Magnum Mysterium

by Alden Cole on December 30, 2013 · 0 comments


from the Christmas Past series, aka Rebirth of the Sun, aka Light of the World, acrylic and oil on canvas, 20″ x 16″  • $320

2011. Sometimes paintings take a number of years to finish. Today’s for example was started in 2005, using iridescent acrylic paints, which I had been using in my lamp-making, to first coat the background, then using oils to paint the foreground figures. After those first few sessions, I put the painting aside to allow it to dry totally. For various reasons the painting languished, the drying period grew from a few weeks to a few years, as the holiday season for which it was started moved on, and other projects arose to occupy my attentions. The inspiration that brought the neglected canvas out of storage and back onto the easel for finishing touches was occasioned by a solo showing of my work – the first in years – during the month of December 2011 at an interfaith church in Doylestown, PA. Gretchen Altabef, curator of  Pebble Hill’s art program, and I had become friends through the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers, a group of artists making art from recycled materials. Gretchen is one of those friends/fans who loved my art at first  sight, joining a small group of supportive friends who have encouraged my pursuit of beauty in art over the years.

This particular composition has a history in my oeuvre. In 1987 I cut a linoleum block for printing that year’s holiday cards on toned paper. As you can see, the painting was based quite literally on this earlier compostion. Seven years earlier, in 1980, I had drawn a b&w pen & ink piece for friend Harold Stover’s concert series that prefigured the foreground couple very closely. Some ideas just keep coming ’round and ’round. Vita brevis. Ars longa.



{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: