Little Stuff

Here's a little sneak peek at the first smaller piece I finished for the bat show:
I'll be posting full images including framed ones and some explanation closer to the show. Trying to keep a little mystery around the event but I have to say everything I've gotten so far has been REALLY good and people are putting a lot of work and thought into what they're doing which is awesome. You can see some images and info on the event page.

I also just got in the buttons we made for the show, thinking it was a good way for people to show support and donate a buck or .50 if they didn't have the money or inclination to buy art. They'll be available at the opening and afterwards on the internet. We had them printed in 1.25in and the more traditional 1in (those are compliments of Alex at small world buttons) :
There are four designs, one from me, one from Mike Bukowski, one from Justin Gray, and one from Alan "Medusa Wolf" Brown:
In other news, check out this little write up about the Forgotten Gods show I was in on Friday. It'll be up for a little while so go check it out if you find yourself around that area. There was a lot of good work in it. I also made some cheaper hand signed prints ($15) which you can buy there. I'll be doing a more expensive higher quality run later, so if you're low on cash but just like the image and want a print try and pick up one from Phantom Hand. I did the layout of the print to echo the frame which came out pretty cool:
Just started my second bat show piece last night and I look forward to pulling my hair out in the next couple weeks trying to finish that and wrangle around 50 artists and get the show together. PHEW.


Hollow Sky

I'm a bit slow starting on my piece for the bat show. Going back and forth on ideas which absolutely sucks when you don't have a lot of time to work on something. After much moping and procrastinating I decided to start a small piece so that if I was going to waste time, at least I'd be working on something in the meantime.
I also made a couple resin pieces with tiny embedded bones that I'm planning to use for the frames.
In other bat news, if you live in the Philadelphia area the Wagner is hosting a lecture on the impact of White Nose Syndrome next weekend:

In the last five years an epidemic called White-Nose Syndrome has killed more than

5.5 million bats in the northeast United States. It is said to be one of the most devastating diseases in the history of mammals and threatens some of North America’s most abundant bat species with extinction. Dr. Barton, an expert on microbial life within caves and an avid spelunker, is uniquely suited to understand White-Nose Syndrome. Join us to hear about her latest research -- she may be our best hope in the race to find a cure to save the bats.

Dr. Hazel Barton is an Associate Professor of Biology and an Associate Professor of Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Akron, Ohio. Her award-winning research, published in over 30 peer-reviewed articles, focuses on understanding microbial processes in cave environments. She has appeared in numerous publications, TV shows, and in the documentary “Journey Into Amazing Caves.” She is currently a Fellow of the National Speleological Society and the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.


With Poison Instead Of Blood She Filled Their Bodies

Hey hey. So I finally finished the painting I've been posting about and I'm really happy with how it came out:
Her strength is mighty, she is full of dread!

When I got the invite to be in this show I wanted to do something besides the expected Greek and Roman mythology (not that there's anything wrong with that, I actually have a long list of Greek stuff I want to paint) and knew I wanted to do something non-humanoid, just because I was in the mood to paint a creature. I finally settled on Tiamat, a Babylonian creation goddess descended from an earlier Sumerian one. I like that she's a progenitrix from the cradle of civilization, making the mythology surrounding her some of the oldest recorded mythology in the world. As the story goes Tiamat was " the primordial salt waters of chaos" who mixed with Apsu, the personification of fresh water, at the beginning of creation and gave birth to the first generation of gods, the Anunnaki.

Descriptions of Tiamat are hard to come by and though she's not very explicitly described in any of the sources I could find most agree that she is serpentine, though this might be because she gave birth to some serpent monsters (sort of reminds me of Echidna who I had also considered painting), with some qualities associated with sea creatures. In looking at other Babylonian gods and creatures I noticed most of them are chimera of some sort, hybrid creatures with features of birds, lions, scorpions, serpents, and humans so I constructed her in a similar way. This image of Marduk's battle with Anzu gives you some idea what they usually looked like.

I wanted her face to have the basic form of a human skull (it's mentioned that she has lips and a nose), mixed with a lion's skull and mouth, with a serpentine body with bird and lion features (wings, mane, talons, paws). It's also mentioned in the source text that she has "udders" which makes sense given her role as the mother of the gods which is why I gave her all the nipples

Most of the information we have about Tiamat seems to come from the story of her battle with Marduk. The story is similar in theme to the Titanomachy in which the original Greek gods were killed in battle by the new Olympians. The Enûma Eliš is a religious text with a political aim and tells the story of Marduk's battle with Tiamat and rise to supremacy as the patron god of Babylon. It's worth noting that this is one of the oldest recorded stories in human history and I have to say, it's still pretty gripping in parts. Marduk comes charging armed with everything you can possibly imagine and aided by the winds, as Tiamat furiously spawns monsters to fight by her side. Unfortunately for Tiamat, the tale is rigged and Marduk wins, piercing her belly with arrows and then slicing her body into pieces which become the heavens and the earth and the Tigris and Euphrates come from her tears.

The passage in the Enûma Eliš regarding the re purposing of her corpse by Marduk is especially graphic and detailed. You can read the whole thing here. Many people believe the tale of Marduk marks the point where Babylonian civilization shifted from matriarchal to patriarchal and if that's the case then it's an especially brutal turnaround and I mourn the loss.

The painting is such an odd shape because it was made to fit a frame I made from a clock door I got at an antique mart with my parents:
Which I fixed up, painted and added the omega to:
Here's the show card for the show this is part of where I will also, hopefully, have prints available:
On a totally completely unrelated note, last night Mike and I finally got to finish this movie that's been on our mile high stack of "movies we can't watch while we work" (all of them foreign language or movies that require a lot of looking), Dark Waters 1993 (not to be confused with Dark Water). An Italian/British/Russian coproduction filmed in the Ukraine (in the Odessa Catacombs!), filled with scary nuns, beautiful arresting nightmare imagery, Lovecraftian themes, amazing location shots of the nunnery on the cliff and tunnels filled with hundreds of candles. Not recommended for people who absolutely positively require a linear plot with lots of explanation, but if you're into dreamy beautiful looking Italian horror it's really great and underrated (or maybe just overlooked). It's really low on violence (and happily free of any sexual violence) but has some really genuinely creepy and disturbing stuff as well as a few gross outs. See it! Watch it! Maybe do a double feature with the Devils.


We Bring The Greater Days

Just a short update to make up for my silence. I've been busy and sick, and spending a couple days in bed with tissues crammed up my nose really put me behind work-wise and socially (and yeah, I have yet to post stuff in that etsy account oooops). Today was my first day up and about in a while and I picked a good day for it because it appears to be a very convincing false spring day. Nice. Anyway, the painting I'm working on for the Forgotten Gods show is nearly done (and would have BEEN done by now if not for the sickness). Just some sneak peaks:
The only part I have left to do:
I like seeing stuff at this stage, especially knowing that it defies what painting and drawing instructors told me about working on the whole piece slowly building all the areas together. The few classes I have taken I was always scolded for working in sections and though I get why, generally, that is a bad habit it ended up being perfect for the method I've invented for myself.

I've been meaning to note this for a while since I know everybody looooooves tumblr these days but I do have a seldom used tumblr account I may start using more. Last night I transcribed and posted a runic farting spell from a book I'm reading if that gives you any clue to the content.

In other news, the bat show now has a facebook invite with some images of the work that's coming in. If you use facebook feel free to check it out and spread the word! Getting really excited as it gets closer and also a bit nervous about the setback of this past week since I have my own piece to finish. However, the invites and posters are currently in production, and we're hoping to have something to bring to this excellent lecture on the impact of WNS coming up at the Wagner. If you live in Philly or nearby I would definitely recommend going!

Finally, Happy International Women's Day (everyday).