My triple super secret painting was a success! My buddy Jason had a landmark birthday this year, and so I wanted to commemorate this with a painting of Morgan Le Fay. I’m happy to say he was very pleased with it.
Morgan has been interpreted by so many artists over the centuries, it was definitely challenging to come up with an image that was largely original. I tried mostly to stay true to my personal vision of her, as mutable as that happens to be.
As I mentioned before, I was so fortunate to have the lovely Sushila Battagione model for this epic role, and she was absolutely perfect. Conducting this photo shoot reminded me how much I love photographing people for reference in my paintings, and I decided that I want to create a series of devotional paintings of Goddesses that I have found connections with over the years. I have already scheduled the photo shoot for my next painting, which will be of Isis. I will continue to post updates here as that process unfolds.
O sweet illusions of song
That tempt me everywhere,
In the lonely fields, and the throng
Of the crowded thoroughfare!
I approach and ye vanish away,
I grasp you, and ye are gone;
But ever by night and by day,
The melody soundeth on.
As the weary traveler sees
In desert or prairie vast,
Blue lakes, overhung with trees
That a pleasant shadow cast;
Fair towns with turrets high,
And shining roofs of gold,
That vanish as he draws nigh,
Like mists together rolled —
So I wander and wander along,
And forever before me gleams
The shining city of song,
In the beautiful land of dreams.
But when I would enter the gate
Of that golden atmosphere,
It is gone, and I wonder and wait
For the vision to reappear.
Happy Wednesday, All. As promised, I am going to commit to updating this thing at least once a week. So what’s going on in Mystic Media studios today:
I CAN’T TELL YOU! Normally I would post about the process of my projects, but I’m in the process of working on a top secret painting. I will let you know this, however. It will be mixed wet media, much like my Crowley poem series, and I was fortunate enough to have the gorgeous and talented Sushila Battagione to model for this painting. I’m hoping to have it finished by the 1st of July. Stay tuned!
**NOTE: Does this lady look familiar? That’s because you probably know her either from her artistic excellence in producing Raqs Oubliettes or from her many services and workshops via her health spa Oracle Wellness. If you are unfamiliar with either of these enterprises, I insist that you check them out immediately!**
I was so pleased to receive so much positive feedback on my thesis post, I was even quoted in The Wild Hunt (WHAT?) Thank you guys for taking an interest in my art and taking the time to tell me what you think. And thank you all for being so forgiving about the offensive amount of typos in my mini dissertation! I basically sat down and typed it all out in an hour, so it was naturally rife with mistakes. Meh. Thankfully my actual 50 page thesis paper was coherent and beautifully copy-edited.
Enough with the face-saving. There isn’t much else new and exciting going on around here. I did get to visit with my dear friend Sean who blew in from the midwest this week. We went to The Lovecraft and caught up a little bit. I brought my sketchbook and drew in the dark. C’mon, that isn’t nearly as pathetic as reading a book in the club. Is it?…
OH YEAH, it was my birthday on Sunday. I had a wealth of birthday wishes, my best friend Kelli took me out for dinner, my boyfriend organized a surprise goth pool party for me (for realz) I received 2 birthday readings and my dear friend Maxine Miller gave me this AMAZING cimaruta. Maxine is the artist that designed this cimaruta for Raven Grimassi‘s line of witchy products. I was stoked to get it from the artist herself ❤
Hello! I’m back from an insane week of decompressing from FaerieCon West and catching up on my work. I have finished my Star Goddess illustration!
I mentioned in the last post that Christine Hoff Kraemer had commissioned this illustration from me. Christine is a religious studies scholar, specializing in Paganism, sexuality, theology, and popular culture. She is a teacher, a prolific author, and the managing editor of the Pagan channel at Patheos.com. I was absolutely thrilled and honored that she sought me out to create the cover illustration for her upcoming book Eros and Touch from the Pagan Perspective: Divided for Love’s Sake.
Finished with the thumbnails, I proceeded to create a textural background that I could scan into the image. I created this with a mixture of wet media: gouache, acrylic ink, and liquid acrylic paint. I felt like I was back in Anna Fidler‘s studio! When I create these kinds of textural pieces, I really feel like I’m in communication with the animal part of my psyche, or maybe my subconscious, that part of me that doesn’t analyse but simply responds to stimuli. It is very meditative.
Then I moved on to the line work. I knew that the lines in this image would mainly be a scaffolding for the painting, and I was prepared to remove it all together. For this reason I tried to make it as simple as possible
This drawing was deceptively challenging. Because I was painting God Hirself here, my goal for the figures were for them to be feminine, but ultimately gender-neutral. I was also very concerned with being able to express the angles of the faces without much detail, which was difficult. This was was probably my fifth attempt at drawing this.
I then scanned everything in and started painting digitally. Here are screenshots to show you some of the process:
And here is the final result:
I’m happy with her, and Christine seems to be as well.
On another note, I wanted to say that working at FaerieCon West 2013 last weekend was an amazing experience. It was extremely high energy and chaotic for me as part of the staff, but it was exciting. When I got home I was apparently still reverberating with all of this insane fae energy, my boyfriend asked me what it was like and all I could say is “I feel like I just spent the last three days doing meth with my boss in a hotel filled with glitter.” It was magical!
Faerieworlds LLC is such a wonderful creative enterprise. There is something very empowering about giving people permission to harness their creativity and step into fantasy roles which express something very real about their inner selves. I have had a few conversations with the producer of Portland’s annual Vampire Masquerade Ball who has expressed that that is the main reason she runs the ball every year. She loves to see people feel beautiful and empowered at her event.
I view these sorts of events as giant art instillations that implore the viewers to interact. In fact, the instillation is comprised mostly of the participants and their contributions. It was truly amazing to be part of such a gorgeous, giant, crazy piece of living art and I look forward to working with Faerieworlds LLC as long as I can get away with it.
So now that it has been approved, and I have sorted out some of the details, I will finally divulge the premise for my thesis project.
The back story is this: when I was first considering giving up smoking a few years ago, I was discussing the difficulty of addiction with a friend and fellow occultist. He said to me “you just have to see it as it is. Your addiction to smoking is an elemental, and it has you.” I had never thought of addiction in those terms before, and this concept helped me grapple with, and eventually vanquish, that caustic demon. Around that time I also recalled a conversation I had with another dear friend about my issues with anxiety. She referred to it as a monster that I needed to name and conquer. I loved this idea equally, and informed her that someday I would paint my monster so that I may own it.
I stowed both of these concepts in my head, and over the years I have thought of many ways in which I could utilize them in my art. Everything from illustration series to serious apotropaic paintings. I finally decided that these are the basic concepts that would inform my thesis work here at PNCA.
My thesis will be a series of six, mixed media paintings depicting the metaphorical demons that enslave humanity. The work will utilize both traditional and digital media. The images will be tenebrous, figurative and allegorical in nature. I will take abstract concepts such as “disease” and “brutality” and personify them each within their own painting.
Here is a slide from the presentation where I pitched this idea for the first time, last week. It contains past work of mine that represent some of the ways I plan to approach the work visually, as well as some thoughts on research:
The title for the project is “The Allegories of Subjugation.” I must admit, I really like the title. Good job, me. This weekend I narrowed down the number of pieces I will have in the series and what allegories I am going to create. The current step in this whole process is to create a mood board for the basic aesthetic of the project:
So now that I’ve set this all up, I have to actually live up to the insanity of my own expectations. I will be scheduling photo shoots for photo reference in the next few weeks. For those of you in the PDX area who actually know me, let me know if you are interested in modeling for me. You could be immortalized as a demon!
Hello! I am back from a few weeks of birthday revelry interspersed with a billion projects. I hope the Summer has been as fun and productive for the rest of you. To kick off her newly renovated website, as well as her current exhibition down in Oakland, I wanted to write a bit about the awesome lady I’ve been an artist assistant for for the last few years.
I first met Anna Fidler my freshman year at PNCA. She was one of my drawing instructors, and at the end of the semester she offered me an internship to work as an artist assistant for her. I have been working for her on and off ever since.
In my time assisting at Anna Fidler studios, I’ve helped work on a couple of different series. The first is comprised of several portraits of Victorian Oregonians, the second is centered around iconic women, but I can’t really reveal any more about it for the time being.
As an artist assistant I’ve done everything from research at the Oregon Historical Society, paint pours, transferring line work, applying color and texture with prismacolors, repair, prepping pieces for gallery display, and assisting in physically setting up gallery shows, and I’m sure a bunch of other things that I’m forgetting.
Anna’s style and process of creating these mixed media pieces is unique and fascinating, and I must admit it has definitely rubbed off on me in my own work.
I just finished submitting my 8 pieces for the PNCA Illustration Juried Show.This is the first time I’ve submitted work to a school show.
“50 images from the 2011-2012 school year will be juried into the show and displayed in an opening reception during First Thursday in April. Cash prizes will be awarded for Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winners, + 5 Honorable Mention awards.”
Our department is full of extremely gifted illustrators, so I’m not banking on anything. It would be pretty cool to get selected though. These are the images I picked:
The last image wanted to be in the show sooooo bad, but I could only submit 8.
Spring Break begins today!!! It’s not too much of a relief, as I will be continuing to labor over my art all the way through the week. But I can’t complain, I don’t have classes to go to. Tonight I will be conducting a photo-shoot for my final project in my cultural marketplace class. I’m pretty stoked, I rented a bunch of photo equipment from the school and I have like 9 models working with me. I even got to borrow a bunch of shamanic costumery from the infamous Lupa. GO SEE HER AT PAGAN FAIRE TOMORROW!! She will make you look like a Shaman 🙂
Other than assignments, I will be working on getting my wares together for Portland’s first annual Dark Fairytale Ball. It’s only a month away and I have soooooooooooo much to do! Some of my original pieces will be in the gallery show, and I will also be vending.
Alright, I must now go get ready for the aforementioned photo shoot. I’ll keep you all posted on these various projects as they unfold.
My painting final serves two functions. As I wrote up in my final proposal, I wanted to create a fantasy illustration, something versatile that could be used for calendars, gaming books, or even books on witchcraft (like a John William Waterhouse painting.) These are the markets I want to get into as an illustrator. The primary reason I created this painting was as a devotional painting to Brighid, as I have certainly been blessed with inspiration, productivity, and skill this first year at art school.
Illustration Painting II Spring 2010
For reference I set up a photoshoot with my friend Coleen. Have I mentioned yet that my friends are good sports? She was willing to let me dress her up and stand by a fire-pot in her backyard for an hour while I took pictures of her in the cold.
p.s. Coleen doesn’t really have horns.
I was able to superimpose this image over a woodsy background, the lighting was challenging but I pulled it off.
I was stoked that I pulled off the fire-pot as well.
The Three Allegories of Beauty, graphite and charcoal
Drawing II Spring 2010
For the our final in Drawing II, each student had to create some giant project that related to the human figure. Their were 3 general themes to choose from: the human body as a machine, the human body relating to a grander concept, or using parts of the body to create the drawing final. For my project I created “The Three Allegories of Beauty.” For reference, I took photos of my friends Courtney and Erin, and I modeled for the 3rd allegory. I sketched out the infrastructure of each piece with graphite. I enhanced the shadows of the compositions with charcoal. The modeling in the drawings consists of blended graphite and charcoal, as well as stippling and crosshatching to create different texture throughout the composition. These were all drawn on 3 sheets of white 22×30 drawing paper.
There are a number of artists, traditional and contemporary, that have influenced the artistic decisions I made with this project. Throughout history, in the middle-ages especially, people used allegories as a solution to visually represent abstract concepts. I decided to use allegories because they are traditionally female figures, and this works perfectly as the project is about female body-issues. Another artist that inspired me during this project (and in general) is Caravaggio. I am inspired by Caravaggio’s intense use of subject matter, but also his use of tenebrism. The last artist that inspires me (in general as well as in context of this project) is Kiki Smith. Kiki Smith is a sculptor whose work is all about the human figure. She works in themes of women’s issues and makes several references to mythology and folklore to further contextualize her sculptures.
Because this piece had so many medieval elements, I wanted to make it a traditional triptych. Because I felt like these figures were on display, almost like a freak-show, I gave them a more Victorian appearance and the typography followed suit.
Maid, the melancholy Woman-Child. This allegory is my favorite aesthetically as well as conceptually, as it disturbs me the most. Courtney was so perfect for this.
Matrona, the proverbial Xanax Soccer-Mom. It was hard to make Erin looked fucked up at all, as she is so beautiful.
Matriarch, the discarded Hag. Our biology tells us that women are no longer needed when they are no longer fertile.
I actually modeled for this one. I drew a bunch of lines on my face, and I looked like Yoda when I was done. Yoda in a severe corset.