Evergreen, Tempus fugit & happy 2023

detail “Evergreen”, 2023

Happy new year, I send out wishes for a year of renewal,optimism and rebirth.

I start the new year with a new drawing that I spontaneously called Evergreen. I had hoped for it to be the last drawing of 2022 but there are so many hours in a day. I finished up moments ago, so happy 2023.

colored pencil, graphite and gouache on toned paper
24 by 18 inches

It is a continued exploration of otherworld, underworlds, pointy forms, death and rebirth, renewal and fir trees ( a friend pointed the fir tree forms out , aware of my fondness for Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Fir Tree ).

Detail “Evergreen”


Detail “Evergreen”

 This affinity for renewal isn’t new of course but does add a hint of optimism to my usual obsession over memento mori- the serpent devouring its own tale, a well known allegorical symbol , sprouts new growth .

Another recurrent theme is that of pointed forms, be they vaguely Gothic or conifer.

Detail : “Vein Creator Spiritus”

Even millinery is nearly always pointed:

Detail self portrait

The other day one of my drawings started incorporating this pointed fir tree / hermitage theme which I plan on exploring further.

Mr.Punch’s Leviathan
colored pencil and gouache on toned paper
11 by 8 inches

No great revelations , nothing terribly profound, but a pause before the busying of a new beginning and the ever present reminder of the passage of sand.  At the moment my sweet old lady pug Viola is suffering from some sort of cough, an appointment scheduled but poor creature needs my attention . 

With that,

Happy New Year


detail “Evergreen”, 2023
Tempus fugit

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.

5 thoughts on “Evergreen, Tempus fugit & happy 2023”

  1. Dear Leonard, Happy New Year to you and yours! I am sorry to read that Viola is feeling poorly. I hope the vet’s visit will put her on the road to recovery. I am just about to finish my e-mail to you, so I will include some natural remedies which have been successful in helping my dogs with coughs in the past. I remember Angus, my last dog, looking very forlorn when he had a cough as an old man, so I hope some suggestions might help towards making Miss Viola feel more comfortable.

    I find this post very moving. I love your last two drawings, which I find more revelatory than you suggest in your own analysis. First of all, I can see the change in seasons entering your work, with your move to Chicago. I have thought of you whenever I have seen a fir tree during my time in Scandinavia this Christmas. It heartens me to see the tree who we are told by Hans Christian Andersen lives to tell only one story might have many more tales to be in through your art. He is also multiplying which is heartening. Perhaps what your fir tree represents is what happens when we stop worrying about the opinions/actions of others and focus on the act of imagining and creating instead?

    Strangely enough, given your reference to your many uses of pointy forms, I also thought of you with the Baroque wooden tower of Frelsers Kirke in Copenhagen. Now I realise I have seen something similar on your self-portrait as a fool. Perhaps a new baroque tower hat with a external spiral stairccase is the way forward for fools in 2023?!

    1. My friend, happy new year to you as well. I appreciate your keen analysis and feel you speak unearthed truths. I’ve noticed the change of seasons as well , I have gone from the desert wastelands of our western states to the frigid yet more vital tundra of Andersen. I like very much the notion of my tending to the little fir tree’s progeny.
      That tower was pretty darn spectacular and absolutely absurd , wasn’t it? I wish I were there with you.
      Viola is mending I hope, some elixir of bark, cherry and some sort of honey , I don’t know, David has been researching. Here in the States it is surprisingly difficult to secure veterinary assistance (Viola’s doctor makes house calls for a premium ) , so we are often on our own until a vet will deign to see us. I’d appreciate very much your potions.
      Love from here,

      1. Leonard, I am glad to read that Viola’s cough is a bit better, and I hope the ideas I sent you might provide her with a little extra help, until you can get a vet to see her.

        The winter nights are long in Copenhagen, so I’m tapping into the mood by reading about the dark side of Hans Christian Andersen that is there in many of his stories. I would love to see you do your own take of Andersen’s tale of the little fir tree, allowing him to live beyond being turned into chopped wood. Andersen predicted that fame was the perfect insurance against annihilation, a wish that could be argued underpins the ‘bigger’ life the tree longs for in his story. Fame versus annihilation is even more relevant in a time when social media lures us every day with its siren call offering the promise of ‘fame’ or ‘cancellation’ to anybody who possesses an internet link. It’s a story that might just hold out many exciting possibilities for exploration by an artist I admire for honestly talking about your feelings of ‘magnificent insignificance’ in the internet age. xxx

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