Evolving a concept… (part 3)

June 18, 2007

While I intend to continue the former series about the symbols, the creatures, the landscapes, my thoughts went back to the theme of the minerals and fossils. All of them fitting perfectly into my concept of the Magic Worlds (you can see an animated slideshow on my website here.

Think about it – how much more magic do you need for a perfect art project such as fossils. Fossils tell us something about the environment and landscapes from millions of years ago. Buried in sediments, turned into stones themselves they reveal fascinating views of a world we would never have known without them. And is it not even more fascinating that this kind of plants accompany us still today? Isn’t it magical to learn about the various stages of evolution when we find the remnants of animals and learn again that some of these creatures have survived for so long – think of the horseshoe crab which is still living in our oceans and of the nautilus whose beautiful shells have been collected for ages (unfortunately still offered for sale) and considered precious enough to be framed in gold or silver. See the incredible artefacts of the “Naturhistorisches Museum in Wien, Austria and check out this link: A Nautilus as a goblet.

This genus of cephalopodae still lives, is also called the “pearlboat of the deep sea” and can be found in the archipelago of Palau and other regions of the Pacific ocean. It is shown on another painting from the Magic Creatures series – Nautilus (see below left) and is one of my favourite paintings:


The image I had in my head was that of delicate ferns buried in stone – and this is the result, called Triassic Prints 1:


The ferns of this piece could be imprinted in some marbled stone but at the same time the image is reminiscent of the photos taken from the Hubble telescope, that sends us those breathtaking views from the universe with all its activity such as gas clouds spreading and meteors racing through the galaxy. This is represented by the lines in this painting – at the same time they anchor the composition.

The next piece , Triassic Prints 2 was created with the same intent:


This resulted even more in some “universal” sight, concentrating on the ferns having their own plain, giving the background an even more astronomical feeling and pushing it into the distance. But this impression is ambivalent. At the same time it could possily be another marble pattern – colours and textures in nature are infinitive – so is human imagination and the artist may well be able to invent something on his own.

Why this connection between the plants and the universe? The answer is, that scientific research is talking about the “injection” of life through meteors and comets. Bacteria from other planets and all kinds of microbes are supposed to have helped to make our earth finally what it has become: a planet full of life.

A third piece – you have guessed – Triassic Prints 3 has been finished. This one emphasizes more on the stone itself, looking like marble and also something that has been left to us millions of years ago. Marble gives us beautiful abstract compositions on its own in a way that the painters of the Renaissance (14th to 17th century) marvelled at something called “trompe d’oeil”, a painting technique that did not only use the new optical techniques for perspective sights but also mocked all sorts of materials – especially stones and marble.


The ferns in this piece have taken a more secondary role and are therefore kept rather abstract. At the same time they balance the rather organic forms of the marble with their streightness.

Btw – all 3 paintings are painted on rayon, unprimed in order to achieve some silk painting effect (flowing paints), using a mixture of silk painting techniques and acryl painting including gutta serti methods. This was a new experiment because I did not know before whether the acryl paint would come off with the gutta resist. It did perfectly as you can see!

(…to be continued)


4 Responses to “Evolving a concept… (part 3)”

  1. Vyala:
    Your work has always been a marvel to me. I enjoy it very much and am glad that you have decided to start a blog !

  2. penstormy Says:

    beautiful work thank you for sharing.

    i am an artist of wild things myself.

  3. vyala Says:

    Sorry Marie,
    I somehow missed your comment – thank you for your kind words!

  4. vyala Says:

    Thank you Audrey – I am glad you like it.

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