Saturday, January 19, 2008

Matchbox Reliquary

Acrylic on Matchbox

This is a wee reliquary for the devout traveler. I was shooting for a feeling of street-fair preciousness.

The front features an Agnus Dei and a wandering vine. The side is an ornamental Memento Mori.

On the back are the Four Evangelists.

Inside, we find a little Crucifixion. Look! It's the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and St. John. Up by the cross is Longinus with the spear. The angled bar of the cross points up to Dismas, the repentant thief, and down to Gestas, the unrepentant. It is a symbol of the possibility of last minute redemption. Also, at the foot of the cross is the skull of Adam. The river is my own addition referencing St. Christopher.

Inside, where any little relics would reside, we find St. Christopher, patron saint of travelers. He was a giant (hence the dog head in the Orthodox depictions) who carried the infant Jesus across a river. As he crossed, the tot got heavier and heavier until Christopher carried the weight of the world's sins on his shoulder. The Vatican removed him from the calendar of saints in '69, saying it was unclear as to whether the whole story was historically accurate. I'll limit myself to saying that that's a mighty slippery slope for the old Vatican to be traversing.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Still Life with Virgin Mary

Conte and Chalk on Paper
Approx. 8"x12"

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Charcoal on Paper

Pigeon is one of the best models at the Gage Academy. As a result of her striking features and her skill as a model, she has been painted, drawn, and sculpted more times than I can count. Here the likeness is not exact, and there are some anatomical problems, but I enjoy the drawing nonetheless.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Tears of Sleeping Birds

Oil on Panel

This painting came in response to a news story about a moth that drinks the tears of sleeping birds with a harpoon-like proboscus. Originally, the painting had an additional area on the left, depicting a doorway through which a lamp-lit bedroom could be seen. On the wall of the bedroom was a painting that gave rise to the previously-posted Leviathan drawing. After some deliberation, I took a saw to the panel, removing about 8", which greatly improved the composition. Ironically, the cropped portion sold immediately as a separate work.


Pen on Paper

I based this drawing on the engravings of the age of exploration. There were several types of sea monsters that were commonly depicted. This whale-like creature is my favorite. Here, a passing vessel (upper right) bears witness to the sinking of an unknown ship. I took the liberty of substituting a Pacific Northwest landscape for the psuedo-tropical landscape more commonly depicted in this era.