Rather curious email I just received , from a film producer , inquiring as to if I held the copyright to this image. As it is still in its notebook, I suppose I do. What I find so curious is how this producer (and director , who has made films even this hermit at least recognizes), found this image. I have little memory of sharing it, aside from this studio journal-are people really reading this thing ???
Odd how exposed I feel.
Anyway, they wish to use it as part of the set decoration for a film loosely based upon Lavinia and Titus Andronicus, I agreed. As long as credit is given, I am delighted.
I love Lavinia, I’ve turned to her before as in this acrylic painting from 2015.
I think I need to re-read that magnificent, complex and horrifying play, this rainy LA day the perfect time to do so.
The following painting is an experiment on several levels. I’m experimenting with a new paper from Arches called Huile oil paper which is designed specifically for oil painting. Anyone who paints in oil knows that working on paper is frowned upon as it is not archival. Secondly I am experimenting with the Surrealist technique of automatic drawing and painting. The following painting is the result.
Lavinia Seeks Solace at the Court of Coatlique
oil on Arches Huile paper
15 by 22 inches
It is an absurd image composed of seemingly random characters, but there is a free- associative logic to it all…at least from my perspective. Lavinia (from Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus) in a dream state, wanders into the court of the Aztec goddess Coatlique, She of the Skirt of Serpents … and a pretty fantastic necklace composed of skulls, hearts and most importantly, hands! A bit of gallows humor perhaps, but I didn’t think it out too much. I allowed unconscious instinct to direct the composition. The following is Coatlique taken from our trip to Mexico City.
One of the things I really enjoy about taking classes outside of the discipline of art is the opportunity to free my mind and doodle with abandon. My judgmental brain is turned off and my hand flows across the page. They are not great drawings by any means, often ridiculous; but I find in them a nonsensical spontaneity that I value and want to integrate into my work more often.
The following are samples taken from an English Composition C course that I recently finished.
This might be my last post for awhile until I leave for my Philadelphia critique course at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. I have obligations I need to tend to before I leave on Independence Day. I’m nervous and excited, I’ve never been away from David (or my dear dogs)for such a long stretch; but to have time just for my work is an amazing opportunity.
I have been reading the plays of Shakespeare, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, now Richard III, but it is Titus Andronicus that has stuck with me, most particularly the tragic Lavinia. It is such a terrible and bloody tale that I would rather not revisit it yet I feel compelled to somehow honor Lavinia. To capture the brutal chaos that was her life. The following, a spontaneously dashed off acrylic painting on canvas is one attempt.
acrylic on canvas
16 by 20 inches
I wanted to avoid the obvious ( and seductive) bloody approach; instead I focused on her claustrophobic impotence, the pawn of so many men. And although there is tenderness shown towards Lavinia and empathy for her plight, as when her uncle,Marcus Andronicus, after her terrible rape and mutilation attempts to soothe her with:
“Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee:
O,could our mourning ease thy misery!”
Act II 4, 56-57
There is this tenderness, this paternal, fraternal love yet she has no say-literally. And in the end, well the end , how does one deal with it all?
She haunts me, this sketch I made just last night before I went to bed.
I’m toying with the idea of making a hand puppet , perhaps. I also wouldn’t mind not thinking about it.