Upcoming opening: XV Present Art

Two new relief prints were selected to be part of an upcoming group show, opening December 6th, 6-8 pm at the Couturier Gallery (link HERE) 166 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles.

Would love to see my friends there.

the show runs from December 6th 32104 through to January 3rd 2015. 

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These two prints were selected:

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Blue Krampus!

The Great War God, Huitzilopchtli
The Great War God, Huitzilopchtli

The Great War God, Huitzilopochtli

Thanking J at Couturier for thinking of me once again!

Lg

The Great War God, Huitzilopochtli

Strife, discord and anxiety never seem to take a holiday ; beheadings, fear of  yet another plague, discord afar and close at home.  Our patron saint seems to be Huitzilopochtli, perhaps that was my motivation in crafting these prints. 

The Great War God, Huitzilopochtli
The Great War God, Huitzilopochtli

The Great War God, Huitzilopochtli

2014

9 by 12 inches

two plate relief print on mulberry paper

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The Great War God, Huitzilopochtli

2014

9 by 12 inches

Five plate relief paper on mulberry paper

This five plate print was my most ambitious so far. I’m happy I gave it a shot, but it needs tweaking. I think the two color plate is more effective.

My studio looked like a Chinese laundry during the curing times.

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Of all my prints I think this is the one I have cut the best, I’m beginning to slowly feel more confident putting blade to plate.

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 IMG_5675The Great War God, Huitzilopochtli

artist’s proof

2014

9 by 12 inches

one plate relief print

I’m submitting a few of my prints in an upcoming holiday show, the War God will amongst the offerings, wish him well.

Take care, Lg

Presentation at the Temple

Moments ago I finished a painting I had hoped to have finished by  Feb. 2nd, the Feast Day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. In my ongoing desire to be the pagan icon painter I present my own Presentation-a few weeks off.

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Presentation at the Temple

2014

oil on canvas

30 by 40 inches

My presentation includes the Meso-Aztec  Holy Trinity : Coatlicue-She of the Skirt of Serpents, her son, the war-sun god Huitzilopochtli and a mendicant rain god Tlolac ( pretentiously and ridiculously appointed by yours truly,Pope O’Nonesense, as Protector of LA).

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Tlaloc detail, Patron of Los Angeles-it is supposed to rain today, praise be to Tlaloc.

It is always delightful to finish a painting-I want a nap now but work awaits.

Until next time,

be well, Lg

The Old Gods

In between other paintings and relief prints (once again  I am trying my hand at that elusive medium), in between such endeavors, I’m working out a large painting.

I’ve posted on this painting before at this link, but I am now at the stage of fussing with details and working out negative shapes and placement. Funny how I rely upon the skills I honed as a decorative mural painting. What seemed so perfect on a scaled drawing is just a wee bit off when faced with the actual , rather large canvas-56 by 40 inches.

Briefly the painting deals with the old gods reclaiming their positions, toppling the false envious demiurge Yaldabaoth (Yahwah). I’ve been working out the details of each and it has been a great deal of fun.

As posted previously:

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Preparatory  sketch of Tlaloc, She of the Serpent Skirt and  the Feathered Serpent

Placement is critical and I have been poring over Poussin’s excellent examples for inspiration but in the end heeding my own intuition.

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further drawings follow:

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The Maize God

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The Hero Twins-one version

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another version for another project-I really like these fellows

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My sanctimonious Abrahamic god  the embodiment of the apostolic church, soon to be toppled ; do I have  just a wee bit of vitriol for the god of Leviticus or what?

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for no apparent reason, a Meso-Herakles.

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Placement so far, I have a few more figures to add so placement is a crucial, I feel a bit like Cecil B.DeMille.

But onward.

Until next time, be well,

Lg

Sometimes you just want to draw…prepping for 2014

I have for the last several months  been ruminating upon a large canvas to tackle. I want a big scene, along the lines of my beloved Pousssin, but as usual tackling a Meso/metaphysical theme. Old gods, Gnosis, toppled usurping false gods all play a part in this newly conceived project. After notebooks of doodled ideas , oil sketches,elevated renderings and readings, I have begun fleshing out details.

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A familiar cast of characters, including from right a little Teotihuacan fellow, Tlaloc with lightening/storm cloud staff, Quetzalcoatl descending from above, She of the Serpent Skirt,Coatlicue, and the great and mighty war god Huitzilopochtli clutching his mother’s serpentine skirt.

A bit of the process for tackling a large (or small) project.

 Spontaneous sketching, confirming ideas.

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More sketches, some in color,

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Elevation renderings to help determine composition,

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and now, working out details, what stays , what goes, more color compositional sketches…I’m daunted already.Looking forward to seeing how it professes, wish me luck.

Take care, Lg

Feliz Navidad

As the year winds down I am trying to complete a few last paintings.

This painting The Virgin Birth of Huitzilopochtli I finished last evening. A few little tweaks here and there, but it is complete…for now. This has been an aesthetic experiment and it has been a difficult birth (cheap pun, forgive me).

After departing Tenochtitlan I have been inspired by the geometric forms of Aztec visual expression. How in spite of their often fearsome appearance,I sense the humanity, the complexities of this culture. Even this narrative, the virgin birth of their most revered god, the fire/war god Huitzilopochtli (Tlaloc, the rain god a close second), which has obvious similarities to the Christian salvation narrative is imbued with both violence and tenderness.

The great goddess Coatlicue , She of the Skirt of Serpents,  is miraculously with child, this new violent god who will bring the people wealth through tribute . His siblings the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui and her fellow siblings the Centzonhuitznahuah are full of rage at the dishonor such a claim makes.  A virgin birth, through a stray feather is as absurd as a teenage Hebrew girl chatting it up with the Angel of Yahwah. They set upon their wayward mother ready to tear her to pieces;  miraculously Huitzilopochtli is born fully armed and prepared to smite the usurpers. The famous (and spectacular) Coatlicue Stone a striking  indigenous illustration of the carnage.

The following is my own interpretation , imbuing the narrative with traditional nativity tenderness, let the blood-letting hold for the moment.

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The Virgin Birth of Huitzilopochtli

2013

oil on canvas

24 by 36 inches

I have placed the lunar goddess Coyolxauhqui in the upper right corner, her siblings the vengeful Centzonhuitznahuah sitting in judgement on the left; as a hint of hope the Plumed Serpent Quetzalcoatl splashes about awaiting his own return. For perspective , I have enclosed some traditional examples of this great pantheon:

P1000331 copyCoatlicue-National Museum of Anthropology

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Coyolxuahqui-Templo Major

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Huitzilopochtli-not sure of source other than wikipedia.

I have more work ahead , but I was eager to finish this painting before my own celebration of that OTHER virgin birth.

Viva la Virgens!

Take care, Lg

Honoring the Virgens

As the feast day of the Virgen de Guadalupe dwindles to a close I have been busy working on a relief print of the OTHER virgin birth, that of Coatlicue bringing forth the fearsome fire god  Huitzilopochtli.

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Sanctified Huitzilopochtli

Artist’s proof, relief print on paper

This is just an artists proof, it will be part of my series of “Bodega Baroque” votive candles dedicated to the Old Gods.

What I love about living in this region, where devotion to the Virgen is so widespread, is this sense of WHICH Virgen are we speaking of on this feast day?

The kindly brown skinned girl we all love, or the ancient madonnas of Mesoamerica?

Many scholars believe ( as do I) that the dark Roman Catholic Madonna is in fact an ancient, browner goddess.The goddess Tonantzin, “Our Mother”, being  a reasonable predecessor ; this link provides some interesting  and concise opinions.

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Tonantzin-Our Mother (image sourced from link above ).

I’m enchanted most particularly with She of the Skirts of Serpents, mother of us all, but most particularly of the brutal and demanding Aztec fire god Huitzilopochtli. She was about to be torn to shreds by her wrathful children, indignant by her so-called “immaculate conception”; but in a grand bit of theater, Huitzilopochtli swoops in fully armed and annihilates his siblings. A far cry from a sweet nativity setting, but what an engaging narrative.

P1000331 copyCoatlicue, from our recent trip to the Museum of Anthropology.

I’ve been working on three paintings, one of which is this virgin birth, almost finished, here is an early peek.

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 As this is the season of Virgin Births, I have been working on holiday cards. Sadly without a proper press, relying upon the old wooden spoon, suffice to say my right side is aching. Thus far 25 on this “Chinois” paper, still counting.

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Well I must get back to work,

until next time take care,

Lg