Having spent some time studying the pre-raphaelites I was eager to try and capture something of the vibrancy and symbolism employed by this extraordinary group of artists. This is my first attempt and shows my family in an idyllic Spanish country setting. In reality I used several photographs. The boys and dog were playing around in a stream on the edge of Kinder Scout in the Derbyshire Peaks. June was reading a book sat on a couch in an apartment on holiday and I was playing the fiddle at the Dereham festival. The backdrop is the scene from the window of a Moorish townhouse in the small town of Letur in Southern Spain. The pre-raphaelites loved to emulate the symbolism of early religious and non-religious painters so I have included a few elements to add spice to the painting. The wallcreeper is supposed to have laid its eggs and reared its young in cast off human skulls thus symbolising rebirth. The wine and bread symbolise the passover meal before Christ was crucified. The two ants in the foreground are symbolic of energy and patience, the crow in the tree ( just out of shot) symbolises hope and the olive tree is for peace and fruitfulness. And you thought it was just a picture. I have yet to finish a couple of parts but the work is 99% complete. I used a heavy purple glaze over much of the foreground to link the different parts of the picture together. Let me know what you think - I've put in an entry about this on my April 09 blog.

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