The Eternal Cycle

The Eternal Cycle
Acrylic on life sized plastic skull

I’ve recently finished a painting truly in the round, a fanciful forest-scape depicting a hermit, naturally enough, reflecting upon his mortality , painted upon a life sized plastic skull.

Let me tell you , painting in the round with some degree of  detail is no simple task.

The Eternal Cycle
Acrylic on life sized plastic skull

For this “painting” I have focused upon the memento mori theme, the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth; hermits and Holy Fools and Death Angels populate this fertile sylvan scene.

The Eternal Cycle
(Death Angel detail)
Acrylic on life sized plastic skull

I’ve crammed the narrative  upon  every surface of the skull, deliberately treating the surface not as  a figure in the round but as a flat surface, allowing the surface narrative to meander as life itself.

The Eternal Cycle
(Holy Fool detail)
Acrylic on life sized plastic skull

My intention with the piece was to create an object of reflection , to be handled and meditated upon; a bauble for a wunderkammer.

The Eternal Cycle
(Hermit detail)
Acrylic on life size plastic skull

The ultimate reveal being its base, where Life defeats Death, cradling  slightly phallic Amanita muscaria toadstools.

The Eternal Cycle
(Life detail)
Acrylic on life size plastic skull

The piece was inspired by an international art collective I was to be included in, a plastic blank skull arriving by oversea  post. Initially I was excited by this joint venture, I do not collaborate generally but I was eager to see what I had hoped to be like minded folk from across the globe found inspiring in this most basic and eternal theme. Sadly, thus far, pretty tame: the usual “Steampunk” sort of treatment ; the gratuitous appropriation of traditional Oaxacan decorative arts and Posada’s Catrina; faux finishes, beads and sparkly bits . The occasional preparation of shot of a skull smoking .

Schoolyard stunts. I’m surmising Death might NOT have been pondered by my fellow artists,  a theme once universally explored, now it seems too terrible to bear contemplating. Hence the pretty beadwork.  I’m grateful to my neighbors here in LA with our annual Dia de los Muertos festival reminders, festive, beautiful, mindful.

But this is a theme I’ve long contemplated, making my peace with fear by walking side by side with Death, first in my youth through the AIDS crisis, and now to this day as I approach my final chapter. Never knowing when my spin of the  Danse macabre   will be upon me, I want to stay mindful of just how precious this miracle of Life really is.

This has lead to a large body of work reminding me time and again to be present, to be grateful , and to have a little fun with Death, making Lord Bones and Lady Skull laugh along with me.

A sample follows:

“D”, from Fairyland ABC, The Eternal Cycle
The Alpha & the Omega

Studio vignette

In the end I might decline the collaborative invitation, if the work doesn’t go beyond the superficial or decorative , I feel less inclined to participate . But nonetheless, grateful to reflect, brush in hand, on this great reality and chuckle a bit in the process. 

Source unknown to me; any information appreciated.
The Eternal Cycle
Acrylic on life sized plastic skull

Studio Clearance Sale

The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, 8 by 10"
The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, 8 by 10″

So its that time of year when one feels compelled to clear out the old and make way for the new. I hope in 2017 to begin afresh , adding printmaking to my studio practice. And while going through the stacks of prints in my archives I decided to try to move them along to happy homes. The following relief prints including handsome Huitzilopochtli are for the most part from 2014-2016. Ordinarily a one-block print (single color run) would sell for $100.00; this sale the same prints are 75.00 each, two for 100.00 (shipping and handling 17.00).

Thus far these are the prints available at that price.  I give plate size,not actual print size. Plate size indicates the block I carve into;  generally the following prints look handsome matted and framed at 12 by 15″. 

 If interested feel free to contact me directly at:


Death & the Maiden 2014
Death & the Maiden

Death & the Maiden, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 6, 5 available.

The Virgin of Guadalupe 2014
The Virgin of Guadalupe

The Virgin of Guadalupe, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 4, 2 left.

Agnus Dei 2014
Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 6, 5 available.

The Eternal Cycle 2014
The Eternal Cycle

The Eternal Cycle, 2014, plate size 6 by 9″, series of 6, 2 available .

The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, 8 by 10"
The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, 8 by 10″


The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, 3 proofs on mulberry paper available.

Tlaloc 2014



Tlaloc, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 8, 4 available.

The Siren's Call 2016
The Siren’s Call

The Siren’s Call, 2016, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 7, 5 available (note, hand colored, slight variations).

Neo Medievalism and the Approaching Dark Age


As 2016 winds down I want to pause, taking the time to reflect upon what 2017 might bring, personally and aesthetically. I’ve had a long fascination with 1917, it seemed  such a dynamic period; the October Revolution will mark its centennial this year, as one example.

For me, 1917 seemed exceptional, society was on the cusp of modernity yet still rooted in what was the past. Values, aesthetic, cultural and artistic were changing at a rapid pace, yet still there were antimacassars on the back of velveteen settees, suffragettes were only just beginning to gather steam and art vacillated between DADA and academic treacle. It seems to have been a period of incredible potential, one faced an optimistic yet uncertain future.

I feel that way now, one hundred years later. Yet whereas 1917 was being propelled into the Jazz and later the Atomic Age, I’m fearful of being pulled back into the Dark Ages. I needn’t harp about the President Elect and the backward thinking regime he wishes to install. Anyone who knows me is well aware of my opinions and my anxieties.


(source unknown, sorry)


My instinct is to crawl back into my hermitage, something I may very well do (although I do hope to participate in social activism as needed). While there I hope to work at perfecting an aesthetic that I think is working for me. My last large painting Hadesville felt to me to be my most successful yet ( it will get its first public showing this Friday at a pop up show in LA). I feel I am on to something and have been calling what I wish to explore Neo-Medievalism.



I’m finding freedom in this aesthetic that I am honing , from the exploration of surface pattern to the quirky articulation of the figures. One of the elements of actual medieval/early Renaissance art that I love is the use of  synoptic narrative, where all of the action takes place on one plane; that just fascinates the hell out of me.

It’s incredibly liberating.


I suspect the hermitage theme will preoccupy my studio practice in 2017. I’ve been obsessing about hermitages for years but now with what feels like dark winds blowing against my door, the inclination to withdraw into the anchorite’s cave has never been more pressing.


Tucson Art Museum
Tucson Art Museum


Source, ?
Source, ?

Of course , if I am to explore hermits, I can’t forget about Anthony of the Desert OR his pig!






Our pig SweetTea may very well serve as a model.



Sweet Tea at Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, Tucson AZ. Many pigs need sponsorship, please consider!

My interest in Neo-Medievalism was fueled by a recent trip to the Sequoia National Park , where the majesty of these ancient gods, some sacrificed by fire, some  promising hope for a new age, moved me deeply. This beautiful charred corpse is as crenelated as  gothic fretwork.

15135845_10210724427096395_7678041243085763309_nYet through the remains of a burnt trunk, new life.

15193592_10210724427336401_4606782265126548584_nI’m finished pondering what 2017 will bring, instead I must get to actual work. I will close with images that promise to inspire my pen. For a fuller appreciation I suggest listening to Hildegard, this link is to one of my favorite recordings of her vast body of work.


13512238_10209298833897456_3218639598302787422_n Now onward!






This image, Dido?, her belly, so typical of this period , was an influence for the image of Gnosis in my painting Gnosis…and the Old Gods Were Pleased. The painting recently sold to an East Coast collector, thrilled about that but still a bit melancholy for I fear Gnosis has fled in these dark times.

Gnosis...and the Old Gods Were Pleased (private collection)
Gnosis…and the Old Gods Were Pleased
(private collection)


To a new year, battle ready !

Death & the Maiden, in the beginning

I just pulled a proof of my newest print Death & the Maiden. I’m going to continue exploring with multiple plates, but for now, I’m pleased.


Artist’s proof

Death & the Maiden


 relief print;plate 8 by 10, print 9 by 12

The print is based upon an oil painting I did some time back.


Death & the Maiden


oil on canvas

I will get to work on adding other plates, but for now…

be well,


Labor’s Reward

I recently finished a decorative project for a certain blond mega pop star who everyone pretty much knows; as glamorous as all that may be, I really did not want the project. I do however hold her designer in high esteem and count him a a friend ; PLUS money is nice.  Money is really nice for buying oneself gifts. I have been itching for a press and I now have one.

Some fellows, when they have a mid life crisis buy a flashy car ; I buy a printing press, but is absolutely testosterone driven.


 Press source

The work station is pretty fantastic gift as well, a birthday gift from the spouse man, welded steel, capable of supporting 3000 lbs, overkill, as the press is under 200 pounds, but again, testosterone driven on very  impressive wheels.

Source Uline : source

This press actually intimidated me a bit, and my chum the talented artist Deborah Lambert graciously walked me through the process; incredibly simple and it works like a dream, the following is an afternoon’s leisurely output.


The relief print I worked on this afternoon was inspired by Flaubert’s The Temptation of St. Anthony, in one scene the poor beleaguered anchorite is tormented by Lust and Death,  representing the eternal circle of life.

I really love that idea, without Lust , Death cannot be fed, they need one another.

So hence , Lust und Tod.


 Lust und Tod


relief print on mulberry paper

9 by 12 inches

I have not been posting because I have been working on a large painting, once again dealing with life, death and salvation, apparently I never tire of the theme. As much as I love printmaking, painting gives me the greatest joy. I have existential angst at times as my prints are well received and my paintings, well, not so much. I may in fact not be terribly good, my landlady told me frankly I shouldn’t bother with paintings, focus on printmaking. I know she means well, though it did indeed sting; but the fact is I love painting. So good or bad, well received or not, I continue my practice. the following is a detail.


be well, Lg

Time and Gratitude

As the year comes to a close I have been fretting about Time; the familiar angst of many, of not  having enough and  of too much that has slipped through my fingers.  My own face has betrayed this passage of time and although I am mortified by my own vanity I find the evidence of  my mortality excruciating . I chuckled at myself while at the gym this morning, these pretty rosy-faced boys milling about and I gaze at the endless mirrors at my own visage-I have in attempt to distract from the effects of gravity , half heartedly started growing a beard, sadly I do not look ruggedly handsome but more like a destitute reprobate.

Vanity, there is a reason it is one of the Seven Deadlies.

I can chuckle at myself so that is a good sign, particularly as I had the thoroughly un-original epiphany that the only effective solution to aging is Death-I’ll pass for now. 

IMG_4581Death and the Maiden

oil on canvas


This silly fretting about time is absurd particularly given how many loved ones I have known, including my first partner Douglas, that have died far, far too young. It seems trite ( and frankly untrue) to say I appreciate the wrinkles of Time but I will give gratitude a shot this year.

Wish me luck and wishing all a rich and fulfilling 2014.

With gratitude and sincerityLg