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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Death & the Maiden, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 6, 5 available.
The Virgin of Guadalupe, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 4, 2 left.
Agnus Dei, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 6, 5 available.
The Eternal Cycle, 2014, plate size 6 by 9″, series of 6, 2 available .
The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, 3 proofs on mulberry paper available.
Tlaloc, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 8, 4 available.
The Siren’s Call, 2016, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 7, 5 available (note, hand colored, slight variations).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yet through the remains of a burnt trunk, new life.
I’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Death 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.