The Influence of Italian Altarpieces

PAdoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano, Uffizi Gallery

A prima vista (at first sight), seem to have little in common with altarpieces of the Italian Renaissance. I get it. The two seem unrelated. Why would I even make that claim? I am a great believer in the everyday sacred. Of the sanctity of the natural world. In the former belief, I would be closer to Dutch Masters. In the the latter, I would be more similar to French Impressionists. Oh yeah--their influence is there, too (future blog post alert). But, after seeing some of the Italian Altarpieces up close and personal, I went home and reached for my metallic paint. And I played around with metal leaf. I had used metallic details in paintings before, but hadn't in my forest scenes. Perhaps, previously, I was afraid to "gild the lily" (literally), but this time I did it a little tongue-in-cheek. Another element from the altarpieces that I played with, is a little halo-ing of my trees, whether by using a bold color, such as the orange accent in my painting Colonnade  or the otherworldly light that casts blue/red highlights on the central tree in Solstice. And I really played up the metallic splendor in my painting MothertreeThat is the "Madonna and Child" of the group.

Though I have attended church for much of my life, since moving to Arden, DE, I spend Sunday mornings with my hiking group. It is my sabbath. In 2017, I showed many of these pieces in a show titled Altarpieces. In that show, I was sharing that I find the natural realm to be a holy place and inviting others to see it that way, too. It is worthy of glorification and celebration through art.