'Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten.' - Hugo Ball

Friday, 2 July 2010

I believe in Angels....






















Michael
© Sue Wookey

I've been meaning to tackle Michael for some time (not literally. I think in a one-to-one bout with the Prince of Light, I'd definitely come of worse). But how do you paint an Archangel? Aren't they a bit, well, Archy? So it took me quite a while to find a way around the whole man-with-wings thing. I wanted to represent him because of his association with Skellig Michael, Kerry, St Michael's Mount and Mont San Michel, and that whole remarkable alignment that stretches to Monte Gargano in Italy (also founded and dedicated to Michael) and beyond. An Angel of fire and light who appears in visions on rocky hilltops...

I've used his symbol of the sun twice - the real thing blazing away in the background and a symbolic one in the foreground - and you can also see his sword and a balance (another of his symbols as the Weigher of Souls). His wing is like a great feathery rainbow - fitting for his role as Protector of Mankind. You don't mess with Michael. There is a belief that if you are touched by angels they leave a white feather behind as a sign and so I have plenty of them floating around!

The words around the painting are Michael's names and titles, and read:

Michael, Prince of Light, Quis ut Deus? Protector of Mankind, Guide and Herald.

Prints of 'Michael' are available from www.galleyhillart.com

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