An update on my recent work…

Pencil and watercolour on paper, 2014
Pencil and gouache on paper, 2014

It’s been a while since last posting on here. But now I’ll be back to post more regularly about art and craft techniques and all manner of things as I embark on an MA programme studying traditional arts.

A huge heartfelt thank you to those that have now made this possible. Just a few days ago it seemed unlikely I’d be able to attend, but through others’ great generosity I am now able to undertake my studies at The Prince’s School.

A holiday project has been set to investigate, research and redesign a pattern from a particular tradition. I have chosen the Islamic tradition to focus on and am working on redesigning some geometric patterns.

I am lucky to have London and its many museums as a resource for Islamic art. The fine collections in both the British Museum and the V&A as well as the incredible Leighton House are wonderful introductions to the vast areas that Islamic art transcends.

I’m currently working on a pattern inspired by the “Breath of the Compassionate” pattern pictured below.

Breath of the Compassionate
Breath of the Compassionate pattern

“There is a Tradition of the Prophet (saaw) in which he says: ‘God created the Universe through the Breath of the Compassionate.’ [SUFI Expressions of the Mystic Quest, ; Leila Bakhtiar, 1976]

The eight pointed star representing the expansion, the cross the contraction. Bakhtiar’s book ‘SUFI’ has quite a lengthy interpretation as to the why this pattern is recognised as ‘The Breath of the Compassionate’ and I will go into further detail at a later stage.

Essentially for my pattern I have used ‘The Breath’ as a starting point and expanded the details using smaller circles (all points of which are formed from the underlying geometry) and rounded off the main pattern and incorporated some knot work.

I’d be interested to find out the origins of knot work as it appears in many traditions. Most notably in Celtic and Saxon art.

The knot work is being coloured with gold gouache and the floral pattern inside with Windsor & Newton pan watercolours. The gold has been applied with a Cotman III 3 Windsor & Newton watercolour brush and the watercolour areas with my Pro Arte (2) Prolene+Plus 007.

(See here https://byambr.com/2014/05/17/different-strokes/ for more info on the brushes I use).

I will post more when the piece is complete.

Work in progress- Watercolour and Gouache on watercolour paper
Work in progress- Watercolour and Gouache on watercolour paper
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