Spring 2023. Left: digital sketch for a painting currently in planning stages. The imagery evokes a young woman dreaming of an up-coming trip to Vienna. The trip (mainly poetic/pharmaceutical in nature) will be an oneriomantic pilgrimage of sorts (hence the labyrinthine dream-diary), with visits to sites such as the studios of Klimt and Schiele and the office of Sigmund Freud. Like most of my recent work, this image plays with the theme of convalescence: healing through travel, art, and contemplation.
Left: a poster for the (aspirational) “Girls in Wheelchairs” show at the Oneiros Gallery. The text is in Esperanto, the show evokes pilgrimage and convalescence. Oil painting (approx. 13 x 45 in.) currently on the easel. Right: two almost complete oil portraits (both approx. 20 in. in height): medieval women with dolls.
Left: Alice and Pope Innocent X watching television, inspired to some degree by Francis Bacon’s paintings of popes. Alice is working on a painting assignment of her own based on her current interest in Cy Twombly. The imagery was influenced in part by AI-generated sketches.
Right: A convalescent woman watching television in a medieval setting. This, like the sketch below, is from the Girls-in-Wheelchairs painting series; the imagery is influenced in part by an AI “model” instructed in the work of 20th-century painters including Balthus and Schiele.
Fall 2022: Painting continues (see below for paintings currently on the easel, specifically On the Road Again). I also continue to explore ideas for new paintings. At the moment I have a bit of an obsession with “AI Art Generators” like DALLE-2, Craiyon, and Midjourney.
I first began playing with Craiyon a few weeks ago; the sketches were surprisingly compelling, perhaps a bit like the doodles of a promising art student who has taken a mild dose of psilocybin?
Here are two image sets done with Craiyon. I have included the prompts I used to generate the sets; note the use of the name of an artist as an influence on the style of the output. Among the AI generators I have tried, Craiyon seems to have the most interesting, often rather Dionysian, imagination; the limitation (at the moment and in my recent experience) is the inability to scale up to a more detailed sketch.
May 2022. Left: Woman with Cat (Hebuterne version). Right: On the Road Again (Ophiomancy). These are digital sketches for new oil paintings. I have been working with this imagery, in particular the Jesus-in-Wheelchair theme, over the past several months. Ophiomancy refers to fortune-telling by snakes: a serpent appears in my dreams . . . what does this portend? Click on images for detail.
Another digital sketch on the Jesus-in-Wheelchair theme. All the elements here started as 3-D models (i.e. the wheelchair, Christ figure, and the city); many of the neon signs in particular were built by hand using Blender and other digital software.
This theme flows from previous work – i.e. a series entitled The Convalescence (i.e. a Hellenistic teacher-healer is roaming the world in search of healing from his near-death experience.)
Gothic Cityscape with Angel (click the image for detail). This is the digital sketch for an oil painting currently nearing completion. As suggested above, the cityscape is a 3d model; a few of the neon signs are of particular interest since they required hours of “hand building” (with 3-d software such as Hexagon, Blender, etc).
Left: I seem to have gone through a mid-summer obsession with the therianthropic Serpent-in-the-Garden theme. The therianthrope (part human-part animal) appears early in the history of art (in the caves of the Upper Paleolithic) and is typically associated with Shamanism. As a child, the Serpent-in-the-Garden was my first encounter with such creatures. As the story was told to me (based loosely on the opening chapters of Genesis), a woman, walking alone in a Primordial Garden, was enchanted by the poetry of a talking snake. In early Christian depictions of this story, the Serpent has the upper body of a seductive woman. Most of these images have more recently been relegated to my “need further consideration” file.
Right (click for detail): I will admit that I find my “Isenharp” set particularly weird. The screaming Christ on the Harp is inspired by a pilgrimage to Colmar, France, to see the Isenheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald. (The ambivalent nature of the harp also features in the work of Hieronymus Bosch.) The theme is ostensibly “Redemption through Suffering” (the Isenheim Altarpiece was originally intended for a Medieval hospital).
This is a recent view of the studio, with an “Owl and Pussycat” version of the Salvator Mundi on the easel. Other paintings – awaiting final touches and framing – are visible as well.
This is the entrance to the Oneiros Gallery including the list of 12 or so featured paintings. While the gallery itself is virtual (i.e. digital 3-d) the work is real (oil on canvas), framed and sized as shown. Details of the paintings are available in Gallery One (see menu).