Calling Juanito

It seems fitting that today,  on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, that the City of Angels should have the blessing of rain. It is a gloriously blustery day as I snugly make this post. Gracias.

As today is her feast day I wanted to make a print to honor the event , the vision of Our Lady by Juan Diego back on Dec. 12th 1531. There are countless images of the Virgen yet I felt emboldened to create my own. It was tempting to make yet another sweetly naive woodblock image of her, but I wanted my own  image, one conceived from my own  perspective as a white middle aged gay guy from the East Coast, not  at all able to claim Latino heritage (although my husband is half Mexican) yet respectful and enamored by the culture.

So this is the result, in several color ways.


 Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe

Dec. 2014

4 color relief print on paper

image size 8 by 10 inches, print 9 by 12


2 color relief print.

I think I like this approach the best and I will play with it some more. I like how Juan Diego’s  guardian angel appears ethereal, more of an apparition.


Artist’s proof

My intention with this print was to implement the motifs that recur frequently within my work,  namely the queer elements, in this case the Hero Twins as played by Juan Diego and his Aztec Guardian Angel. I loosely borrowed elements from the codices in creating the angel. There is a vague and historically inaccurate reference to a New Fire Ceremony in the background, a nod to the “pagan” past. 

My intention was for it to appear as if the Old Gods were giving their blessings to the New.


Have a great feast! Thanking Tlaloc for the rain!





I understand the griping I hear so often about the  social disconnect our society is enduring because of  time  spent online: cell phones ever in use narcissistically snapping “selfies”, the inane chatter, the mindless games. I’m the first to chime in when I see the  abuses, but there is also a certain magic to it all. I have “met” from my  often lonely studio some truly incredible people, folks I would most likely have never met, or had the confidence to introduce myself to.

This year has been a wonderful year in that I have actually met two “virtual” friends. Earlier this year I met my friend Carla who has been following my sites for some time. We were visiting beautiful Oregon and we had the chance to actually meet Carla and her husband Allen over dinner (best Italian food I have had in a very long time). One senses kinship from your computer screen but to have it confirmed in the flesh is a very special thing. My friendship with Carla would never have occurred without the  internet pixies sprinkling camaraderie and goodwill.

Such was the case last  evening as I was further blessed in having met another long time friend (who I had actually never heard speak) Andrew P.Wood ( his voice is lovely, he is southern boy after all).  Andrew has always offered such kind support to my work; so often I feel I work in a vacuum , shouting at the winds,yet Andrew has consistently listened. Its all rather stunning as I hold him in such esteem, he is an incredibly gifted photo journalist, capturing in amber all that is beautiful, broken and left to be forgotten, namely the architecture and landscape of the rural American South. His images have struck me time and again for their intelligence and poetry , he expresses empathy for the material world that I share as well. He imbues fallen houses, decrepit storefronts and broken fencing with meanings that convey our own frailties ; memento moris others would rather pass by. 

Last evening we actually met.  Andrew with his equally convivial husband Greg were in LA on business and we arranged to have them for dinner last night. It was an absolutely wonderful evening , Andrew came bearing a very beautiful print (above) of one his memento moris , how fortunate is that? Having never actually met one another there could have been awkwardness but there was not, instead there was the kinship that I had suspected from our brief exchanges.

There is magic out there, and its online.

I feel fortunate indeed.



 Post Script: speaking of “selfies”, which are never kind to me, Andrew snapped one of us as I was fussing with dinner.

Goblin Market

I’ve been reading a fair amount of poetry later, mostly for class, but also revisiting  some old favorites; one being Christina Rossetti’s  pre-Raphaelite jewel, Goblin Market (Link Here).

This little graphite drawing was inspired by her wonderfully dark poem.

IMG_5739_2Goblin Market


graphite on paper

8.5 by 11 inches

“Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy”


I’ve mentioned I’m taking an English composition course which I am enjoying a great deal. Revisiting old “friends” such as Oedipus, but meeting new as well. I’ve never read Hamlet before, I’m familiar enough with the play, but I never sat down and actually read it. Good grief what a fantastic bit of work. I’m still spinning from it, terrible tragedy and yet zingers worthy of Monty Python. I’m going to need to re-read it just to feel more immersed in the drama.

This little print (quite small, the plate is only 4 by 6 inches) of Yorick was inspired by my enthusiasm . 




relief print on paper

plate size, 4 by 6 inches

“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? “(Hamlet, V.i)

Until next time, be well,