Out of the Hermitage :the completion of the Temptation of St.Anthony of the Desert

At long last I have finished my painting of The Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert. I have some shading to tend to, a few details that need enhancing, but for now, I’m out of the Hermitage.

2The Temptation of St.Anthony of the Desert

oil on canvas

36 by 52 inches


It is satisfying to have chronicled the painting from the first roughing out until completion. I haven’t posted play-by-play images, as that would be dull as dishwater given the progress I made, but I have stashed them in my library.

3scrubbling in, first day

Given that I may very well be the worst photographer ever, I am going to post individual images of details.

4Randy Blue Fauns





Bearded Siren


Albino Boy


The abbot, an attempt at self portraiture, not sure if it is successful or not.


A detail of my trusted mechanical pencil; the bane of every art instructor I have had. There is a serious resistance to mechanical pencils amongst the art establishment. I developed a fondness for precision instruments when  I worked in interior design. Habits fall off slowly.

The “L” is not a signature but a reference to 50, my age right now.  A memento mori.


Bearded Prickly Man


Iguana Boy


A wee little red devil who unfortunately doesn’t photograph well.



In finishing this painting there is a personal symbolic value, I think i’m ready to start venturing out of my own hermitage. I have for the last year been squirreled up with my dogs, my paint, and my thoughts. Essentially a recluse. As I gear up towards moving to a vital city, attending a school that is both exciting and intimidating , I’m finding myself more and more venturing forth. A small step in tackling my anxieties is taking a yoga class with my sister-in-law this afternoon; silly how intimidating that feels, but I’m going forward. Wish me luck.

Until next time,

take care, be well,


Post Script: On the themes of hermits,  the hermitage, and creation of art and one’s self ; this morning’s New York Times ran a piece about a Brooklyn artist having had spent his life practicing his craft in isolation was “discovered” at 64 by a major gallery, the show a whopping success.  A fairytale story of course, but heartening.  His work is rich and he has clearly dedicated his life to Breton’s ideals.  The paper quotes the artist, Rafeal Leonardo Black as saying “Everybody writes poems at 15 ; real poets write them at 50.”

Encouraging words.


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.

12 thoughts on “Out of the Hermitage :the completion of the Temptation of St.Anthony of the Desert”

    1. Thank you, it is definitely going in the direction I am hoping for. Painting is hard work indeed, rewarding, but hard. I appreciate your input as always. XO,LG

  1. I’m not much of a “comment” maker but I’ve really enjoyed seeing this project coming to fruition. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Dear Richard,
      I can sympathize, this blog is as bold as I get, I appreciate your continued input. It means a lot. LG

  2. This is great stuff and love the snippets of your journey revealed – at 50 I had my first solo – personally I think it marks a beginning – almost a second life but not in the here-after… good luck.

    1. There is something significant about mid century , that cannot be downplayed and clearly others have felt it to bea significant milestone. I’m finding it to be liberating to know I must act and to be true. As you say, a second life, one that benefits from experience.

  3. What a great painting, I’m sure I’d wilt attempting something so ambitious, but it works brilliantly and is full of vitality, I think the prickly bearded man is my favourite detail but the whole is a triumph. Sounds like it’s going to be an exciting year, all the very best for the new steps you’re taking, and the venturing forth

    1. Hello Phil,
      Thank you for the compliment but I doubt you would wilt (-:
      I have seen your work on your site, current work and what seems to be earlier; I know that I could not paint with such restraint, i really admire them, particularly Angelic Dream and Portrait of Jan, impressive stuff.
      As per prickly man, I have a soft spot for him as well. I was in Balboa Park, here in San Diego. Lovely old friends were in town, the Desert Garden was a must-see, happily rewarded as much was in flower. The stark geometric forms contrasted with the Baroque floral constructions, pretty spectacular.
      Take care,

  4. Great painting, Leonard. The composition leads the eye around most satisfactorily, and there are lovely passages of craftsmanship. Once again you’ve achieved something that while giving a nod to the artists of the past you admire, is nevertheless completely your own. I love that. You draw us into your universe, and no matter how unlikely the scenarios in comparison to the everyday world we all inhabit, your cast of outrageous characters and the landscapes they inhabit are completely plausible. I do so love that serpent-tailed fury on her bed of clouds.

    1. Thank you Clive, that means a lot, I especially want your approval. I struggle with my own aesthetic interpretation at times, my own vision, is it valid one? I have tried for so many years to ape the past, now I want to be in my own present . That takes courage, you have it, I want it.
      So again, thank you .

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