This is the last painting in the 2015 series that again contemplates the Satanic Virtues against the Seven Holy Virtues. Here the three keys and locks represent Chastity, and Charity and Diligence. The Satanic Virtues of Pride, Avarice and Vanity are the other 3 themes. The painting also returns to the motif of Masquerades and this time combines with the revisited motifs of serpents and demons. The effect is Bosch inspired Rackham illustrations against a medieval religious art background.
The themes are further thrown into relief through the choice of the mixed media technique of pure flat washes of translucent watercolours in calm colours against the impasto texture of the vivid oil pastel in a fiery gold pigment.
The painting was planned this way so as to change in different lights during the day and evening; throughout the day the oil pastel becomes more prominent, vividly silhouetting the illustrations, it looks like the room could be in a fiery pit in hell, then in the evening the fire seems to cool down and fairytale esque characters stand out, as if they have come out to play at the Masquerade. This painting will catch everyone's eye with with it's conundrum - What's worse - the sins or the virtues? Can these contrasting virtues work in harmony - will one always over power the other?
This original piece of art is painted on acid free 90lb cotton rag watercolour paper by Arches, painted in archival quality watercolour, drawn in black ink with vivid red gold oil pastels to give the textured background to the room. 'Arrival of the Masqueraders' will be posted rolled in a heavy duty large postal tube, rolled within a layer of acid free tissue paper to protect the oil pastel. The art work is then ready to be unrolled and will look amazing for years to come when it is mounted and framed.
Watercolour, ink, oil pastel, gouche