Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Sun/Apollo

In hot and fiery pursuit of the cold and fearsome Artemis we have Apollo, the sun god boiling with passion and desire.

This X-ray image of our very own shining star taken by the Yohkoh Solar Observatory in 1991. The structures that can be seen consist of large and hot coronal magnetics. This particular image, one of millions, shows an active corona from near the maximum of the solar cycle. At the upper right (solar northwest) we can see one of Yohkoh's original discoveries: an "X-ray jet" squirting outwards:

But, of course it is the personification of this star that I am interested in.

The Romans named our star Apollo, son of Zeus and Leto (a Titan), god of light and a fine figure of a man as this statue from 2nd Century AD shows:

Apollo was also the god of music as shown by the lyre in his left hand.

But here, still as god of music, we see him on the fiddle serenading the girls, and how they just love him!:

The "girls" are in fact the nine Muses who sing their accompaniment to Apollo's playing. This is part of a much larger fresco painting by Raphael and is one of four called "Parnassus" in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican Palace (dated c1510).

With all this background information in mind the starting off point for my painting is that of a male figure (self portrait!) which I use on my own business card called "With Out-stretched Arms":

But here I am thinking too small - the sun's disc needs to be much larger and in fact so much larger it cannot be contained within the bounds of the picure!

Fresh thinking takes me back a stage and I make this charcoal value study which more suitably mirrors my painting of Artemis:

He turns towards her with arms outstretched inviting her to join him.

His passion is unbound, but still there is a Dark Side. He will not be refused and red-hot passion turns black with anger at her rebuff:

The flecks of gold on his cheek, running down his arm, and on the sun's corona counterpoint the silver on Artemis, his outstretched hands reach out and almost touch her hand.

These two paintings need to stand together if ever seen in exhibition.


Melinda said...

Okay. I'm guilty of coming by yesterday, but was so pressed for time that I didn't comment.

I'm here now. I'm here to tell you that your work is stunning.

These two paintings and drawing have such a powerful energy in each. I particularly like the drawing--the smudges, the variation of line and the contrasts.

It's way cool, too, that you have added the silver and the gold flecks. Waaay cool.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

I know by the sheer volume I can produce at times I hardly expect other busy people to keep up. There are times (like now) that I am so far ahead that I can hardly keep up with myself!

Other times, as you may know, I can't even lift my head. I know that is just the way of it for people like me.

But, you have always been of great support to me and I appreciate that very much indeed.

Your brither in paint and ideas,