The Arms of the Art


The Arms of the Art (2000).

An addendum to the Splendor Solis post. The Arms of the Art was a drawing I did in 2000 intended to inaugurate a series of pencil improvisations based on the Splendor Solis alchemical plates. As things turned out I only managed the first in the series (the picture it uses as a starting point is here) and about half of the second one which is languishing in a pad somewhere. Nothing in this drawing was planned or sketched beforehand, it was all done directly onto the paper, the idea being that I’d take the basic symbols or elements of each plate as a starting point and see what emerged once I began moving the pencil around. What usually emerges in these situations is a kind of abstracted landscape of hybrid forms that could be either mineral, organic or something in between. Some of the paintings I was doing in the 1990s followed a similar process, the challenge being to see how far you can develop things without the result becoming either too pictorial or too abstract; the painting below is an earlier example. I still like the idea of re-interpreting the Splendor Solis, and if I didn’t have other projects in progress I might be prepared to try it again. Maybe later.


Eidolon (1997).

Previously on { feuilleton }
Splendor Solis