I'm digging deeper into my research for the Aeneid Collection. The research right now is heading in three directions:
+ refreshing my memory of the story's details since I read the book in the summer
+ reading articles from scholarly journals to see if I can get any leads on where I want to take this
+ visual research and image collecting
The visual research is sometimes done on more serious websites from museums, but this time I'm allowing myself to just have fun and dive into Pinterest to see where it takes me. I've been really interested in playing card designs. I love how there's this double image/mirrored opposites sit against the stark creme background. I have always loved the use of black and red with playing cards which feels very Roman in a sense.
Where Pinterest took me after I looked up designer playing cards was to these gorgeous jewelry pieces (below, brooches mostly), of Romano-British influence. They're perfect and I love that it continues with this "mirrored opposites" theme.
And another thing I love about playing cards is that there's a repetition in patterns, symbols and imagery which again feels very Roman. Below is an example of what I'm talking about. The Romans had an architectural language which is why they were able to scale their empire the way they did. I'm looking for those repetitive symbols and images so that I can not only come up with a cohesive collection, but to also tell/retell parts of the story successfully. I'm looking for ways to come up with images and symbols without having to use words.
Since I touched on background, I've recently fallen in love with the work of Monserrat Gudiol. Her work is perfect for this type of miniature painting. I don't think I'd want a plain background for my own work, but rather a pattern with a face or hands showing through. I've been struggling to draw and design bodies for these earrings and this is the perfect solution. Miniature oil paintings are difficult because you have to strip away so many details for the image to be seen and this simplicity is perfect for storytelling.
Finally, I've been looking at these tiny Romano-Egyptian glass images. If you're familiar with the process of millefiori, this is essentially the same thing. You now hear of millefiori with polymer clay, but this is also done with layers of glass that are melted together to create blocks that are then sliced. The Romano-Egyptians had a special technique of creating these images and they used them to create beads, pendants, earrings, buttons, you name it. I am particularly drawn to the color palette, but I also love how they look like illustrations instead of glass.
That's all for now. As always, thanks so much for reading.
Stay tuned and stay well,