24 3/8" x 20 1/8" Watercolor, Ink, Gouache, Acrylic and Graphite - May 15, 2021 to November 28, 2022
Gate and guardian - the first one I made out of a trilogy - I used lots of gold.
Mandala with "life" in center - and four pathways moving out. A mandala should have a more "graphic" pattern but this is populated by wild animals and they just don’t sit still. These mandalas work into the primal spaces for me - they must represent movement not formal pattern. In Egyptian myth the world is held up by four monkeys, and here it is held up by just one (terrifying) mandrill. The monkey god comes from a sculpture I saw at the Denver Art Museum a few years back. I copied the pose from that carved, wooden sculpture.
The dome in a cathedral is a representation of God’s eye - all seeing and all knowing. I added the pattern of stars on a cobalt ground in the bottom pathway above the Mandrill. The whole round feels like it could be a dome, like it could oversee a religious ritual or ceremony. I refer to “religion” in the way that Joseph Campbell uses myth and religions as individualized cultural stories or versions of archetypal themes that run through all civilizations.
The cats and birds in the center are Ocelots (EN in Texas), Bay cats (EN) and Coastal Cactus Wrens (petition for EN status pending). I went into Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas to find and photograph Cactus Wrens - they are one of my favorite birds.
Labyrinth - old and unkept in the subconscious - overgrown with the accumulation of time. The way through can be dangerous and complex, you might have to crawl or scramble and you probably won’t even have a lighted torch. The hidden doorways, thick vegetation and monsters, the roadblocks and diversions are the challenges we face and fight at the thresholds of life.