Contemplating Creativity

F.A. Moore

Newport News, United States

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Artist's Description

from the “classic series

In the “classic series”, I am making new, experimental works from art classics that are in the public domain.

“Contemplating Creativity” makes me do just that, as I study the master artist who is one of the greatest, if not the greatest influence on art, since the Renaissance. In this work, I attempt to combine my digital sketches and abstract art in a new way with one of my favorite paintings by Michelangelo— the Libyan Sibyl, for the Sistine Chapel.

In classical Greek mythology, the Libyan Sibyl (or prophetess) declared the “coming of the day when that which is hidden shall be revealed.”

Alexander the Great, is said, by Plutarch, to have met with the Sibyl in the Siwa Oasis in the Libyan Dessert. There, she supposedly confirmed to him that Alexander was both divine, and the legitimate Pharaoh of Egypt. (re: Life of Alexander from Parallel Lives)

Of Michelangelo’s Libyan Sibyl, the Vatican Museums’ art historian states the following:
“The sibyl is portrayed in the instant when with a rotary movement of her body she lifts or puts down a book behind her. This gesture, together with the fact that she is the Prophetess closest to the altar, has been interpreted by some critics as the act of putting down the book of prophecies with the approach of the coming of the Messiah.” (ref).

The red chalk drawing, a study for Libyan Sibyl by Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564), was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) in 1924, with a bequeath of Joseph Pulitzer. Met historians confirm that the drawing has an early Buonarroti family provenance. A male studio assistant posed for the anatomical study. One can see the muscularity and strength transposed to the female Sibyl painted on the Sistine Chapel.

The challenge in making “Contemplating Creativity” was not so much in the composition and typical artistic challenges; but rather in translating low resolution web images at 72 dpi and only 450 pixels wide to a large 12,000 × 8,000 pixel canvas, and 300 dpi. The images on canvas are literally 16 times larger than the originals and at a much higher resolution.

If you have ever worked in digital, even with photographs, you know this means that the result can be nothing less that horrible pixelation. Most would consider it incurable. I carefully de-pixelated these images, which left them blurred but very acceptable. Some details were painted back in (Michelangelo: close your ears!), and some were purposely left out, allowing color and form to take precedence, just as they do with abstract art.

The abstract on the lower right, is a piece I painted on March 19, 2010 with Sketchy, an online drawing and painting program that I highly recommend for when you are bored. It’s a total gas.

Thus, in “Contemplating Creativity”, I’ve blended the very old, and practically sacred, classic Michelangelo, with a drawing made 100% online via the latest web technology— HTML 5’s “canvas” support. HTML 5 is so new that some browsers do not fully support it yet, or do not support this particular feature.

Hope you enjoy this classic redux.

Digital modern abstract fine art by F.A. Moore, June 20, 2010
12,000 × 8,000 px @300ppi
PS/E6, Mac

RE: with artist’s own abstract background, artist’s sketch, plus public domain images of Michelangelo’s Libyan Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel, and a drawing study for it.


2010-06-27 Contemplating Creativity in Altered by Design

2010-06-23 Contemplating Creativity in New Creations Of Beautiful Color

2010-06-21 Contemplating Creativity in Light Of Love

2010-06-21 Contemplating Creativity in Photo Manipulators


detail of drawing – head – click thumbnail to see at 100% scale.

Others in the classic series

New Light
by F.A. Moore

The Mona in Me
by F.A. Moore

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