Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Painting a Miniature

Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made Flesh 2015
Watercolor on porcelain 4.25" x 2.25"
by jojo sabalvaro tan

Challenge by the early medieval artists who painted miniature paintings on parchment or vellum in great detail, I decided to try my hand at it. Instead of paper or canvas, I chose to paint on porcelain without really knowing how it is done. So running on just inspiration, I dove into it.
Sketch on porcelain blank

I had a 4.25" x 2.25" porcelain blank shaped as an oval lying around in my studio for years. I do not even remember when, where or how I got it. Must be one of those thing I thought was a must-have years ago. I started out by sketching my subject, The Annunciation, which I tried to replicate from the work of a Georgian master iconographer, Amiran Golidze. I really admire his work and thought that I might use one to emulate his style only for the sole purpose of honing my skills. Unfortunately, my work turned out folksy and amateurish as compared to his exquisitely and exceptionally delicate and refined work. Someday, I hope to come to even at least I/100th of his talent. As they say, practice, practice, practice!!!

Original work by Amiran Golidze
The  Annunciation is the moment where the angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and give birth to Jesus, the Son of God. I love this story since it represents one's unwavering faith, embodied by Mary, whose consent epitomizes acceptance, trust and belief in God. This is also the story of God's generosity in giving mankind  the gift of his Son, Jesus, in His human nature. 

Work in progress
Porcelain painting proved to be as difficult as painting on vellum. the paint (I used watercolor) did not absorb on the surface and you had to wait for each layer to dry before adding more paint or risk removing previously applied paint. I did use that to my advantage by just using a clean moist brush to remove some of the paint for highlights. The brushes I used were small  rounds with sizes running from 2 to 10/0. It was important that the brushes came to a sharp point since I was working n a very small image.
I added a border of gold surrounding the oval motif, where I wrote the prayer "Hail Mary" in Latin. The title inscribed just below the image of the piece is "Verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made Flesh)". I derived the title from the Catholic prayer, The Angelus, which is a daily devotional that reminds us of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary and the Incarnation of Jesus. This passage is also found in the gospels in the Bible.

The gold edging with the prayer "Hail Mary" in Latin

The Angelus Prayer

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done to me according to your word.
Hail Mary. . .
V. And the Word was made flesh. R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary. . .
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

John 1:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

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