I just finished a small oil painting, once again returning to a favorite pair of heroes, Gilgamesh and the wild man Enkidu.
And once again returning to their slaying of the hapless Humbaba, poor Humbaba.
Slaying Humbaba (in a limited palette)
oil on canvas
16 by 20 inches
I initially worked with this theme after having read the Mitchell translation of Gilgamesh (some of the sexiest passages around, quite steamy). Initially I worked out a composition based upon a Syrian relief panel from the 10th cent, translating the basalt panel into an intaglio plate.
this being the inspiration,
I’ve enjoyed the progression of this composition, working and reworking trinities. But now I must get back to my OTHER Hero Twin and string my marionettes of them as I want to make a little film. Wish me luck.
Printmaking is progressing onwards, seventh week already; received my first grade for the etching/aquatint segment of course. I’m pleased with the grade.
I’m less pleased with my actual mastery of this tricky medium, trying to be patient and enjoy the discoveries.
It would be lovely if I were a relaxed, easy going southern Californian like my fellow students, everything that is produced is “G-r-e-a-t!!!!”.
Their enthusiasm is exhausting.
Anyway, the following print was designed to showcase my understanding of the various techniques taught within the last few weeks.
I upped the ante a bit by choosing a larger plate (9 by 12) and focusing on drypoint which everyone in class including the teacher seems to shun; I love the technique. The techniques are a soft ground transfer, with drypoint and aquatint ; the aquatint failed multiple times to produce sufficiently dark value- the plate became warped and the rosin would not settle properly. I compensated with drypoint.
The above image was printed in a particularly pretty blue, I also ran a run in graphite, pretty color, but a bit weak.
Actually, I rather like the color.
My first proof was just the soft ground etching, which I liked, reminded me of a very primitive Flaxman print.
We initially begin the project with a value drawing.
My inspiration for the print was from a spectacular Syrian bas relief of the 10th or 9th century; I’m crazy for its archaic quality and its humor.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu Slaying Humbaba
basalt relief, from palace of King Kapara at Toll Halaf, Syria.
10th-9th cent. B.C.
When I began this class I also began a large painting, 50 by 60 inches. Taking Clive’s advice I decided to move the action forward (the Syrian relief an inspiration). I made use of my Hero Twin maquettes and have been busy painting since. I am nearing completion.
Until I post the final image I thought I would tease with my preparatory sketch.
Well I must get on with my day, an evening class but first a studio day to work out a plan for for mono prints, our next adventure!