The Ghost of Versailles

 Lately I have been working rather diligently on experiencing lucid dreams; doing this so that I may better  discern my unconscious mind. An although my dreams have been extravagant , I have as of yet, had only two lucid dreams. Last evening being the second.

It seemed a short dream , which was a pity as it was set in the Palace of Versailles (a place I have not had the chance to visit and which I fear I may never actually visit). In this dream I have the ghost of Louis XVI on my back and he is directing me from his suite to the ground floor. He is doing so through some sort of night goggles, the images are sepia toned, and I soon realize I am having a lucid dream . From my knowledge of the palace, I begin to direct myself downward, it is dawn, barely lit and we are all alone. But as we descend to what I know will be the grand staircase it all evaporates as thoroughly as the Ancien Regime itself.

 This charcoal sketch is my accounting of the dream and aside from my commedia dell’ arte costume which is how I  often designate myself in drawings, it pretty accurately captures the mood of the dream.

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2016

charcoal, pastel and a bit of collage on charcoal paper

12 by 18″

As I mentioned, I have been having many other vivid dreams as well, and this image Out on a Limb was inspired by two recurring dreams, none of which were lucid, but which still moved me deeply. In one series of dreams I am consistently losing my right hand ( my working hand) which of course is quite disturbing . In another I am in a snowy metropolitan area, high above mankind, as I looked down I see the most pitiful bat-bird like creatures slowly freezing to death. No matter how much I alert others to their plight and no matter how I try to disentangle them from the ice, I cannot save them. The dream left me breathless and despondent. I tried to capture that sense in this graphite drawing.

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Out on a Limb

2016

graphite and colored pencil on charcoal paper

19 by 25″

That said, I will close with the good old boy himself, have a great week.

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New Print: The Proposition

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The Proposition (red)

2016

relief print on paper, 10 by 14″

series of eight

$300.00

I am rather pleased with this print, once again utilizing the pochoir technique in addition to a cut plate.The alignment is pretty good and I feel it has a satisfying composition of color and line that I admire in German Expressionist prints ( and film).  I am also enjoying taking a painting and making a print of it ( or the other way around).

The Proposition 2015 oil on panel 8 by 10"
The Proposition 2015 oil on panel 8 by 10″
Initially this print was printed in black which I like but I delight in color.

The Proposition 2015 relief print on paper , image size 8 by10"
The Proposition 2015 relief print on paper , image size 8 by10″
I sense I am going to be returning to commedia figures in this upcoming year as they seem to keep popping up in my random sketching . They have long fascinated me since boyhood and I look forward to further exploration.

The Proposition

20the proposition

The Proposition

2015

oil on panel

8 by 10″

I just finished this painting moments ago; it is a companion to a relief print bearing the same name.

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Now off to tend to the beasties.

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 Post Script: kind words concerning this painting my my new favorite podcasts Pleasure Town.

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Link: http://pleasuretownshow.com/blog/

A Proof for Jim

As I run  proofs of a new plate I have just finished cutting, I am reminded of the man who taught me all I know ( or remember) about printmaking, Jim Machacek, who recently retired from teaching printmaking at San Diego community colleges for thirty years. I find myself fastidiously looking for errant marks, unnecessary details and the quality of the inking. I can hear him griping out loud to the class “TOO much ink!”- too much ink makes a muddy print and was the bane of his teaching career apparently. But as I run my fifth proof, nearing the end of the editing (I think), I’m deeply grateful for the rigor Jim instilled in me.

This proof, for a new print The Proposition is for Jim’s approval.

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 The Proposition

 2015

relief print on paper

10 by 14 inhes

This has been a tricky composition for me, layering the figures, adding shadows in two colors but I am going in the direction I had  hoped for. I initially thought of employing a separate plate for the shadows but after looking at German Expressionist prints I was inspired to more fully utilize the drama of black and white. I may still make separate color plates for contrast color but I’m pleased with this print. I’m glad I have Jim in the back of my mind guiding my cuts.

Thanks Jim.

IMG_7386My teacher and friend Jim Machacek taken at LACMA this week, in front of Noah Purifoy’s The Spaceman. I’m happy Jim drove up from San Diego, battling insufferable traffic, to visit me; I’m hoping to see him soon once again on his turf.

Temptation of St. Anthony of the Desert

temptaion of st anthony of teh desert

Temptation of St.Anthony of the Desert

 2015

acrylic on Yupo paper

11 by 14″

This is a new painting I finished up a few moments ago, given this is the last week of school I find myself only able to focus upon small works on paper. Painting quickly with water based paints between writing assignments. This painting is in part inspired by what I call “cut-away” rooms that are depicted in early Renaissance paintings,such as this one. I find them fascinating and will continue exploring the doll-house format.

cutaway room rouen 1444-45

(unidentified,ca.1445)

Well back to editing.

Lg

Yorick

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 . 

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Yorick

2014

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,

Lg

Oedipus Rex

I’m taking an English Composition course, I’m hoping to transfer to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and I want to get the academic work out of the way. I gripe about CA but its junior colleges are wonderful and affordable. My last assignment was to write an essay on Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King; what a treat, if one can delight in such abject misery. I enjoy writing and re-reading the play brings me tremendous pleasure. At the end of the day, after researching  source material (the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion, the mythologist  Robert Graves) just  being steeped in the narrative; after such a day of writing and thinking it felt good to just make.

This little watercolor of  the young king beseeching the Delphic Oracle for insight is the result. 

IMG_5727Oedipus Rex

2014

watercolor on paper

5.5 by 8.5 inches

From Grave’s The Greek Myths 2:

“…Oedipus went to ask the Delphic Oracle what future lay in store for him. ‘Away from the shrine, wretch!’ the Pythoness cried in disgust. ‘You will kill your father and marry your mother!’ (105).

With that cheery thought may your day be bright.

Be well, Lg