Hey hey. Last blog post before I leave for Romania this Friday. This was a commission from one of my favorite people ever to be given to a friend of hers for a baby shower. Her friend is Greek and she thought she might like something with a pomegranate in it. The pomegranate features very heavily in the myth of Persephone who was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld. After her mother Demeter implored Zeus to intervene he ruled that she could leave the underworld as long as she hadn't eaten any food while there. Because she had eaten several seeds from a Pomegranate she was forced to stay in hell for as many months as seeds she had eaten (the number varies). Her mother Demeter who is the goddess of the harvest spends these months in mourning and allows nothing to grow on the earth, explaining the seasons. Persephone is a chthonic deity and there were a series of mystery cults devoted to her and several myths featuring her, such as the one where she allows Orpheus to bring his wife Eurydice out from the underworld after he plays a song sad enough to make her cry (a myth with probably THE saltiest ending in all of mythology). Anyway, I didn't have much time for this commission and didn't want to make it inappropriately creepy for a baby shower so it's a reduction of the myth. I had originally planned on buying a pomegranate to draw from life but you know what? They're kind of the worst! Just seeds with a little bit of delicious goo. And I don't like wasting food!:
I also realized recently that I never post pictures of things framed. I almost always use found vintage frames from flea markets and some sent to me by my aunt because I prefer ones with weird shapes like ovals and circles which aren't really popular anymore. My last show all of the frames were gold. I used one of the leftovers for this:
And here's the back with the fancy paper on it:
Another thing I had in mind while working on this with the cycle of the seasons and death and rebirth of plants that I think is interesting in its own right is the tradition of vanitas paintings. It was a european theme in painting in the 16th and 17th centuries that expressed the fleeting nature of life and how unimportant the vanity of human experience is. Death is symbolized by skulls, rotting fruit and dying flowers, hour glasses and bubbles, and vanity by instruments and gold and jewels. These sorts of paintings were often done by women who were denied the opportunity to study from live human models at the time, and could express themselves conceptually with these still-lifes. It's also related to the themes of Danse Macabre and Momento Mori. Here are some:
Anyway, I'm pretty overwhelmed right now. Just back from a Philly-Chicago flight and a Chicago-Philly drive (ugh Illinois, Indiana and Ohio are so boring to drive through) I did to help Mike with his art handler job (it was also his birthday sooo Chicago diner and a Watain show while we were in there!), and now I work for a couple days straight and go straight from work to the airport for Romania Friday. SEE YA.