Monday, April 26, 2010

The Threshold of the Soul and other works

The Threshold of the Soul, 2010, acrylic and coloured pencil on D'Arches 140 lb. hot press watercolour paper, 22x28 inches.
Click on any image to enlarge.

For this blog, I have one new painting and two collages. The painting, The Threshold of the Soul, has been a long time coming. I started this painting in the autumn of 2007 not long after setting up my studio in Paris,  KY. It went through a long gestation period after I initially pencilled out the figure. The background went through massive changes from what had been originally drawn in my sketchbook and transferred to the larger watercolour paper sheet. It is also my first painting of a friend of mine who I regard with considerable respect and the utmost esteem. She is a writer and a person who has given much thought to the journey of Life and where she is on that journey. Without her, I don't think I would have done this particular painting quite this way. 

She stands at a portal between light and dark. It is not a literal landscape where I have clearly violated the rules about how light and dark are supposed to interact with each other but instead it is a landscape of the soul. The figure who stands at this portal is deciding whether she wants to spend a life in the light/happiness or a life in the dark/melancholy. She is more present in the light because that is where she wants to be, yet she knows she cannot fully enjoy the light before her without the dark behind her.

And So I Was Summoned From The Etheric Void, 2010, collage, 11x14 inches.

Sometimes the title comes to mind before the actual image does, and in this case, the collage is a rethinking of an earlier idea that failed in terms of composition which as it turned out was a blessing in disguise. I am fascinated by 19th Century fiction especially if it is Gothic with its attendant mysteries and overall spookiness. I also like the images to suggest stories in the viewer's mind that may have both occurred to me and not occurred to me. Is the man whose face floats overhead a ghost or is he someone who has crossed a quantum/inter dimensional void? Who is the man with the floating hat and number pinned to his chest? What are his powers and what does he use them for? What of the lady standing next to him? Does she fear the man being summoned? Or does she fear the summoner? That is for you to decide.....

I Have Loved You For So Very Long, 2010, collage, 11x14 inches

For this collage, I have a great weakness for stories involving the theme of Love Across Time. The clues here are the colours of the men's clothes and the colour of the woman's hair and her dresses. Each romance takes place within the shadow of the Gothic tower in the background as a man strides happily towards his lady love who awaits him at the outer door. In the foreground are all the past times this couple have loved each other.

Coming next: I am working on a collage set near the Sphinx and the Pyramids as an unwrapped mummy listens in utter rapture to a Victorian lady speaking or perhaps singing into a very early phonograph recording her voice onto a wax cylinder. My brother saw this one in progress and liked it very much. I may do a second possibly somewhat larger version for him.

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