Sunday, 23 August 2009

A thing of beauty

Much as I love sunsets, today I have something for you to meditate upon which I think is possibly even more beautiful. Sunsets give us a vision of heaven on the infinite and eternal scale; here I can show you heaven in a wild flower, in a piece of art which enables you to hold infinity in the palm of your hand.

This is the work of my friend Tom Meek: he is the most incredibly talented heraldic artist and calligrapher, and I feel very privileged that he has allowed me to share with you this most exquisitely beautiful piece of art.

The camera and computer screen cannot actually capture the incredibly bejewelled luminosity of his work - the effect in real life is that of a medieval manuscript or book of hours, and the amazingly fine, three-dimensional detail evident in each petal or wing is flattened out on screen. A pixel is too large and coarse, too lifeless, to capture the minutely-rendered details of the creatures and flowers - this art is too alive to be reproduced properly by technology.

Tom actually uses similar materials and techniques to medieval artists, and these flowers and insects are so realistic that they almost hover above the paper, whilst the gold illuminations shimmer quite magically - they do really seem to offer a glimpse of the infinite and the eternal, all encompassed in the beauty and complexity of these natural works of art. Which, of course, was the original purpose of the medieval books of hours.

As well as pieces such as this, which are truly breathtakingly exquisite, Tom does family trees and coats of arms, and the most wonderful illuminated initials, which I think would make the perfect wedding or christening present. He works to commission so each piece is an absolute one-off. There are more pictures on his website, so go and take a look and marvel at his work, and also at the wonder and beauty inherent in the natural world from which he derives his subject matter.

If one of the purposes of art is defamiliarization, that is, encouraging you to see the world in a different way - making you look again at the familiar and everyday, and see it again through the eyes of the artist, then Tom's art certainly does that. He makes his subjects seem so intensely, wondrously beautiful that it does make you appreciate and value the world around you even more, and look at those familiar flowers and creatures with different eyes.

Have a good Sunday - I hope you, too, find some beauty in your day, and thank you, Tom, for sharing your vision of beauty with us.


marigold jam said...

Oh how absolutely beautiful Tom's work is. I have been to his website for a look and it is so lovely. You are of course right and we really do need to look at things differently sometimes to really see what we have around us and to really value it properly.

Thank you again for yet another thought provoking and lovely blog.


Michela said...

I agree with you, the computer screen doesn't really do justice to the magnificence and preciousness of Tom's work!
Thank you for sharing Pomona!

Cathy said...

Hi Pomona, I made it here in between planting out our new buddleia and trying to finish some artwork for my latest blog post.

Love your blog. So much of interest to see and think about. Tom's work is quite special. Everything is truly a labour of love for a dedicated artist. I think his website is very well designed too and I like the movie bit at the top. As you say the camera can never show the detail you can see in real life.

Gingerbread said...

He is very talented with a wonderful gift, I agree his work is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Julie.C said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful artwork! I love your blog, and i really like the look of your B&B too! Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my blog earlier, I really do appreciate you coming and reading! Thanks! Suzie XXX

Anonymous said...

Glad you liked my Rag Nest and it's little birds. I've had a look at the work of Tom Meek, there is always something special about this type of work. The quality is amazing, everything is so perfect, he's very skilled.

The Garden Bell said...

Stunning work by Tom. Just so nice to see on a peaceful Sunday evening. The outdoors is calling. Fall is in the air.

beck said...

Hi Pomona, thanks for this lovely post, Tom is very talented and passionate about his work, it looks amazing. I really enjoy your blog too and always appreciate your comments on mine. Hope you are having a great day xo

Menopausal musing said...

You are sooooo right! Nothing can ever reproduce REAL paint, can it. Nothing. He is truly talented.

Chrissie said...

Wonderful artwork by your friend Tom, great blog and wondering if I can contrive a reason to stay overnight near Faversham.....!

Cottage Garden said...

Tom's work is truly a labour of love - beautiful - thank you for the link and for sharing his work with us Pomona.

Do you know I was thinking the same as Chrissie above ... we are surely due a visit to Kent and I know this great little B&B ...!

Jeanne x


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