LADY AND YE BYRD
2003

acrylics, 23 carat gold leaf, silver leaf,
copper powders and bronze patina
on handmade mexican bark pape
r
47 x 47 cm

n this portrait of pre-Raphaelite inspiration is depicted a young maiden, playing the harp to the song of a bird perched on her finger. Behind her, autumn vines creep on a background of brushed silver leaf.

The amount of bas-relief work on this painting is remarkable by the thickness of the volumes, as well as by their finesse.

The ornamentation alone (partly inspired by Les Documents Décoratifs of Alphonse Mucha), demanded close to 600 hours of work : the heads of the bird and cat which adorn the harp come close to a centimeter in thickness (about 10 week's worth of work just for them), and the slightest silver-gilt petal on the flowers decorating the crown is created by applying layer upon layer of liquid gesso with a tiny brush (each layer needing to dry 48 hours!) before finally gilding the whole...

Gold abounds on this painting, as well as silver and copper... the richness of the colors, a blend of acrylics and inks, is emphasized by the luster of the precious metals, which bring in a thousand points of light that give incomparable dimension and depth to this illumination.