The Sisters Wyrd

The Sisters Wyrd 2017 Relief print (four plates) on paper
The Sisters Wyrd
2017
Relief print (four plates) on paper

After a rather arduous process I have at last finished my latest relief print depicting the “weird” sisters from Macbeth (actually any practitioner of ancient arts). It is for an upcoming show here in LA devoted to Bad Girls, and as witchery and pagan ways have beguiled me since boyhood (going so far as memorizing the witches’ lines from the bard’s play), I felt they were a worthy subject. I wanted to laud the women (and men) who have been maligned and persecuted in the past. I also wanted to, as in the middle sister, explore intersex identity. What I like about this print is that it recalls a stained glass window, a pagan stained glass window to ancient seers and prophets. 

But I hadn’t anticipated such difficulty in the making. Perhaps it is a testament to my increasing skill in printmaking,but my expectations are now higher. And as with my painting practice, as I make progress, I also find myself more keenly aware of how to improve the work.  In this case, after rather laboriously cutting multiple plates and running a rather sizable series of prints, after reflection , I just felt the print to not be up to par.

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The cutting of the plate (s) above, and the enthusiastic running of sixteen prints.

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And the lackluster results.

Initial print of "The Sisters Wyrd".
Initial print of “The Sisters Wyrd”.

Having run the series on a Friday, by the time I returned on Sunday, the print seemed cramped and illegible. I have a high tolerance for density and visual information , but I found myself unable to read the image.

First proof.
First proof.

So back to the cutting table, the previous series essentially material for collage.

The final, revised proof.
The final, revised proof.

This new series is smaller (mostly because I have run low on good printing paper) , I was concentrating on making a sound image, not quantity. As it is, in a series of six, only half are in high enough quality to market. I had trouble with the density of black, too much “snow-flaking”, as in this blue version. 

img_1136Given the small run and limited number of prints available, they are artist’s proofs. But I now feel confident that the next run will be a success. To ensure that success I may resort to a spell or two:

 

First Witch
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.

Second Witch
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch
Harpier cries “‘Tis time, ’tis time.”

First Witch
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

All
Double, double, toil and trouble; (10)
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

All
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe (30)
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

All
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

[Enter Hecate, to the other three Witches]

Hecate
O well done! I commend your pains;
And every one shall share i’ the gains;
And now about the cauldron sing,
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.

[Music and a song: ‘Black spirits,’ etc, Hecate retires]

Second Witch
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!

Until next time, be well.

LG

 

Studio Clearance Sale

The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, 8 by 10"
The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, 8 by 10″

So its that time of year when one feels compelled to clear out the old and make way for the new. I hope in 2017 to begin afresh , adding printmaking to my studio practice. And while going through the stacks of prints in my archives I decided to try to move them along to happy homes. The following relief prints including handsome Huitzilopochtli are for the most part from 2014-2016. Ordinarily a one-block print (single color run) would sell for $100.00; this sale the same prints are 75.00 each, two for 100.00 (shipping and handling 17.00).

Thus far these are the prints available at that price.  I give plate size,not actual print size. Plate size indicates the block I carve into;  generally the following prints look handsome matted and framed at 12 by 15″. 

 If interested feel free to contact me directly at: neobaroque@mac.com

 

Death & the Maiden 2014
Death & the Maiden
2014

Death & the Maiden, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 6, 5 available.

The Virgin of Guadalupe 2014
The Virgin of Guadalupe
2014

The Virgin of Guadalupe, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 4, 2 left.

Agnus Dei 2014
Agnus Dei
2014

Agnus Dei, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 6, 5 available.

The Eternal Cycle 2014
The Eternal Cycle
2014

The Eternal Cycle, 2014, plate size 6 by 9″, series of 6, 2 available .

The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, 8 by 10"
The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, 8 by 10″

 

The Great War God Huitzilopochtli, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, 3 proofs on mulberry paper available.

Tlaloc 2014
Tlaloc
2014

 

 

Tlaloc, 2014, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 8, 4 available.

The Siren's Call 2016
The Siren’s Call
2016

The Siren’s Call, 2016, plate size 8 by 10″, series of 7, 5 available (note, hand colored, slight variations).

Cheers! The Coaster Show @ La Luz de Jesus

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Funny how three little four inch squares can get me all excited but when they are part of such a YUGE extravaganza , I can be forgiven. Follow the link to see what is available, some really fantastic work at stunningly affordable prices. Scoop them up while you can, all can be pre-purchased!

Link : http://laluzdejesus.com/the-4th-annual-coaster-show-mark-todd/

My contributions should you be interested are listed in the link and are pretty cheap. They are as follows:

Greco_Night-Watch

Night Watch

Greco_Luna

Luna,

and my favorite

Greco_Id

Id

Opening night is this Friday, if you are in the area, try to make it, should be jolly!

Of Trout and Virgin Queens…and the Arroyo Seco

My thoughts at the moment are on all things piscine. I’m participating in an upcoming celebration of the Arroyo Seco, a tributary of the LA River, a costumed parade bash celebrating this once vital body of water. I’m helping with community puppet making and looking forward to that opportunity  Apparently at one time trout was abundant in the Arroyo Seco;  that is now difficult to imagine to this newcomer, the LA River is at times choked with debris, the tributary often a mere trickle. But one can hope through activism, awareness and frankly fun events such as the Fish Outta Water parade that the river will once again be alive with all sorts of wildlife. 

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The Virgin Queen Goes a Troutin’ 

1984(?)

houseplant and dumpster furniture

(This is from a piece of painted furniture from a million years ago, I was very young, living in Maine, peddling painted furniture to summering dowagers. This sold almost instantly to a lovely woman in Blue Hill.)

My attention is turned to fashioning a suitable costume and mask. I want the mask to be a relief print so I can make several if I wish . I would like for it to a personification of the Arroyo Seco (granted more baroque, more absurd). But what the hell. This quick sketch is the basis of where I think I want to go, simple construction, wildly ornamented.

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I’ve spent the first part of the day brainstorming ideas for the masks, drawing literally on baroque ornamental cartouches. I’ve gone through a heck of a lot of paper, but I have whittled it down to three potential candidates.

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I think this last one will be the winner. I want to make additional water critters and dangle them down from the watery beard.  My new friend , the very talented Peter Hess ( see link: http://www.peterhessart.com ) designed the poster for the event. It is incredible .

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In closing I just wanted to include some images taken a few months ago at the LA River. It is a favorite haunt of ours to run,bike or just walk the brats, and although it is not as conventionally romantic as an east coast river, it is rich with wildlife. Sadly much of that is gone, in preparation for El Nino , habitat has been  damaged if not out right destroyed to facilitate drainage. We have heard rumors that the river was to be completely dredged of plantlife, further compromising sanctuary for the egrets, turtles, fish and other critters that call this oddball place home.

May the River God Arroyo Seco protect them.

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Now to some lino carving!

St. Kevin & the Blackbird

 

Nearly two years (January 24th specifically ) I started this small panel painting. Having been introduced to the saint through the Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins’ depictions of the holy man, I was then inspired by the late Seamus Heaney’s incredible poem of the saint and his feathered visitor ( Link : http://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/st-kevin-and-blackbird). But for some reason the inspiration waned and I stashed this little panel away until only recently, picking it up again last December. I believe he is now complete.

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St. Kevin and the Blackbird

 2016

oil on panel

12 by 12″

When I started this painting a few years back I also carved a plate of the saint from which this painting is inspired. I believe it is the first of what is now becoming a dual practice, making a painting then a print (or  the reverse).

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I will now get back to a few other unfinished paintings; I always have far too many unfinished works, doodles and sketches of paintings I would like to make. Daunting at times. I am now enrolled in a life drawing class with the painter Jim Morphesis an artist I admire very much. Jim had awarded me a prize last summer for my painting Genesis and I was eager to thank him AND crash his course. Happy to say I have been added. So I am looking forward to that experience, a model at every class , always a luxury. Until next time, be well.