel free to take a look and thank you for reading.