Monday, November 30, 2009

Achilles Complex

This evening I am posting an image of my (still a little wet) painting, Achilles Complex. It will be exhibited for sale in my studio during the Vashon Island Art Studio Tour.

When Thetis became convinced that her son Achilles would die if drafted into war with Troy she hid him on the island of Scyros, disguised as a girl, among the daughters of Lycomedes.  (Imagine a young Brad Pitt in a dress.)

The Roman poet Statius wrote about the repressed Achilles, his sexual awakening among his “sisters” and the subsequent end to his feminine masquerade by Ulysses in his poem “The Achilleid.”

Based on this mythic evidence psychiatrist Demetrian Delias suggests that the violence and aggression that the adult Achilles manifests might be traced to trauma that began during this pre-Oedipal period. The person who suffers from an Achilles Complex is dominated by sadistic, murderous impulses that may be turned against the self or may ultimately be enacted against others. 

Achilles Complex is an oil painting on canvas, mounted on wood panel, 16 x 16 in.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Titans









The Titans were deities of Greece’s mythic Golden Age.  Born of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (Sky) the twelve Titans who ruled the universe were the brothers Kronos, Koios, Krios, Iapetos, Hyperion, Okeanos and their sisters and consorts Theia, Rhea, Themis, Memsoyte, Phoebe and Tethys.

Kois, Krios, Iapetos and Hyperion were each associated with a cardinal point representing the four great pillars which in early myth separated the earth from sky and later supported the entire cosmos. Kronos (Time) represented the fixed point, around which the world/cosmos ticked, while Okenos was the river/ocean or fabric wherein the world/cosmos moved.

In this Monotype, Kronos is depicted as a Sphinx, symbol of question and answer,  the cosmological constraint or constant that simultaneously embodies the past, present and future.

Posted above is an image of my Monotype Titans mounted on wood panel, 14 1/8 x 35 1/2 in.    Look for Titans on the Vashon Holiday Studio Tour at my studio (#15), December 5-6, 12-13.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sweet, Holiday Ornament by Tiffany Huslig


Tiffany Huslig’s beaded holiday ornaments are remarkable, beautifull, one-of-a-kind designs.  Made from the artist’s collection of glass and metal beads.  Each handknotted beadwork ornament incorporates traditional and original beading patterns and stitches.  I am delighted that Tiffany is exhibiting with me during the Vashon Island Studio Tour,  December 5-6, 12-13, 10am-4pm.  See the  tour map at: www.VashonIslandArtStudioTour.com.   Above and below are examples of her unique art.





Saturday, November 14, 2009

Alpha Beta

 

My painting Alpha Beta was created for Vashon Allied Arts Miniature Show at the Blue Heron Gallery (19704 Vashon Hwy. SW)  in December.

The elements of our alphabet, the alphabet I am using as subject for painting and that you are reading now, were first developed as cuneiform writing in Sumeria. ca. 2500 BCE.  Egyptian civilization also adopted the representation of symbols as syllables at about the same time. Phoenicians subsequently adopted and adapted those systems and the Greeks, around 800 BCE, began to use letter names of Phoenician letters to represent a word that began with the sound represented by that letter.  Aleph, the word for ox became A,a.  Bet, meaning house, became B,b and so on.  Romans then adapted the Greek system, ca. 600 BCE.  The Anglo Saxons used the Roman system to write (English) beginning in the 7th century, CE.

Alpha Beta is a painting in oil on canvas, mounted on wood, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Laughing Magpies

I am so pleased to be sharing my studio during the Vashon Island Artists Studio Tour with my good friends at Laughing Magpies, Sooze Bloom deLeon Grossman and Benjamin Grossman.  The skeleton above and mermaid below are wonderful examples of the imagery they make with fused glass.  Their glass kilns and studio aren’t far from my own and I am always excited to see what fun they are up to.  I am always inspired.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Centauromachy (Battle of the Centaurs)


I have completed another Monotype to be exhibited when my studio (23520 147 Ave SW, Vashon Island, WA) is open for the Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour (the first two weekends in December).  This work, titled, Centauromachy, (Battle of the Centaurs), is my riff on a classical Greek theme, and favorite subject of European Renaissance artists.

The Lapiths, in Greek mythology, were a pre-Hellenic race who lived with Centaurs in Thessaly in the river valley of the Peneus.  Mythic genealogies make Lapiths and Centaurs a kindred race, the Lapith King Pirithous being the son, and the Centaurs, perhaps, sons or grandsons of Ixion.  (The myths of Ixion are confused and very interesting.  I am working on future imagery inspired by his story).

During the celebratory wedding feast of Pirithous and his bride Hippodamia the Centaurs, inflamed by wine, attempt to abduct the bride.  In the battle that ensues the Lapiths with the help of legendary heroes like Theseus, defeat and subsequently drive the Centaurs from Thessaly.

The strife between the half/man, half/horse Centaurs and their cousins the Lapiths is generally recognized as metaphor for the conflict between lower animal appetites and civilized behavior in humankind.

That was the central lesson being expressed in architectural relief in the temple of Zeus at Olympia and in the metopes of the Parthenon in Athens, where they are accompanied by similar themes of battle with Giants and Amazons. The Parthenon metopes were created just after the first Athenian victory over the invading Persians (480 BC.)

(Below) is a detail from, The Centauromahy, Monotype mounted on wood panel,
14 1/8 x 35 1/2 In.