Composition Thus Far

Now that I have cobbled together a few maquettes (eager to make a few more), I feel I have sufficient a crew to compose a composition . I am hoping to depict that fateful moment when the princess Xquic miraculously finds her self with child – twins actual, the Hero Twins. Making use of the World Tree maquette along with the Maize God and Xquic, I spent much of yesterday just arranging little paper dolls , it was a great deal of fun. Last evening and much of today was sketching out ideas. Two, thus far, are beginning to pass muster. The rest, well it is safe to say my garbage can runneth over. 

I was trying for a rather sickly, Underworld palette  without relying heavily upon hellfire and brimstone.

detail of Hun Hunahpu, the Maize God

I think I like this composition of the Maize God, it is a bit blatantly sensual, but I also feel it conveys the vigor of a corpse that is able to miraculously impregnate the virgin princess without ever actually touching her. The Hero Twins are seen being transported to the motherland; an idea lifted from early Renaissance representations of the Annunciation. Red snakes in Aztec iconography represent sexual love- World Trees, Virgin mothers, dead Saviors, why pass on yet another Judeo-Christian reference?

The following is another compositional option.

In this composition I really play upon the princess’s lineage to the Underworld, albeit with a strong nod to Dante. I like the princess in this composition far more than the first. I had wanted a placid virgin, but the first just looks insipid. I’m loving the Maize God a bit less. I will pull the maquettes out tomorrow and fiddle around some more. Until that time here is a detail of the Princess.

Detail of Princess Xquic and her demonic cousin Ralph.

Until next time,

take care,


Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

9 thoughts on “Composition Thus Far”

  1. Leonard, never, ever throw away your preparatory drawings. The time that you make them is not the time to judge them. Set them aside until later, when you can see them for what they are, rather than what they aren’t! Often I return… weeks, months or even years later… to find some little scribble that sets me off in an entirely different and rewarding direction. The processes of work… the thinking evidenced in sketches and even scribbles… is the material that will carry you forward. There is no ‘finished’ work, only stages of development. Every finished painting is the paving-stone to the next. Never regard the painting you’re working on as being the last word on that subject or idea. It’s just a stage in an exploration.

    Set the preparatory work aside. Stop being so judgemental about what you consider to be shortcomings in some of the sketches. It’s ALL process, and there’s ALWAYS something to be learned.

    Am I going to have to come over and trawl through your rubbish bins to rescue stuff? That’s what Peter used to do with me when I started as a painter! And he was right. Some of those rescued fragments went on to great things!

    1. Good morning Clive,
      How BIG is your studio?
      I chuckle because my own is very modest, 10by14 or so; even within such strict confines I have retained a great deal of rubbishy drawings and old paintings-mostly out of a stubborn determination to make something out of the struggle (-:
      I do agree about retaining sketches, most particularly doodles, my best ideas in fact are doodles, not sketches. My workout log from the gym is crammed with ideas ( my lack of muscles being testament to my lack of athletic focus). But somehow when I set about sketching, loosely , I lose it. very quicks doodles are of interest,as are more finished drawings, but the in between are often just self conscious , not sure what that is about. But please be assured I do retain a tremendous amount of work that is less than satisfying.
      As per work once deemed “crap”, I stumbled upon a drawing this weekend, from a Basic Drawing course , that had just the right abstracted feel I am looking for in this series. I had completely forgotten about it and my initial disgust with it.
      And please, yes, pop over and go through my rubbish/garbage bin; you and Peter ( and that sweet dog) are very welcome, ANYTIME you need SoCal sunshine!
      I may paint a bit today, it looks like it will be another lovely day, so I can throw open the doors.I have the most marvelous array of hummingbirds, loads of them, they visit my studio balcony, driving me to wonderful distraction. They are a delight .
      Take care my friend,

  2. I was going to say, before I scrolled down and saw that you had said so already yourself, that if you could bring the god of the first sketch and the princess of the second together it would be wonderful. It looks like you are coming up with great things!

  3. Hi Love,
    I also agree the first god belongs with the second princess. I love the nod to her homeland – the mouth of Hades is amazing! I also prefer the second tree, the spikes and thorns are fantastic as is the serpent. Feel free to forward any “rubbish” this way – it will always be proudly displayed 😉
    Love you,

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