Dispatch from the Wilderness

Several months ago I posted my intention to begin a new painting  The Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert ; these few months later the painting is progressing well enough that I feel able to post an update. I have been working on it in between class assignments and several other smaller paintings.

It is a rather large painting, 36 by 48 inches. The image is a bit fuzzy as I’m having difficulty photographing the painting ; but as the painting is still unfinished a bit of fuzziness allows for progress. The sheet of paper, which I use to wipe off excess paint, hides the Abbot, he is of yet  just a sketch.


Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert


oil on canvas 36 by 48 inches

As I have been noodling with the painting,  I am  as usual kept company by the pugs Rose and Viola. This image below explains my slow progress, Viola just demands a certain amount of attention, she is my greatest Temptation.

562180_10200625206982204_1520932710_nViola, the vigilant studio assistant

I’m taking a break, my eyes grow weary with  the tight work, I have a Dead Mother  I am working on,  a far looser painting; I  will switch off after my dinner break.  Viola is at this moment in the study with me, snoring away, delightful company as always.

Until next time, take care, LG

Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

10 thoughts on “Dispatch from the Wilderness”

  1. Swoon away! The green lizard is not quite finished, he needs more bedazzlement, the blue one I see having albino skin, need to figure out how to create that, fortunately oil glazes allow for a pretty translucent quality, its just time consuming the only drawback.I’m having fun with this one, Sin is always fun.

    1. Thank you Philippa,
      I was concerned about the prickly fellow, was he god forbid, too much?
      But since excess is my natural element I figured what the hell, go full throttle.
      The blue is lovely, I have never really painted with such a vibrant blue but I revisited a favorite Guido Reni painting recently and that great master made beautiful use of this blue. I couldn’t resist giving it a chance.

    1. <strong Well I'm delighting in all this swooning, it suits my claustrophobic, Victorian temperament perfectly. Thank you.

  2. You are ROCKING my friend! I’d been wondering what you were going to spring on us by way of the ‘big’ project, as all at gone quiet on that front at your blog. Well this was certainly worth the wait. I love the way you have absolutely forged your own universe/iconography, and it’s an extraordinarily compelling one.

    I laughed when I read how you’d hidden the face of the saint. When I was struggling to complete ‘The Angels in their Anguish’ against the clock while on public view in Saint Davids Cathedral, I too masked out a face… in this case, the Virgin’s… from photographs. I just wasn’t at ease showing it until I was satisfied.


    Well done, Leonard. A triumph. (Or it will be, once you’ve finished that face!)

    1. Thank you,I admire how in the past you posted frequent progress updates on your large canvases, so exhilarating. A draw back of oil is that the progress , at least for me, is incremental and I am afraid as dull as watching paint dry-literally.
      Your The Angels in Anguishis extraordinary and the Virgin well worth the wait, but where the hell was she hiding? I am perversely delighted that you essentially neglected painting her until the last minute; that is a tendency I have experienced and it is maddening. I can quite literally spend, as you have ,six hours on a tiny patch of the canvas, for naught. Frustrating, so I step back, breathe, and begin anew. My Abbot is fine, he is supposed to be a self portrait and I am alluding myself! He may just be a personification and not an actual “accurate” portrait, because I actually like what I painted.
      As a side note, I will begin a large relief print and I will be incorporating the collage technique you have suggested. I feel at this point in the semester I have shown orthodox diligence; now is time to actually enjoy the medium.What a concept .
      As always,LG

      1. Just in case you misunderstood Leonard, the technique I mentioned for adding colour, particularly to prints intended to be produced in multiples, is not collage but pochoir, which entails the use of stencilling. I used quite a rich, opaque colour for my ‘Witch’ print, and I stencilled first, printing the relief block in black over that. It’s not that unorthodox, and there’s a strong tradition of it, particularly by printmakers making editions of works originally by artists, and it’s also employed in the production of fine books. I think the technique began in Paris, where printers became very good at it, employing studios of artists stencilling away like mad!


  3. Hello there,
    My error, yes, I meant stencil, but collage was on the brain. I have been figuring that I would stencil first . As a decorative painter I would employ stenciling occasionally and you are very correct , stenciling can be very rich AND consistent-too much so for decorative art in my opinion . I have a good friend who is a stencil artist and his work is incredibly precise.

    I didn’t mean to sound priggish concerning pochoir, it isn’t my prejudice. My instructor isn’t teaching that method and he wants us to focus on the task at hand. I have now met my obligations and I am free to experiment with other techniques.
    Thanks for making sure I understood, I actually have incorporated collage and relief printing for a few mono prints; the results were not stellar, but there is potential.
    Have a great weekend,

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