The Sun Is Out Spinning On Its Axis, Lead White Vapor In The Clouds

This is the last painting I finished for the Across the Haunted Sea show I had in March. I didn't have a good photograph of it and haven't gone to get it scanned yet since it's pretty big (about 19 inches tall.

I've mentioned before that there have been times that the color has really gotten away from me and I think that happened here but I'm still happy with the way the detail came out in this one.

I posted about the tiny cemetery above previously, if you want to see a picture that shows scale.

I tried something I don't usually here and outlined the background city in a dark green grey so that the skeleton would be more pronounced as the foreground, since it was supposed to be overlooking the city in the distance. I think that worked ok, but I'm not sure it translates well in this photograph. It might be something I experiment with more in the future to add some more depth, as much as I like black outline.

I had a couple of ideas about sunken cities I wanted to work into this show, and this one is primarily influenced by Poe's "The City in the Sea/ The Doomed City" though I also grabbed things from previous sketches of Kitezh a legendary Russian sunken city, and a Robert E. Howard poem about a sunken city that would rise again that I had sketched out in the early stages of getting ready for that show.

As a kid with an active imagination I did a lot of daydreaming and loved staring into murky ocean water in Maine and imagining what could be down there and what it would be like to live there (ok, as a child I was really not grounded in reality), so I've always been attracted to stories about sunken cities, and ships and lost civilizations and continents. I particularly like the world view that Howard borrows from Madame Blavatsky, that there are different eras of humanity that rise up, and are swallowed by the ocean only to be replaced by the next era. I like any story that digs at the sense of specialness and permanance that most humans rely on to counteract the terrifying unpredictability and finiteness of life and the reality that the earth could wipe us out in a second and I like the idea that each era lives without realizing that they are living in a doomed society.

I have more work to post later this week to make up for my lazy silence and I'm starting a new project today.


roxy said...

i always think we would've gotten along as kids, but now i'm not sure- nothing terrifies me more than the idea of things being at the bottom of the ocean. even FISH.

wandering genie said...

I weirdly imagined it being this really calm spooky place where I could swim around in ruins and maybe hide in a cave from an octopus and find a ship with a bunch of skeletons sitting around a table playing cards.

Michael Bukowski said...

so wait, do you really believe in Atlantis, Mu and Lemuria?

wandering genie said...

haha shut up. and yes of course doesn't everyone?