Last evening I finished a new painting, Genesis. As is so often the case my inspiration was the Popol Vuh, the sacrifice and resurrection of the Maize God , the Hero Twins,  and the narrative of the Creation of Man.

An added inspiration was AIDS, I am of that generation where many of my friends and loved ones from my youth are now long since dead.  Not too long ago Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart was on television. My visceral reaction was of  a resurrected  fear, long suppressed, reborn at the sight of so many Spotted Men.    Those  past  days of Act Up meetings in NYC and Philadelphia; those handsome men speckled with death and anxiety; demonstrations on the street, at St. Patricks…; anxiety and selfish terror, would I be next?; and yet the excitement of activism, these  were all faded memories in my now relatively carefree life.  Until that film.

I was  confronted once again with that incessant gnawing deep within, a true existential crisis. So in a simple way, my Hero Twin Hunahpu, who is  traditionally depicted spotted, as he too encountered Death,  represents all those struck down. Somehow I missed the scythe, I bear witness like Xbalanque, Hunahpu’s brother in arms.




oil on canvas

30 by 40 inches

My Spotted Hunahpu


The inspiration for this painting is also from a previous painting, Primavera a relatively small water color. My friend, the incredible artist, Judithe Hernandez suggested I rework Primavera either in grissaile or as a larger composition. When in doubt I always choose larger. The original version:

Greco_Primavera-watercolor copy



watercolor on paper

In this painting there is a nicely perverse little subterranean flowering plant, symbolic of life in hostile situations; today my lovely little Stapelia-Carrion flower offered up a gorgeous maggot filled blossom. A Boschian treat if ever there was one.


This morning’s Carrion  blossom, more on the way.

IMG_5478 2 My imagined Carrion Flower.

Tomorrow I return “home’, Philadlephia, to visit family of the flesh and those of brick, and paint and marble. Philadelphia is so architecturally rich: Furness, Richardson, Queen Anne, 18th c; plus the museums, I will be in heaven.  I think I will print out this “prayer card” of the Maize God , Hun Hanahpu to keep me safe.


Be well, Lg

The Passing of Light


Yesterday was a  hard day for us. After several bad weekends our sweet little cat Antigone had to be put down.

Two weekends ago she suffered from congestive heart failure; last weekend she was in kidney failure, we patched her up as best as one can patch up a 19 year old kitty and kept her comfortable, sort of.  This week she looked so uncomfortable, listless, wheezing, fluid pouring from her sad eyes.

We knew but wanted to pretend otherwise.

 David set an appointment with the veterinarian;  in addition to her other complications, her lungs were infected. Completely treatable but to what end? If my dear Chihuahua Speck had such an infection he would be pumped full of antibiotics pronto; but poor Tiggy, what would we be accomplishing ? We made an ambivalent/determined decision and stuck with it until the final solution did its job. Even as that odious pink fluid flooded her little three pound body I wanted to scream for it to stop. But it didn’t and we chose the right path .


What had been her sick room, the little “Chinois” computer room is still littered with the detritus of her decline; David couldn’t bear to remove her presence so swiftly. I’m so pragmatic at times but what I wanted to do was preempt the sorrow of her loss. Her loss, the passage of all that we love is so inevitable, so common yet so fresh and harsh each and every time. Fate made her point in that one year ago yesterday, as we were putting down Antigone, we had put down our odd and sweet and grumpy daschund  Buddy. Wishing them both a safe passage to whatever the hell happens next.

IMG_0046 copy

 With pets dying, with Antigone particularly, they represents milestones in one’s own life. Like the good lesbians that we are, David and I adopted Antigone as a kitten only a few weeks after we met and a few weeks before renting a U-Haul moving van. That was over 18 nears ago , best decisions I have made.

She had been our companion on this adventure ever since and now she isn’t.  New adventures, life to be lived as fully as possible await  but last evening we toasted her with the best thing we had in the house, a 1999 bottle of Dom Perignon ( I wished it had been 1995 her birth year, but so it goes).

So to Tiggy and to Buddy and  to Daisy and one day to one another; resolving to honor this light as well as I am able.

Be well, Lg

p.s. the figurine at the top of this post had been of four, lovely little things; upon first adopting the little monkey, Antigone quickly shattered its mate in her kittenish enthusiasm. I’m still sore over that.

Back to the Hermitage

Having first finished Flaubert’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony and then  having gone to the Getty Centre to see the spectacular Ensor exhibition ( twice, and not at all too many visits )  where I encountered Ensor’s interpretation of the poor anchorite bedeviled by worldliness, I was inspired to paint yet another Temptation.  

Flaubert’s work influenced Ensor and that is apparent, from the writhing Byzantine whirl of Temptations to the floating, glowing head of the Savior (Freud was also heavily influenced by this amazing and odd little book). If you are inclined towards visual excess as I am, Flaubert’s text offers endless inspiration. One of the many temptations that poor Anthony encounters is the personifications of Lust and Death, in Flaubert’s description they are an inseparable duo, one cannot be without the other.

I found this magnificent and horrifying, his description of the two is chilling:

Lust: “My rage equals thine. I also yell ; I bite. I too, have sweats of agony, and aspects cadaverous.”

Death: ” It is I that make thee awful! Let us intertwine!”

I love that, it is so terrible, so damned, and yet Anthony resists them and they flee.

This painting unlike the last Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert ( link: HERE) is a small little oil painting, only 16 by 20 inches. I painted smaller frankly because I am running out of studio space and I have two other large canvases that I am working on occupying two easels . 


 The Temptation of Saint Anthony


oil on canvas

16 by 20 inches

I wanted to commit to grissaile which at times has been a challenge; my love of color so great. Given the theme I resisted the siren’s call.


detail of Lust and Death

I explored Lust and Death previously with my relief print Lust und Tod.


The idea of Anthony carrying the mask came from a dream, which given Freud’s love of Flaubert’s Anthony, I thought too important to omit.


I will close with this image, the handsome hermit tempting Temptation.

Be well, Lg

A Little Color for Those Damned Souls

I have set upon myself multiple projects, all in varying stages of progress; in so doing I have neglected completing the simplest of them all, namely my last print. As we head out to Portland Thursday morning I thought it best to finish at least one project.

I have and I must say I am pleased .

The print from my last post, Las Ánimas del Purgatorio,  just became a lot more colorful.


Las Ánimas del Purgatorio (The Souls in Purgatory)


three block relief print on paper

9 by 12 inches

A few other examples:



This one is the proof from my last post, I just printed the orange plate over the existing black. I like how the orange ink muted the black , leaving crisp black where the plate wasn’t inked.

I must pack tomorrow, ready the house for the dog’s nanny, rush our aged cat Antigone to the kitty resort, pack, and steel my agoraphobic nerves for a trip to Portland. I doubt I will have much studio time before heading to LAX.

Until next time, be well, Lg


Sept. 16th, an update. I felt compelled to note that the above print was submitted in a contest to design a t-shirt for the Day of the Dead ;  my submission was rejected as being inappropriate to the spirit of the holiday.  Nonsense.

In the words of the spokesperson :

“We appreciate your entry, however, we cannot accept it as is because it is not in the wholesome, celebratory, light-heartened nature in which we have hosted this promotion.”

 I think she meant “light hearted” ; I called her a nincompoop.

My rejection letters are  stacking  up but a few are such doozies that I take certain pride in them: the one from the city of Encinitas for nudity and this one for un-wholesomeness. I wear the unwholesome label proudly.