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About the making of The Seven Deadly Sins (of Space)

My previous painting series

The paintings in The Seven Deadly Sins (of space) are part of a long (and torturous) process that started some years ago. In this post, I will explain how the project development process has been.

When I started to paint again in oils, one of my first paintings was of a sinister astronaut over black background in whose helmet a nuclear explosion was reflected. I didn´t put too much thought into it and I just wanted to do something that looked cool and represented the concept of war.

That painting was the first in an acclaimed series named The Four Space Horsemen of the Apocalypse and that was the main theme for my first solo exhibition that I did in 2015. They were also among my first sold paintings.

Sketching at the cinema

A couple of years later, while I was waiting for a movie to start, I began scribbling in my notebook various astronauts in different poses following the same general guidelines of the previous paintings.

So I thought why not go back to those and make one or two additional paintings with the same subjects. In the pages of that notebook, there were several very interesting ideas that could be used to start a new series but I needed to find a common thread… What could be the theme?

What is in the box?

It turns out that, at that time, I was part of an amateur theater company and one of the scenes we were rehearsing was the ending of the David Fincher movie «Seven» (I was playing Detective Somerset).

We had to repeat the scene many times and I ended up a bit obsessed with the movie so that little by little the idea of the seven deadly sins crept into my unconscious. Blam, I already had a theme for the series!

If we talk about sins, this movie is a must.

The seven deadly sins

According to Roman Catholic theology, the seven deadly sins are the seven behaviors or feelings that inspire further sin. They are Wrath, Envy, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, and Gluttony.

We could consider that most of these sins refer to extremely destructive and harmful behaviors of mankind, both for himself and for others.

It seems to me that they have as valid to point out them as harmful vices now as in past times except, perhaps, the one referring to Lust whose original meaning is a bit out of date in the 21st century.

Although I am not a particularly religious person I thought that the iconography surrounding the deadly sins was extremely interesting and could be a good subject for a series of paintings.

This Sin of Wrath. Don´t get this guy angry.

Dies Irae Venit

In 2018 I decided that I would make the first painting with the theme of Wrath (an emotion easy to represent) and that, depending on the result, I would continue with the entire series or leave it at is.

The previous series had been made in fairly large size of 24×28 in. and, although it was impressive, finding space for storing a series of seven paintings of that size is difficult so I opted instead to make them a bit smaller (20×24 in.).

The results of the first one were quite satisfactory and that menacing figure with a whirlwind of anger inside his head impelled me to continue working on the series so… let’s go for the next one!

In mid-2019 the project was quite advanced, although it was exhausted since, at that time, I had not yet started painting in the Atelier of my teacher Luis Azon, from which I have learned to work much faster.

I decided to take a break for a while to resume the project with new energy and apply the techniques that I was beginning to learn in the workshop.

At the beginning of the year 2020, the series of seven was practically ready in the absence of some small retouches when…

The Black Death. We could be worse.

…enter the plague

What can I tell you that you don’t already know? The pandemic entered the lives of all of us like a hurricane, turning our plans and projects upside down.

All my plans to complete the series and hold an exhibition were ruined. Without energy or will to continue with the project, I decided that it was better to leave it aside for a while.

The devil, perhaps

Last October a Peter Brueghel exhibition was opened at the Asturian Museum of Fine Arts. In that exhibition, there were various engravings that represented, precisely, the seven deadly sins.

This was the catalyst I needed to resume the project and finally encourage myself to dust off the paintings that had been left forgotten in a corner of the studio.

During the past month of January, I have dedicated myself to finalizing the details that had remained pending in some of the paintings, retouching small defects, taking photographs, and preparing the art prints.

In a way, these paintings are also a sample of my evolution as an artist since the strokes of the last paintings are more similar to the looser style of painting that I do these days. You can definitely see a change of style from the first painting to the last.

In revisiting the entire series, I have been very tempted to go back over the paintings, start tweaking and changing things here and there but I managed to restrain myself. If I started the project today I think the end result would possibly be different, but it is better to leave things are as they are.

Sins&Revelations

Anew painting of the series will be revealed each week starting with The Sin of Wrath.

Once all the Seven Deadly Sins have been revealed on March 30th they will be on sale in the store in the following formats:

• Original oil paintings (20×24″)
• Screen Art Prints (8×10/12×16″)
• Deluxe Giclee Art Print limited edition (12×16″)

Don´t miss a thing

If you want to be notified when they are available for purchase you can subscribe to my newsletter and you will have the chance to purchase them first and have access to special offers.

Ruben Megido

I´m Rubén Megido, a Spanish artist. I enjoy painting Fantasy, Science-Fiction, and Pop Culture related themes.

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