Studio Sale Offerings

The following images are of available art that I have discounted for my upcoming studio sale; generally about half of the regular studio price-some even  more deeply discounted due to storage and shipping concerns.

My moving sale will be Saturday July 16th, I would love to see folks in person. If you cannot make it certainly reach out to me (cell 310-498-0817) and we can make arrangements . Payment plans considered, my aim is finding new collectors and  good homes for my work. Reach out should you have any questions. Sorry to say , pick up only, I am not available to offer shipping right now.

With that in mind, thanks for considering my work.

The Temptation of Saint Anthony of the Desert
2013
oil on canvas
36 by 48 inches

This is my first of many Temptations, Anthony is a self portrait. Originally listed at  $3500.00 now available at $2150.00 (unless my husband asks me to keep it ).

The Apotheosis of Sophia
2014
Oil on panel
24 by 18

Originally listed at $2100.00, now $1250.00

The Presentation at the Temple
2014
oil on canvas
40 by 30 inches

Originally listed at $1600.00, now $450.00

The Resurrection of the Father (watercolor)
2013
watercolor on paper, framed, under glass
18 by 24 inches, unframed dimensions

One of the earliest Popol Vuh works, originally listed at $2400.00, now $800.00, handsomely matted and framed.

Icarus
2013
Watercolor on paper
18 by 24 inches, unframed dimensions

Icarus is handsomely matted and framed, was $1800.00, now $400.00/SOLD

Resurrection of the Father (oil)
2013
oil on canvas
40 by 50 inches

Large, striking canvas of the Hero Twins,originally  $3200.00, now sharply reduced for swift sale $500.00

Castration of Uranus
2015
Watercolor and graphite on paper
11 by 14, unframed dimensions; matted and framed

Definitely NSF , also nicely matted and framed (I keep framers busy), was $1800.00, now $500.00/SOLD

Patroclus Fallen
2013 or so
Pencil on paper
23 by 29 matted and framed

Again, handsome presentation suitable to a Homeric hero, matted and framed, was $1100.00, now $350.00/SOLD

The Anointing
2015
acrylic on paper
20 by 28 inches

 

My Hero Twins are also nicely matted and framed and attractively priced, originally $1600.00, now available for collecting $750.00

Herakles & Telephos
2015
watercolor and graphite on paper
12 by 9 inches, the unframed dimensions

I really like the framing and matting on this work, a playful pink matting adds  just the right over the top touch for a mighty macho fellow. Was $1600.00, now $800.00

Jumping Tlaloc
2015 or so
acrylic painted cardboard, brads, twine.
The size of a small man

Of a series of oversized jumping paper dolls, pull his string, he does a little jig. He is a little shop worn (he is cardboard, his right hand slightly wrinkled). He was $500.00, now $150.00

Lavinia
2015
acrylic on canvas
20 by 16 inches

Lavinia and Second Apparition below were part of a series depicting favorite scenes from Shakespeare’s dramas (Titus Andronicus and Macbeth).

Lavinia was $800.00, now $400.00

The Second Apparition (of Macbeth)
2015
acrylic on canvas
20 by 16 inches

This scene from Macbeth priced as above, was $800.00, now $400.00

Coatlicue
2013
oil on canvas
36 by 24 inches

One of my early Mesoamerican themed paintings, Coatlicue the mother of the war god Huitzilopotchtli, frequently  compared to the Virgin Mary of the Aztec pantheon. Originally  inspired by a dream, initially listed at $1600.00, now $450.00

The Great War God Huitzilopochtli
2015
oil on canvas
12 by 8 inches

Speaking of the Great War God Huitzilopochtli. this small but mighty painting is a fitting companion to the fiery Madonna and Child above. Was $900.00, now listed at $450.00

Strange Fruit (Popol vuh series)
2013 or so
oil on canvas
30 by 20 inches

Early work exploring the mysteries of the Popol Vuh, was $1600.00, now $400.00/SOLD

The First Popol Vuh
2013
mixed media
24 by 36 inches

The very first of what would be many Popol Vuh works, of Hero Twins, Death Gods, Xibalba the Maya Underworld, martyred Maize Gods, this a theatrical mixed media spectacle . Never before listed let alone shown, lets say $400.00

Philoctotes
date unknown
oil study on cardboard
24 by 18 inches

I have quite a few studies and daubs such as Philoctotes above, most priced at $75.00 or so. I also have quite a few drawings and studies for browsing and most likely  gifting.

I hope to see you there, again, the date is Saturday, July 16th, 2022, between 11 am and 3 pm at my studio, 6404 Wilshire Blvd., suite 1030 (not far west from LACMA). The building is locked most of Saturday so give me a ring at 310-498-0817 and I can let you in. I can let you in for parking as well.

 

 

 

 

The Xibalba Codex

The Xibalba Codex

 

A year ago yesterday (30th January 2021) I read for the first time a new  translation of the Quiche Maya Popol vuh by a talented poet Jemshed Khan. The manuscript appeared unexpectedly in my email inbox one morning, as I am a devoted admirer of this great creation myth  (of which  I’ve read multiple translations) I was eager to see how it compared- I confess I hadn’t high hopes.  I soon found this manuscript to be a sensitive translation, that it  would arrive so magically, so mysteriously, to me, I found enchanting – the old gods seemed at play.  

From the first reading it was obvious to me that Khan shared my passion for this great work, weaving his own poetic voice within the tapestry of ancient ancestors.

 Gratitude to old gods.

 

The Popol vuh is clearly a Mesoamerican treasure, steeped in the rich traditions and archetypes of a particular region; however equally true, I find within its twisting liminal wordplay, universal themes that I believe many can (and do) identify with: betrayal, wonder, fear, bravery, parental concern, tragic loss, sorrow, redemption, ultimately rebirth…and concerning the impish daemons of Xibalba, prankish, school-boy  humor.

Though this epic work found its expression in the pre-Conquest consciousness of the Maya people, the shape shifting artistry of this great culture  undeniably awakened in the Quiche-fluent Spanish friar Francisco Ximenez (the original Popol vuh translator) familiar associations (much within the text  resonates with Christian archetypes: virgin births, ritual sacrifice, resurrection and redemption) . As the Mesoamerican scholars Mary Miller and Karl Taub attest in their indispensable An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya :

In the Classic Maya area, the complexity of the hieroglyphic inscriptions is entirely matched by the attendant iconography, the texts and the pictorial images conveying different qualities of information. Unlike the specificity of writing , the power of Mesoamerican iconography lies in its subtle ambiguity and ability to express different levels of meaning. In a single scene , a richly costumed king can be regarded as a diety impersonator , an actual god, or both. In terms of metaphoric expression , the iconography comes alive. Lightening can appear as a burning serpent, blood as writhing snakes or gouts sprouting sweet flowers, and a mature maize ear as a human head awaiting decapitation from the stalk. (pg.32)

My desire, once I committed to a collaboration, in designing the following plates,  was to convey this “subtle ambiguity”, desiring as well that my iconography equally “comes alive” with curious meaning .

In approaching a work so rooted in the Maya people’s culture and identity I naturally tread cautiously and hopefully I convey the respect I have for this masterpiece. I did not resort to Mesomaerican archetypes ,  such indigenous  iconography, while clearly inspirational, didn’t feel appropriate for my use.  As one of mixed European  heritage I felt haven’t the natural right to directly appropriate such rich material;I  instead  wanted to express my desire to create a mythical, timeless space of my own imaginings  (as much of this epic is set in the underworld kingdom of Xibalba, this was done with relative ease). 

This self imposed stylistic restraint is not an original concept , that titan of Mexican mural painting, the great José Clemente Orozco placed upon his own work similar restrictions (though I would argue he had more liberty to “loot” than I do). In Neil Baldwin’s Legends of the Plumed Serpent: Biography of a Mexican God” Orozco is quoted as expressing similar intentions:

Deliberately, unlike Diego Rivera at the Palacio Nacional three years early, Orozco will not draw so directly upon “aboriginal traditions”. It is time , rather for a “new cycle”, he says, and to forego “looting indigenous remains…however picturesque and interesting they may be”.

My desire in addition to creating a dream space is to explore perception, the images that float before our mind’s eye when told an unfamiliar story. I turn immediately, instinctively to Durer’s rhinoceros, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dürer%27s_Rhinoceros

a fascinating example of perception misaligned with reality; Dürer,  an artistic genius able to convey with great sensitivity and seeming ease  the world about him, however clearly had never stumbled upon an actual rhino. He instead seems to cobble together a bull with an armored tank, sketching I imagine what had been described to him. It is this disconnect of perception with “reality”  that I had hoped to convey, my stratagem was in pretending that I had no knowledge of the Maya people and their incredible artistic accomplishments, instead, listening as if for the first time to this grand epic we call the Popol vuh. Populating this fascinating narrative with ambiguous, mythical, vaguely familiar  figures; my conceit was imagining a 16th century European court sitting entranced by this exotic tale from a far-off land  and in their imagination the Hero Twins possess  the brawn of Herakles, the Xibalban princess is sister to a tower bound damsel and the Maize God so obviously the brother to Christ (or at least the Baptist).

That is the intention of this collection of illuminations , an outward expression of my appreciation for the Popol vuh, for we hear in these unfamiliar stories, from unfamiliar lands, the familiar. The Popol vuh, like the creation stories of the Classical world and of our Northern kin, speak of universal truths, naturally  touching the hearts of all who stumble upon them, providing inspiration to so many.

The fruit of that inspiration follows.

Design for endpaper, left side.
a-1, Prologue
a-2, Prologue
a-3, Prologue
” The local bruja warns of the dead about the lapsed pyramid.”
A-D, Maiden Blood
“Lord One Death hangs the head of a slain warrior in the dead tree by the road…”
A-F, Flight from Xibalba
(final version)
“…my hands fly to my belly. Both alive, they kick inside.”
A-F
I decided against this one, but still elements I liked .
A-I, Messenger Owls
A-J, Maiden’s Journey to Grandmother’s Hut
A-J
Spot illustration with text.
A-M, Birthing at the Placed Called Los Sapos.
A-N, Song of Hunaphu
“…of mother’s womb the void glowed redness bathed me for hours…”

 

Plate A-N, Nursing Twins: “screechers of want…”
A-O, My Boys
“…returns with quetzal feathers, muscled shoulders draped with jaguar skins.”
A-P, A Grandmother’s Wish
“…I remember their father did the same…”
Plate B-D Hard Work
Plate B-G, The Rat’s Tale
Plate B-G Ixbalanque, We Twins Scheme for our Father’s Rubber Ball
Plate B-N, Twins Practicing the Ball Game
“Atop a pine the dove observes their arrival”
BX, The Underworld Lords’ Complain
“Have they no shame stomping about up there? said One Death.”
CX, A Summons from Lord One Death
“Lord One Death summons you to play the sacred game against us.”
DX, Screech Owl Leads the Way
“At dusk, I transform from owl into a skull…”
EX,The Brothers’ Canyon Descent
“Milky Way glitters overhead against the dark womb sky.”
FX, Scorpion at the Crossing
“Midair, my stinger whips and spikes the rubber sphere with such fury that ball and striker will not separate.”
GX, Blood River in Earthshine
“Two boys ride the scorpion’s back. Eight insect legs scuttle across my river bed.”
HX, Finding Black Road
“Under Blood Moon Twins ride Scorpion’s back…”
IX, Mosquito’s Tale
“Hunaphu plucked a hair from his leg. He gave me wings, named me mosquito, and told me to guzzle blood.”
JX, Thrones on the Black Road
“Thus they came to where the Xibalbans were.”
KX, Gifts at the House of Darkness
“The messenger of One Death offers us a torch and two cigars.”
LX, Home-court Advantage
“We…drop our rubber ball on the court. But the Lords refuse it, throw down a skull instead. ‘This is not a ball’ we protest.”
L-LX, Winners and Losers
“Just four bowls of flowers, says Seven Death, one bowl yellow petals, one bowl red, one bowl large petals, one bowl black.”
MX, Prisoners in the House of Blades.
“Yours shall be the flesh of animals, they said to the blades”
MX, 1
spot illustration
MX, 2
Spot illustration
NX, Ants Tell of Cutting Petals
“We clamber stalks to nip petals from their stems, march back to the House of Daggers, our fragrant spoils.”
OX, Outside the House of Daggers
“Air thrums with death bats, moths, owls. Ground crawls with coralillio, centipedes and scorpions.”
PX, A Night in the Bat House
“…screeching snatch-bats careen through the dark.”
Poem Q, Severed Head.
“One Death rolls Hunaphu’s head to the court where the Xibalbans rejoice. Ixbalanque turns from grief and calls together all the animals. From a squash, leaves, wood and stones they build for Hunaphu a crude head.”
Poem R, Rabbit’s Ruse
“In the House of Bats Ixbalanque whispered in my long soft ears…”
Poem S, The Songs of Ixbalanque.
“Now the Lords scheme our death by red hot stones and burning coals.”
Poem T, Twins Leaping”.
“Let’s play a game of jumping over fire, said Lord One Death…Coals blazed and the rocks glowed bright red. But before the Lords could push us in, we dove headfirst to our deaths.”
Poem U, Funerary Advice.
“The Lords pulled our smoking corpses from the fire pit and laid us on the ground.”
Poem V, Resurrection.
“After five days we reappeared with faces glistening and shimmying in the water like catfish.”
Poem W, Of Orphans and Armadillos.
“On a side street we dance the Armadillo. A crowd gathers to whistle and shout.”
Poem X, Dancing for Lords.
“One Death cheers when we dance the Deer and laughs at the Centipede.”
Poem Y, Death Wish.
“Kill me, then make me live again…But One Death does not revive and his heart is cast before his throne. Next we take the heart of Seven Death. Two High Lords now lie dead. Ten more shake with dread.”
Z-i, The Heart of One Death.
“I call my heart to my chest. For I am One Death risen from the dead.”
Z-ii, One Death Survives.
“Let them think they’re Gods about to kill an earthly Lord.”
Z-iii, The Song of One Death.
“…loyal Lords dead, owls and moths fleeing light.”
Z-iv, Exile from Xibalba.
“Do not fear for I am serpent and I am sky. I am death.And death survives.”
Epilogue, Aj q ‘ijab.
“…we reach a flat hilltop clearing where an eight-foot stella rises. Carved on the back are glyphs of dynasties and sun nosed bats. 1600-year old traces of cinnabar cling to tooled crevices.”
Finis.
Design for Endpaper, right side.
The Xibalba Codex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open for Critique…kinda

So after much studio time (on and off, over a year) I am at last, pretty close, almost positive, for the moment, finished with my latest paintings. And although I have heard younger artists, seemingly without any pause (or apparent modesty) call their work “masterpieces” , I am in no way inclined to make the same claim; but I am pleased (for now).

IMG_8447 (1)

Seizing Sanctimonium 

2016

56 by 40″

oil on canvas 

click on the image to enlarge

 I have been eager to get the painting into a presentable stage as Sunday is my turn for the critique group I have recently  joined. As some of you might remember this is a bit anxiety producing. My paintings are very far from random and imbued (crammed)with meaning : personal, mythological, literary etc. All not terribly obvious from first encounter. I fear it might not be well received or understood, but that is something I cannot control.  One of the problems I anticipate is that the one being critiqued is  not to respond while criticism is being made. I might have bitten off my tongue by the end of all of this.

So wish me and the painting well.

I will tighten the painting some more next week, details and glazings, saturating shadows and such. Then I will try to explain the painting at some length in the final post. Hopefully with a better image.

Until then , be well.

Genesis

Last evening I finished a new painting, Genesis. As is so often the case my inspiration was the Popol Vuh, the sacrifice and resurrection of the Maize God , the Hero Twins,  and the narrative of the Creation of Man.

An added inspiration was AIDS, I am of that generation where many of my friends and loved ones from my youth are now long since dead.  Not too long ago Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart was on television. My visceral reaction was of  a resurrected  fear, long suppressed, reborn at the sight of so many Spotted Men.    Those  past  days of Act Up meetings in NYC and Philadelphia; those handsome men speckled with death and anxiety; demonstrations on the street, at St. Patricks…; anxiety and selfish terror, would I be next?; and yet the excitement of activism, these  were all faded memories in my now relatively carefree life.  Until that film.

I was  confronted once again with that incessant gnawing deep within, a true existential crisis. So in a simple way, my Hero Twin Hunahpu, who is  traditionally depicted spotted, as he too encountered Death,  represents all those struck down. Somehow I missed the scythe, I bear witness like Xbalanque, Hunahpu’s brother in arms.

Greco_Genesis

Genesis

2014

oil on canvas

30 by 40 inches

My Spotted Hunahpu

IMG_5478

The inspiration for this painting is also from a previous painting, Primavera a relatively small water color. My friend, the incredible artist, Judithe Hernandez suggested I rework Primavera either in grissaile or as a larger composition. When in doubt I always choose larger. The original version:

Greco_Primavera-watercolor copy

Primavera

2014

watercolor on paper

In this painting there is a nicely perverse little subterranean flowering plant, symbolic of life in hostile situations; today my lovely little Stapelia-Carrion flower offered up a gorgeous maggot filled blossom. A Boschian treat if ever there was one.

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This morning’s Carrion  blossom, more on the way.

IMG_5478 2 My imagined Carrion Flower.

Tomorrow I return “home’, Philadlephia, to visit family of the flesh and those of brick, and paint and marble. Philadelphia is so architecturally rich: Furness, Richardson, Queen Anne, 18th c; plus the museums, I will be in heaven.  I think I will print out this “prayer card” of the Maize God , Hun Hanahpu to keep me safe.

IMG_5505

Be well, Lg

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.

IMG_5188

The Axis Mundi with the head of the slain Maize God

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Maize God

IMG_5167

The Hero Twins strung, ready to perform.

IMG_5166

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.

IMG_5047

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

 

The Feast Day of John the Baptist

It is ironic that I am nursing an annoying head cold on the day one of my favorite saints lost his head; puts things in a bit of perspective.

I have loved John since boyhood, his severed head had been burnt into my consciousness at a very young age. My family had visited Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful Monticello and in one of the bedrooms was a painting of that awful moment when John’s head was being presented on a platter. The image burnt in deeply, I was so confused, had Jefferson executed John ?( I was quite young ), I knew he held slaves, a grave sin, in my wild imagination it could have been true. The head represented  tragedy,sacrifice, bondage , perhaps release. It terrified and beguiled all at once. I have never lost that fascination and I have returned to the subject over and over. One of my great pleasures in discovering the Popol vuh has been the intense similarities between the Maya narrative and that of the western Christian narrative. The Maize God loses his head in a similar act of sacrifice,  difficult to not see the similarities.

The following images are just some of my interpretations of the Maize God’s severed head.

img_3153

detail from a larger composition

IMG_4738

detail from a watercolor, “Primavera”.

greco-resurrection-of-the-fatherii

watercolor, “Resurrection of the Father, II “.

greco_resurrection-of-the-father-relief

its relief print companion, also called “Resurrection of the Father”.

greco_resurrection-of-the-fatherwatercolor

another watercolor called “Resurrection of the Father , I”.

936236_4491213693053_1825056913_n

another relief print “Strange Fruit”

I have just finished,  or nearly so, my last marionette , that of the head of the Maize God ; rather uncomplicated really, all it has to do is ascend.

10505389_10203779570879330_6058090575455424152_n marionette of the Maize God.

I will need to take better images of the  marionette tableau when I am feeling better, but for now, have a happy feast day of blessed Jokonaan. 

john'shead copy

Primavera

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

IMG_4748

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.

Greco_Maizegod:progress

above ground

Greco_Primavera-detail

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. 

IMG_4747

detail

IMG_4746

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.

IMG_4158