There is a beautiful Hebrew tradition called, “Hiddur Mitzvah”. This ancient practice, dating back to the Babylonian captivity, interprets a passage from the book of Exodus to mean that believers should glorify God, “in a beautiful way”. In other words, art can and should be, an intimate act of worship. This profound concept inspires me daily. My faith and my art intertwine for a single purpose, and an audience of one.
My work as an artist combines this tradition with several techniques into a rather lengthy process. I work nearly exclusively on gilded wood panels, paying homage to medieval illuminated scripture. Light passes through the paint, reflecting off the gold leaf under- base and back again through the paint creating an almost supernatural glow.
To further enhance this natural luster, I incorporate luminous painting techniques to my color palette. Photographs never do it justice and it can be quite mesmerizing. Rather than hand calligraphy, the text is created digitally and printed on acrylic gel mediums. This creates a clear acrylic sheet with text that is then applied over the gilded surface. The result is beautiful calligraphy embedded into gold. Depending on the composition, parts of the painting may be painted in acrylic under the text. Once everything is cured, I paint the main figures in oils.
The subject matter for the figurative paintings is primarily based on the scripture verse chosen. While some are cut and dry, like David & Goliath, others passages require a more metaphorical interpretation.
Images courtesy of Tim Gagnon.
See more of Tim’s work at: www.angelologyexhibit.com