THE ASCENT - Painting
In late October, 2013, John August Swanson returned to his sketches and drawings to begin working on a new painting. He began work on the new piece in
November, 2013. The painting was finished a little over seven months later in May, 2014.
Descriptions from a note written by John August Swanson on June 1, 2014 --
The colors are strong. I used a tooth brush to spatter the dots to create a stipple effect with the opaque white paint. I would create stencils to isolate areas for this stippling.
Once it was dry, I would brush transparent acrylic paint. Most of this work is on the sky and clouds. The theme of the ASCENT is like a dream of Jacob--with multiple ladders and stairs leading the wandering person's dream to see visions of universes and expanding beauty. The ladders have many angels climbing up and down, and stairs also that show angels climbing up and down the clouds are like galaxies with layers of colors over the many dots I spattered as well as fine dots that were carefully painted to give a more fuller shaping.
The clouds have the colors, some are blues--some violet, some magenta, some yellows, some orange, some red,--all are painted so that there is a graduated shading, from dark to lighter colors. I used gold leaf and gold metallic paint in many areas.
The stairs are of many colors. The Angels wings have different colors and patterns of feathers, also gold metallic embellishments. The angel’s garments have bands of bright colors, also with gold leaf. The ladders that are in the highest region are painted with gold paint-- This is a large project for me, I doubt that I can do this again, or would take this on again--But it is exciting to look at and see the details as well as the conceptual expression that we have great capacity to keep growing and developing in the short time we are here on earth.