showtime in puppetland

My marionettes are finished, now I find the task at hand of photographing them and hopefully in the near future making brief 13 second clips of their escapades. But thus far I have been hampered by having only two arms; awaiting the husband to act as studio assistant.

The image that follow are those I have managed solo.IMG_5191

Detail of the Axis Mundi against a fiery backdrop of Xibalba, the underworld.

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The Axis Mundi with the head of the slain Maize God

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Maize God

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The Hero Twins strung, ready to perform.

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They are incredibly photogenic, I feel I cannot take credit for them as they seem to have come forth on their own.

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photo

The simple-minded God of Death, he also poses in a delightful way; he is quite a funny fellow.

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When I manage to score some stage hands I will post some tableaux , until that time ,be well, Lg

 

The Anointing

I had been going through a bit of an arid period in dreamworld lately; and then suddenly an avalanche of evocative images. The following was inspired by one of them.

As Sunday was the 18th anniversary of my first date with David, the painting seems appropriate.

I’ve called it The Anointing.

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The Anointing

2014

acrylic on paper

22 by 28 inches

Kaleidoscope, opening soon

I’m delighted that some of my work has been selected for another show , right up the street  on La Brea, from where my painting Primavera is being shown at the Loft at Liz’s.

The gods are being generous for which I am grateful.

Kaleidoscope 9

EXHIBITION: KALEIDOSCOPE
DATES: July 12 – August 23, 2014
OPENING: Aritsts’ Opening Reception, Saturday, July 12, 6–8pm
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm

 

  Couturier Gallery is please to present Kaleidoscope, a group exhibition combining emerging and established artists through a spectrum of disciplines. The show incorporates book art, ceramics, collage, paintings, printmaking and tape sculptures. The varied nature of the show creates complex connections between works that forge a rich mosaic of aesthetics, visual language and themes.  Artists include: Sandow Birk, Fausto Fernandez, Leonard Greco, Gronk, Judithe Hernandez, Noel Vargas Hernandez, John Hesketh, Jay Kvapil, Nancy Goodman Lawrence, DeLoss McGraw, Antonio Muniz, Connie Rohman, Frank Romero, Irwin Sanchez, Danny Scheible, Ana Serrano, Susan Sironi, Corey Stein, Leslie Love Stone, John Valadez and James Zver. Kaleidoscope runs from July 12 to August 23. Join us for the artists’ opening reception Saturday, July 12, 6-8pm.

 

For further information or images please contact me @ cg@couturiergallery.com.

 

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one of the three masks selected,The Hero Triplets.

 J, the wonderful fellow who runs Couturie Gallery selected several prints and some masks I have been making. I will be exhibiting alongside Judithe Hernandez , who I  really admire, I feel very honored and intimidated.

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 Resurrection of the Father

relief print on paper

2013

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Scapegoat

relief print on paper

2014

I need to drop the work off before my yoga class, so I better pack them up.

Until next time,

be well ,

Lg

A Day ( and Night) of the Hero Twins ; NSFW, caution marionettes with naughty bits

My  Hero Twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque are now finished and awaiting proper stringing. I don’t anticipate too many problem,  my fingers crossed, but in the meantime I thought I would play around with the little mannequins. They are quite flexible and fall into clever and at times quite salacious positions. Good for them. 

IMG_4954Hero Twin marionettes

2014

Sculpey and metal and aluminum foil armature, paint, steel wool, string

12.5 inches tall

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They both have little necklaces, and bracelets and fancy boots; for naked boys they like to accessorize.

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A Tom of Finland pose if there ever was one. 

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For as long as I have been working with the Hero Twin archetype, their tongue twisting names have befuddled me. Xbalanque, of the jaguar spots is depicted in such a way as to exhibit his animal nature ; poor Hunahpu is spotted as a reminder of his time amidst the Dead.

Living in LA I see gorgeous tattoos on a regular basis, I was inspired by the local color in tagging my fellows; now at last I will be able to identify the Twins quickly and easily.

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I’m happy with the boots-yet another salacious shot.

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 End o’ day.

I will string them and I will record their movement, but for now they are at rest.

Be well, Lg

 

 

 

Back to the Marionette Bench

My last marionette was less than a stellar success; handsome fellow(s) but aside from a savasana pose, it proved to be a  cumbersome puppets. For starters it is too large for my need, over 20 inches and too heavy. When I cobbled the puppet together I did not research construction as well as I ought to have, nor did I really plan. I am a planner with my art, I love that process, I love the road map it provides. So my second time around I gave serious thought to the marionettes actual size and construction. I finished with the foundation of the figures last evening, there are now two actual Hero Twins, and I am pleased with them. They are going to be dashing-and sexy- fellows. Here they are fresh from my oven, awaiting color and stringing.

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 Hero Twin marionettes

2014

Sculpey medium, aluminum foil, wire, steel wool, eye hooks

My more careful planning paid off, they are nearly the exact proportion and size as my conceptual drawing.

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So onward, painting, stringing and more marionettes. My friend Gina, hailing from a puppeteering clan, popped over today and gave valuable advice AND demos. Nothing like a master of a craft to inspire, as I said before,puppeteering is tricky business. Thanks Gina!

Signing off, be well, LG

Making a Marionette is Tricky Business

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That said, as the sun begins to set, I’ve finished my Hero Twins marionette.

Aesthetically I’m pleased but the puppet is far from limber,  the poor fellows move about in the most wonky way imaginable. I need to figure out how best to string the Twins, plus I made some decisions that might have been less than ideal. The figure is perhaps OVER articulated , I need small metal rings to piece each limb together, hopefully it will move about  more smoothly.

I also need to learn how to use a marionette, again, tricky business.

In the meantime, the Hero Twins.

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Hero Twin marionette

2014

Sculpey molding medium,steel wool, aluminum foil, wire, acrylic paint

20 inches tall

I’m pleased, they are in keeping with the spirit of my original inspiration, this detail from one of my watercolors. Plus I’m happy I used steel wool for the beards, with a bit of paint , it has an appealing texture. 

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I did manage to string the marionette up but now I need to improve upon the mechanics of it all. So much of this project is just basic experimentation.

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I need lessons from this  incredible woman! Until that time, will fumble along.

Be well,

Lg

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Meeting the Puppet Challenge…at long last

It seems like ages ago when Clive Hicks-Jenkins sent out a puppet challenge (HERE)to the folks who follow him. My natural inclination to jump right in has been thwarted by my keen phobia of the third dimension. I am a painter and I have had very little luck with fashioning objects in the round. I allowed myself some slack in that puppets can be crude and terribly effective, but still…

I had been ruminating about how I wanted the figures to present themselves, oil sketches, watercolor drawings, on and on, just not putting idea to armature. I ended that this week and the following is the unfinished results. Once again I am working with archetypes from the  Popol Vuh, the Hero Twins,  their slain father,the Maize God and the Axis Mundi (the World Tree)plays a supporting role.

starting off with an idea for the Hero Twins (detail from one of my watercolor paintings),

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a quick sketch to figure out logistics

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the armature-I love this image

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working out the figures in ever reliable Sculpey

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thus far, I ran out of aforementioned Sculpey, off to supply shop…

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I used fine steel wool , applied to uncured medium, it bake right in perfectly.

Before the heroic fellows there was fittingly the World Tree. I had dreamt of this Axis Mundi , putting dreamscape to panel.

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it was just a matter of applying wire and tin foil to an old can ; kindergarten craft class at its most lively.

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I enjoyed playing with a form, gnarly trees with anthropomorphic features that I frequently employ in other disciplines; all with the aid of  ubiquitous Sculpey.

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IMG_4868primed and ready…

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now, off to supply store, yoga and then puppetry.

Be well,Lg

Update:

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Primavera

I just finished up (for now anyway) a watercolor painting called Primavera.

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Primavera

2014

watercolor on paper

18 by 29 inches

Once again I draw upon the Popol Vuh and the sacrifice-redemption theme. The eternal fascination with the Life and Death cycle never seems to relent; the understanding that through death there is life. I am currently reading Zimmer’s collection of Indian “myths” ( offense term for a faith with current practitioners). But the Hindu grasp of this most elemental truth fascinates and brings a degree of comfort to what can be a deeply discomforting exploration. This painting tries to address some of this. Through the sacrifice of the Maize God, Humankind is born-man made of maize. I wanted to convey the visceral quality of this act, the maize shaft bursting through the actual flesh of our mother earth. Of course this is a very personal imagining with miscellaneous cultural references thrown in as I saw fit. But with Good Friday approaching it felt timely; the resurrected world is colored in Easter egg pastels. the underworld is rich and ripe with verdant greens and blood crimsons.

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above ground

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The Hero Twins below ground.

One element I enjoyed introducing into the composition was the very feline looking dog.  My recently deceased  (actually I put him down) daschund Buddy keeps appearing in my dreams. His appearance causes  me much conflict. We, I decided to put him down the day before we move back to Los Angeles. This decision has tormented me, for although he was 19 and his health was quickly, seemingly overnight, failing,  I still wonder if I put him down for my own convenience. He might very well have lived a bit more, I don’t know. He obviously haunts me but in the spirit of this painting he always appears in my dreamscape, first as deeply broken as the following photo indicates; but as the dream progresses he is fresh, new and reborn, happy and bouncy and beautiful.

I try to take that as a good omen.

All that rambling aside, dogs were believed to be guides in the Maya understanding of Xibalba, the underworld. The little  fellow I painted  was inspired  not by my sleek Buddy  but by a  chubby  ceramic “neighbor”  from Colima at LACMA. 

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detail

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Dog Wearing Human Face Mask

Colima, Mexico

Burnished red and orange slip

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

He is a delightful fellow, as was Buddy.

That is it for now,  I’m working on a few other paintings, seems to be the season for watercolors right now at least until my new easel arrives which will be strong enough to hold a hefty canvas. I will close with a photo of Buddy, be well Buddy.

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