PAINT 7 One – Imbolc and Candlemas

By Sally Pudney on 27th January 2022

It is getting very close to the release of the first set of little paintings in my year-long PAINT 7 project. The first 7 paintings will launch on 1st February, for Imbolc and Candlemas.

The Festival of Imbolc marks the beginning of Spring – but of course it is not really Spring yet! It is often described as the quickening of the year – the time when Spring becomes a possibility, a time of new beginnings and rebirth.

In the Christian church at Candlemas we remember the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. The baby Jesus is taken by his parents to the temple, and the very old man, Simeon, recognises who this baby is, and what He will become. Simeon’s words, which we sing as the Nunc Dimittis in the service of Evensong, say:

“Mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou has prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people, Israel”

A possibility is perceived, and a new beginning acknowledged.

All the quotations for PAINT 7 are taken from the poems of e e cummings, an American 20th Century poet, renowned for his unconventional use of capitalisation and punctuation. The quotation that I have chosen for Imbolc/Candlemas is:

“now i lay me down to dream of spring”

The colours associated with Imbolc in the Celtic tradition are white, silver and green. I added some warm grey to give more depth, and Pearlescent Tint to give a silvery sheen to some of the colours. These are the paints I used, plus a Caran D’Ache crayon in a pale sludgy green. The Lemon Yellow was just to lighten the Chromium Oxide Green and make it fresher and more Spring-like.

I created a design with the quote, using upper and lower case freely, as the poet himself does. The letters formed a kind of net. The negative spaces between the letters formed potential colour fields into which I could paint

I traced the design down onto seven gesso panels, and started painting in the spaces, making all seven as close to identical as I could.

When I had finished painting them all I framed them in simple white wood tray frames.

Here is the result!

So, here are all the facts!

There are seven near-identical paintings which will be available on the PAINT 7 page (see menu bar above) from 9.00am on 1st February.

They are 15cm (6 inches) square, and in their frames they are 18cm square.

They will be £67.00 each, which includes packing and postage to any UK mainland address.

They each have a label on the back with the number of the edition for that season – e.g. Imbolc 1/7, Imbolc 2/7, etc. and the quotation is written out in full.

They are strung on the back for hanging, although they will also stand on a shelf or a bookcase, a mantlepiece, piano . . . .

When (ifI am hoping!) all seven have sold I will remove the descriptive text on the PAINT 7 page and replace it with SOLD OUT. Please don’t try to buy one if you see this, as it will involve us both in complicated re-payments!

Well, it’s something really different, isn’t it! – do let me know what you think!:)

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All images © Sally Pudney 2022