Saturday, November 26, 2016

Inspired by...




































Roby King Galleries on Bainbridge Island asked their artists, "What or who inspires you to be an artist?"  My reply, "Story and Myth, all that stuff we come back to when looking for answers, and the master of Myth, Joseph Campbell".  Those are my inspirations.  I also would say Michael Meade and his insights keep my top spinning!

I am inspired by these words by Campbell and have them on the wall in my studio: 

"We have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; 
where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; 
where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; 
where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”
― Joseph Campbell.
 
Posted above is my Monoprint “Foundation Myth”, my take on the union of Europa and Zeus.  Their story is told and retold in all European cultures.  Europe of course takes it's name from Europa.  All three of their children Minos, Rhadamanthus and Sarpedon are founders of empires (Crete, The Cyclades and Lycia). 

Like all Greek myths, this foundation myth has variations, shadows and stories within stories.   And so, another story and inspiration!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cygnus


Horizon and sky are the most memorable characteristics of the midwestern landscape I was born to.  I suspect the knowledge my father shared with me and with my siblings, lying on our backs in the buffalo grass of our grandparent’s Kansas farm and gazing up through night binoculars, predated his studies at Denver University, Colorado and Hays College, Kansas in the 1950’s and 60’s.  Wherever, whenever, his knowledge came from, his passion for stargazing is memorable and has inspired my Rust Monotype “Cygnus”.
My Father, Dale Fisher, was born April 20, 1913 into a world of kerosene and candles, well before manmade light and the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 dimmed his world to the heavens. My dad’s perspective about sky included a classical explanation of the constellations, lay observation of the stars/planets and an avid curiosity about the physical world that caused him to call his family outside to witness sputnik traversing the night sky.
His is the voice that conjured the stories of Ursas major and minor, the Pleiades, Andromeda and Cygnus into my consciousness for the first time. 
Cygnus is one of 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.
My “Cygnus” Print, (approximately 36 x 36 in.) is a Monotype rusted to vintage linen and mounted on a coped wooden panel.  “Cygnus” represents transformation, a change in form that embodies becoming who we already are.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Omphalos

This is "Omphalos", a Rust Monoprint with Gold Leaf, mounted to a coped dimensional panel.  It's dimensions are approximately 36 x 36 x 1 3/4 inches.  I made it by rusting a water-jet cut Cort-en steel plate onto/into an antique linen tablecloth.

Omphalos means navel, as in belly button, (umbilicus in Latin) and it also means "The Center."  The Omphalos Stone at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi Greece marked the center of the old Greek world.

Each culture has its recognized center.  Sometimes more than one. For instance, the USA's political Omphalos would be the White House in Washington DC and cultural center might perhaps be Rockefeller Center in New York City (or not).  In every culture it depends on who's telling the story!

If you would like to see "Omphalos," the current center of my world, please visit the annual Seattle Print Arts Members Exhibition, Pressing On, with an opening reception today, Thursday, November 17th,  5-8 pm, at the Schack Art Center in Everett (2921 Hoyt Ave., Everett, WA).   You will find "Omphalos" and some exceptional work by the members of Seattle Print Arts from November 17 - December 24.