Acid Renaissance updates and work-in-progress

Photograph Copyright 2019 Paul Watson

Detail from an unpublished shot from the Guardian of the Woodland Shadows photoshoot

As per last week’s post, this post is a series of minor updates - a format I’m experimenting with, more like a newsletter with various bits and pieces.

This week’s artwork

I spent yesterday on life-drawing and photography, that has resulted in two new Acid Renaissance prints available to pre-order on my online shop:

Guardian of the Woodland Shadows (unmasked) Guardian of the Woodland Shadows (masked)

I may change the titles at some point - the visual concept was clear in my mind, but not the name/title.

I also started some life-drawing using sanguine Conté pencils and chalks with white highlights, a medium very popular in the renaissance and for centuries after. The medium — and style, if you use a neat cross-hatching technique — references that period strongly, and I have some ideas about playing with the expectations of what you’d expect to see depicted in that style. But these life-drawings were just to get used to the medium.

Life drawing

Life drawing

Next week’s planned artwork

Next Friday/Saturday I’ll be working on these three photographs for my Acid Renaissance series that I mentioned last week:

  1. Flower Child: Et in Arcadia ego (Apollonian mix)
  2. Flower Child: Bacchanalia (Dionysian remix)
  3. Dionysus

…along with some more sanguine Conté life-drawings that will hopefully tie these three together into a single drawing. The Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomy angle was prompted by an article by Simon Reynolds in an exhibition catalogue (Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era) that I picked up second-hand, where he wrote of psychedelia:

“You can map this split … onto the ancient dichotomy of Apollonian versus Dionysian. On one side, psychedelia yearns for a lost Eden, an Arcadian paradise of pastoral calm. That side comes out in the pictorial, sound-painterly side of psychedelia. But there’s an equally potent impulse towards apocalypse, a lust for chaos, which is reflected in the genre’s yen for ravaged abstract noise.”

I already had most of the props for this, and today I’ve been working on a thyrsos (a staff covered with ivy vines and leaves, and topped with a pine cone, the symbol of Dionysus), along with a chaplet/wreath.

Thrysos and chaplet

More updates next week.