Friday, December 8, 2017

Cygnus at Vashon's Holiday Art Studio Tour

"Cygnus"  Monotype Print


Cygnus is among the most recognizable and brightest constellations in the Northern sky from June to December.  Look up. Of course those are heavenly wings spread; a beak and tail!  Yes, I see a swan!

According to Ovid, Cygnus was a close friend, maybe lover, of Phaethon.  Phaethon died (by his grandfather Zeus’s lightening bolt) when he recklessly scorched the earth while driving the family’s (Sun) chariot. Poor Cygnus’s grief for his beloved transformed him into a swan fearful of fire from heaven and so he chose to live in damp marshes, lakes and rivers.
“As he mourned, his voice became thin and shrill, and white feathers hid his hair. His neck grew long, stretching out from his breast, his fingers reddened and a membrane joined them together. Wings clothed his sides, and a blunt beak fastened on his mouth. Cygnus became a new kind of bird: but he put no trust in the skies, or in Zeus, for he remembered how that god had unjustly hurled his flaming bolt.
Instead, Cygnus looked for marshes and broad lakes, and in his hatred of flames chose to inhabit the river that would quench fire. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.

 “Cygnus” represents transformation, a change in form that embodies what shapes us and becoming who we are meant to be.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Masters in Miniature

 VCA's Koch Gallery presents: The 11th Annual Masters in Miniature Exhibition  

Small works of art encourage us to get up close and personal with the piece. Once we are drawn in we are often surprised by the unexpected. That's one of the inspirations behind the Vashon Center for the Arts Koch Gallery 11th Annual Miniature Exhibition.   

Below is "Morning" (6x6 in.)  One of several images I have in this show Show. The exhibition showcase works by over 30 Island artists. On view December 1-22, 2017 



Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sacred Circles

 
"Isfahan" Ltd Edition Giclee Print 6.5 x 6.5 in.





Sacred Circles

The circle is said to represent wholeness, softness, completion, inclusion, the life cycle, heaven-hell and eternity. That’s a lot to embody for a seemingly simple shape!

Circles are sacred symbols for a reason.  Circles are a natural, physical phenomena that best describe our round planet circling the light of a round, life-giving sun.  Earth’s cycle, as circle, occurs over, over and again in the myriad planet, star, relationships of our expanding universe. 

Scientists who look at the spiral building blocks of nature, our DNA, find stacked interlocking circles. From the whorls of our fingertips, the irises of our eyes, to our cells and the egg that gave each of us life, we are manifestations of the circle.

My images about circle reflect the symbolic nature of circle.  Their names reference the sacred sites, temples, cathedrals that more often than not were built and built again upon already sacred sites.

Check out Isfahan in my studio, stop #5, on the 2017 Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour, December 2-3 & 9-10 (Saturdays and Sundays) 10am to 4pm.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hades and Persephone "Hades Takes a Wife"

"Hades Takes A Wife"  Rust print on vintage linen over panel, 36 x 28 in.


"Hades Takes A Wife" depicts the abduction of Persephone by Hades; the first act in the Greek foundation myth explaining the cycles of nature and symbolizing the cycle of life and rebirth.

Hades ruled the Underworld alone and desired a Queen to rule with him.  He fell in love with Persephone but knew Persephone’s mother Demeter, goddess of harvest and fertility, would never consent to his proposal.  So, Hades appealed to a higher power, his brother Zeus (Persephone’s Father) who agreed to the union but foresaw Demeter’s objections. Together they decided Hades would steal Persephone from her mother.

One day while Persephone picked meadow flowers a cavern opened at her feet and Hades took her down, down to his Underworld Kingdom.  Demeter frantically searched the world for her lost daughter but of course she was no longer of the world.  Eventually she discovered what had really happened but refused to accept Persephone’s fate.  Enraged she roamed the earth in mortal guise, forbidding trees to bear fruit or fields to yield grain.

Zeus realized that if he allowed Demeter to persist, all of humankind would starve so he summoned Persephone back from the Underworld.  Hades appeared to acquiesce but insured Persephone’s return to him by giving her seeds from a pomegranate to eat.  Anyone who tastes the food of Hades must remain in the Underworld and since she had eaten the seeds, Persephone had to dwell at least part of every year with Hades.

Each Winter when Persephone is in the Underworld, Demeter mourns and the earth lies fallow and unproductive. Each Spring when Persephone returns to her mother, Demeter rejoices and the earth flowers and is fertile once again. 

Persephone’s descent to and return from the Underworld could also represent a vision of eternal life and triumph over death; symbolic of transformation and the cyclical nature of life. One's existence did not end with death because there was no death; there was only change from one state of being to another.


Please check out "Hades Takes A Wife" in my studio, stop #5, on the  2017 Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour, December 2-3 & 9-10 (Saturdays and Sundays) 10am to 4pm.



Friday, November 24, 2017

The Temple of Forgetting

"The Temple of Forgetting" Rust Print on linen over panel, 41 x 33 in.

Lethe’s Temple, "The Temple of Forgetting", has its foundations in a river.  In early Greek myth, Lethe was one of five rivers that flowed through the subterranean Kingdom of Hades. 

Souls who passed into Hades had need to forget the suffering they had endured, or perhaps, the torment they had inflicted.  So, if a soul were ever to achieve peace, the dead would drink from its water in order to forget their earthly life and the river Lethe would wash away the memory of physical reality.

Myths evolve and Lethe the river was eventually personified as Goddess.  Lethe the Goddess became synonymous with forgetting.  Lethe is the root word of lethargy meaning weariness, lassitude, and fatigue.

Please view “The Temple of Lethe”, a Rust Print Assemblage, at my studio, stop #5, on the  2017 Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour, December 2-3 & 9-10 (Saturdays and Sundays) 10am to 4pm.

Gemini

Many Greek and Roman myths tell of the twin brothers Castor and Pollux. They are known as the Dioscuri in Greek and as Gemini or Castores in Latin. The brothers shared Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece in the Argonautica and they’re the familial heroes when Theseus and Pirithous abducted their sister Helen.

Though their mother was Leda, Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, King of Sparta, and Pollux was the divine son of Zeus who had seduced Leda in the guise of a swan. They are sometimes said to have been born from an egg or eggs, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.

Castor was killed in a family feud after he and Pollux fell in love with and abducted Phoebe and Hilaeira, consorts of their cousins Lynceus and Idas.  Pollux asked his father Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. 

Sharing also meant they had to spend equal time in the underworld.  This division between Heaven and Hades is probably an explanation of the night sky of the Greco-Roman world where the constellation known as Gemini is visible for only six months of the year
 
The Gemini are regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire in ship masts during storms.  They are often associated with horsemanship and because they were known for their fellowship and adventures, they were are also the protectors of guests and travelers.

Please check out my monotype “Gemini” December 2-3 & 9-10 (Saturdays and Sundays) 10am to 4pm, stop # 5 on the Holiday 2017 Vashon Art Studio Tour.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Eve Modeling Ready to Wear, "The Garden Collection"

"Every myth has a mother, some more stylish than others... 
Hebraic myth doth suggest that Eve dressed better than the rest."

Welcome to the runway!  The first two weekends in December, 2-3 & 9-10, Goddess Eve will be modeling Ready to Wear, "The Garden Collection"!

Step Out, Step Up, YOU CAN SEE THE SHOW!  Stop #5, Brian Fisher Studio, when Vashon Island Artists throw open doors, windows, yards and yardarms in welcome during the Vashon Island Art Holiday Studio Tour!!

Dryad

This is "Dryad", a collograph print depicting my vision of a wood spirit or nymph.  

In Greek drys signifies "oak". Thus, dryads are the nymphs of oak trees, though the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general. 

 Traditionally dryads are female and in myth are often pursued by another woodland creature, the Satyr.  But I thought why should they have all the fun, or unwanted attention, so my dryad is male and experiencing a seasonal change. 

"Dryad" is currently showing at Roby King Gallery on Bainbridge Island Washington, November 3-27, 2017.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Willow Men





































"The Willow Men," another of my Green Man myth interpretations is currently showing at Roby King Gallery on Bainbridge Island, November 3-27-2017.
  
The Green Man myth represents a union of humanity and the vegetative world.  He is the sacrificial human connection to the plant cycle of birth, reproduction, revitalization and resurrection. Known by many names through time and a spectrum of cultures, including but not limited to: Osiris, Dionysus, Orpheus, Adonis, Cernnunos, Khidir etc… He is the god born to sacrifice and through his union with the goddess to be born again.  I think that this myth is particularly appealing because the Green Man's seasonal life mirrors our own limited mortality.

"The Willow Men" image is a Collograph. The plate from which it was printed was made by using acrylic medium to attach paper that I had previously embossed to a plexiglass plate.  Any texture thin enough to run through the press—paper, fabrics, acrylic modeling paste, even plants could have been used.  This plate was printed by wiping ink into the low parts and wiping it off (so the ink stays in the grooves) and then rolling other layers of ink onto the high parts of the plate.  

Here are more of my print images from this show at Roby King Gallery : Brian Fisher Roby King Exhibition 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Roby King Exhibition






























Artist Denise Kester and I shared a wonderful opening at Roby King Gallery on Bainbridge Island Saturday evening.  We are each inspired by myth and pursue our own personal take on that seen and imagined world in monotype and in paint.  Thank you Andrea and Wes, gallery curators and owners, for thinking to pair the two of us and for the opportunity to show with Roby King again!  
Check us out!  Our work will exhibit from November 3-25-2017.  You may preview my contribution to our show here: Brian Fisher Prints and Paintings


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Guardian

"Guardian" oil on canvas, 28 x 24 in.





































Guardian is one of two paintings among many prints in my exhibit at Roby King Gallery on Bainbridge Island, November 3-27.  I was inspired to reinterpret my monotype print "Guardian" in paint when I read these words from one of my favorite poets, Billy Collins.

"It is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves."

from the poem “Directions” by Billy Collins

"The entities that continue to return," are symbolized in the Nyads, Kodama, and Green Men.  They are mythic reminders if you listen and personifications of a cyclic and green world.   They return as stories to remind us - we are of nature. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Spirit of the Woods

"Spirit of the Woods" monoprint with gold leaf,  8 3/4 x 25 in.













My Monoprint “Spirit of the Woods” shows at Roby King Gallery, November 3-27, 2017, when Denise Kester and I exhibit our personal interpretations of myth in print and paint.

 My work is about the myths I’ve been exploring: vegetative deities like Europe's “Green Man”, Japan’s “Kodama” and the Greek myths about Goddesses Demeter and Persephone.

I grew up on the high plains of northwestern Kansas.  Demeter would be at home there where grain (wheat and corn) rules, but unless they are planted and nurtured, trees there are rare.  Perhaps that is why I've always recognized what is special and sacred in trees and why I am drawn to these ancient vegetative stories that exist across cultures.

"The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings."  -   Buddhist Sutra