From the Dreamscape to the Notebook

Try as I may I can not escape unpleasant realities for they always pop up in my dreamworld ( which tends to be  an extremely rich, if not a disturbing place).

i have a younger sister who I love dearly, this sister has suffered from mental illness since her teenage years. Life has not been kind to my sister, she suffers the pain of her illness and tremendous self doubt. Once again she has checked herself into the hospital; as she pointed out to me , she has lived with mental illness for 27 years. Understandably she sounded desperate and overwrought, and although usually tremendously resilient , this time I had terrible fears.

So much so they entered my dreamworld.

In this dream my sister ask me to illustrate her situation, she directs a small painting: it is dark, stormy and insufferable, she is on a large terrible thorny tree, fighting against the storm and gravity. The tree is festooned with acorn caps (not an acorn -Lifeforce-  Are there 27 acorn caps ?

One for each lost year?

In this dream she asks me to include a small acorn bursting forth as a seedling . In this detail I hold optimism that my sister will be alright.

Hoping that faith is well founded.

The following are some of the sketches I made today:



Wishing my sister strength.

Until next time, take care and be well,


day II

I won’t bore folks with  literally watching paint dry, but the bright sunshine and happy temperament of our new place has provided inspiration to work. Yesterday was such a productive day , for that I am grateful.


“And the Old Gods Were Pleased” in progress

I won’t indulge in a studio play by play, but I’m  happy, at last, to experience some degree of contentment .

(Now I must secure a printmaking facility.)

The pets are as thrilled as their companion, difficult to make out but there is a wee little cat and chihuahua on the couch and the ever present studio pugs at its foot. All pleased as punch.


Until next time,


Back at the Easel

First day after a few weeks of happily fussing with our new home to be back at the easel; just the smell of the linseed oil brings me joy.

I have been working out a large and complex  composition and in so doing one of the details has caught my attention.I have decided to make this detail a painting in of itself.

In many ways I hesitate to start this  large canvas until after our upcoming trip to Mexico City and most especially  a pilgrimage to Teotihuacan.

Not surprisingly the  larger painting deals with a  struggle between the Old Gods and the New. Of particular inspiration is the Gnostic concept of the envious Demiurge Yaldebaoth (Yahwah) who wishes to curtail man’s access to the Tree of Knowledge. Part of my composition might or might not include a reference to this most familiar narrative, but in the mean time I was inspired to craft a painting from the sketch.

My interest in this subject is not in the tired misogynistic trope of downfall of Man at the hands of the willful Eve. Instead I want to depict that moment of knowledge as a celebration, of Eve, of Adam, of the poor maligned serpent, and the glee and blessings of the Old True Gods (depicted in the roots of my Axis Mundi). This interest may be part of my ongoing desire to free myself from the Judea-Christian nonsense that has haunted me since boyhood. Early on I thought it ridiculous that an All-Knowing Creator would wish to stingily hold onto his wisdom, leaving his creation naked, stupid and merely content to worship Him.

IMG_4190sketching in And the Old Gods Were Pleased

Part of the composition for the afore mentioned larger painting has involved some “character” studies:



The Axis Mundi



For now I am  happy to be painting, loosening up a bit, just happy to paint as I can and as I feel fit.

That might be the most difficult challenge of expression, being true.

Until next time, take care and be well,


At Home in the House of Yes

IMG_4179We moved back to LA on the first of October, a little over a week ago. The last few remaining boxes haunt me but essentially the dust (if not the pug fur) has settled and we are now officially HOME. The past few years have made me very appreciative of this city which I have missed terribly. Although our plans went awry a bit I believe the move back to LA to be Fortuna’s doing .

So much of our new home is the antithesis of the doom and gloom we have endured in San Diego, most especially the sense of optimism. LA by nature is inherently optimistic and our new landlady is the very spirit of YES. I’m promising myself to no longer dwell upon my mother-in-law and her curmudgeonly temperament but suffice to say Marsha (the landlady) possesses a spirit  that is loving and encouraging , she couldn’t be further from what I have become accustomed to. Our home is sweet little 1920’s “Spanish” duplex, Marsha lives above and we rent the ground floor. It is a bright and happy place and by LA standards relatively large. 

IMG_4174Studio space, formerly the living room .We have converted the larger of the bedrooms into a sitting room.


Dining room /drafting room/ art library (part of it anyway)



As it is an “old” building, at least by Southern Californian standards, the ceilings are high and gracious , plus plenty of cross breezes from the many happy casement windows.

One of the great joys of living in our new neighborhood ( a surprisingly intact collection of  charming 1920’s fantasy architecture-mock spanish,mock-Norman,mock-Beverly hills, faux Tudor…) is the ease with which I can walk to LACMA. The other evening I went to a film festival devoted to the great Mexican film-maker Gabriel Figueroa. I confess I was unfamiliar with this great artist but I was blown away by the breadth of his work (the museum has an accompanying exhibition to the film festival) and I was particularly moved by the film presented, Marīa Candelaria. A film as baroque as my own taste, more and more I believe my soul is Mexican , I am so moved by the work south of me. This film was a fictional account of an artist, a thinly veiled depiction of Diego Rivera and his infatuation with an indigenous flower vending beauty. The consequence is tragic and gorgeous. 

In addition to the film, I renewed our membership and re-visited some old friends, in this case , Mixtec treasures. The great god Tlaloc was the first friendly face I encountered.

I was indeed home.


With only a few boxes left to unpack, the computer up and running  and the dogs settled in comfortably, we are at peace. The only thing now is to tackle the new monstrously large canvas looming in the studio. We leave for Mexico City and Teotihuacan at the end of the month, I anticipate further inspiration.

Until next time, be well,