The day was spent blocking in two small panels-I’ve discovered the joys of panels and feel it best suits my process. I have a large canvas in the wings, prepped and ready but for today devils and saints.
blocking in St.Kevin & the Blackbird
oil on panel
This is a small panel, only 12 by 12 inches, it is to be of St.Kevin and his blackboard. I’m basing it upon a relief print that I made last year . I’m enjoying my ability to stretch my wings so to speak with color; a sharp contrast to the print.
My second panel, also small, only 18 by 24 inches is inspired by my ongoing fascination with gnostic thought. I haven’t named the painting yet but it will be something to do with the apotheosis of Sophia or gnosis. As usual I’m enjoying playing with little devil fellows.
The symbolism for this painting is based very loosely on an 18th cent print, I’m guessing Masonic in nature. It was wonderfully creepy in that way allegory often is. I need to locate a copy of it, but it entailed a nude women wearing a crenelated crown and holding chains that supported the sun and the moon all while standing upon a skull. I’ve made a few alterations stylistically but I’m happy with her. The snakes further symbols of wisdom. I dreamt of making this painting the other evening and my dream guide was insistent that she stand upon a black cloud. So black it will be.
Well I must run and tend to other aspects of my life ( namely marketing, ugh) but until next time , be well,
Just moving paint about for no obvious purpose…oil on board
8 1/2 by 11 inches
When I last posted on this painting, link HERE I received many warm responses for which I am grateful. Last evening I finished the painting and I can now, at last look at it clearly.
Gnosis…and the Old Gods Were Pleased
oil on canvas
48 by 24 inches
When I last posted my progress the painting was about 70 percent complete, I’ve since made a few changes.
Most of the changes have been made to the female character, who is not Eve ; she is in fact Zoe, daughter of Sophia, bearer of light and wisdom (Gnosis), as Adam lacked the spiritual spark (the source of information and inspiration for this painting was a BBC podcast In Our Time, the topic of discussion being the Gnostics , link HERE ).
I’m happy were her now, my inspiration was in many respects the Grey Eyed Athena and I captured what I wanted…pretty much.
Another, initial inspiration was the sculpture of “Eve in Temptation” by my favorite Giselbertus (1150); I strayed a bit but I know the spark.
My impetus to finish this painting was entry in a juried show at a local museum-an artist alliance exhibition. The following paintings have also been entered:
Resurrection of the Father
oil on canvas
50 by 40 inches
Temptation of St.Anthony of the Desert
oil on canvas
48 by 36 inches.
Wish me luck! I will post the results, good or bad news,
until that time,
be well, Lg
I submitted a few pieces to a juried exhibition devoted to work on paper, my Jumping Tlaloc from the last posting and this oil painting which I have titled Mirth.
Mirth…or just keeping your head above water
oil on cardboard;reclaimed frame with painted decoration
35 by 22 inches
The theme of the exhibition ( I hate themes frankly) is Celebration. Although I have a lot to be happy about my work doesn’t always reflect that fact; it is often dark and moody, certainly bizarre at times. I scrambled to come up with something suitably celebratory. My Tlaloc I find amusing, he jumps to attention and makes me laugh-that seems a reason to celebrate.
But Mirth is more personal, in fact I dedicate it as a psychological portrait of my first partner Douglas who couldn’t keep his own head above water. I see Douglas in this clown’s eyes and I’m saddened.
As someone who has wrestled with depression and self-doubt my entire life, my attraction to Douglas and his dark ways makes a great deal of sense. But when Douglas finally succumbed by his own hand, I became more determined not to give in. As anyone who works through these issues knows,it is difficult. Douglas’s choice has a romantic appeal at times, but then its final. Really final.
There are days I am just stunned Douglas is no longer here, although the romantic love for one another faded, there are days I would love to share a passage from a book I might be reading or a particularly delightful treasure I find in the trash . One such treasure is the rickety frame “his” portrait is framed in. I was delighted to find it on the street soon after moving back to LA-I took it as a good sign. To further enhance its awful teal ridiculousness I painted a little smiling clown-demon.
Douglas would have loved it.
My life now, even with dark days is amazing. David , my spouse (I cannot yet say husband-too much baggage I suppose) is incredible. We have our rows and differences, but his tender empathy and good cheer stuns the hell out of me consistently. So often I feel engulfed and he floats by graceful as a buoy and reminds me of another brighter perspective.
For that I celebrate.
Take care, be well,
My friend and mentor, the very talented artist, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (link to his site) inspired me to work with maquettes some time ago. He thought that the flexible little paper mannequins would aid my compositions.
They have, but they have also become a joy unto themselves.
I make them because they bring me pleasure. I recently found myself inspired to craft an uber-maquette of the great rain god Tlaloc. I figured since he was such a flexible fellow he would make a fine mechanical doll, a Jumping Jack or if you want to be fancy, a pantin. My Nana would bring me German-made pantins as a boy; this mega Jumping Tlaloc brings me the same joy although he is considerably larger than my childhood playthings, he measures at 41″.
acrylic on cardboard, brass fasteners, string
41 inches high
There is a certain degree of elaborate stringing to make the fellow “jump”, but once strung he is quite lively. Below you will find the great god in his relaxed state.
As I experiment with depictions of the rain god, I have been dressing him in a fearsome mask. But under this fearsome exterior one finds a gentle god. Seems reasonable given he brings forth rain and life. I was inspired by this colonial image of Tlaloc.
And his mask is based upon traditional depictions typically found on vessels.
I need to paint the brads still and make a few adjustments with paint and string, but he so delighted me, I was eager to post the fellow.
After I figured out the logistics of pantin-making I stumbled upon this handy-dandy template. Pretty much the same as my own but thought I would share it.
Well until next time, take care,