Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Raven

In Norse mythology Odin has two pet ravens: Hugin and Munin- thought and memory accordingly. Each day they leave Odin and return from "Midgard," (literal meaning: middle enclosure) the mortal realm. The only historic pictures I've found of this show Hugin (thought) on Odin's right shoulder facing him and Munin (memory) on his right.

The Quran tells of a raven teaching Cain how to bury Abel and Native American traditions from the pacific northwest see the raven as both a creator and a "trickster" god.

The cross cultural significance of the raven is quite amazing but I find the Norse representation as the most interesting mostly for the news or information being that of thought and memory- very different from our understanding of it in contemporary culture. In the Norse mythology the "news" is understood to be subjective- interpreted through thought and memory.
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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Another Skull

OK, I'm still looking for that "new approach." No, I haven't found it yet. I tried to create a "negative of a negative" by drawing an x-ray of the skull with charcoal on orange paper for a different approach thinking that the intricate lines of the x-ray might somehow alleviate the tremendous baggage of the subject. The abstraction of the skull did lift the burden a bit but I haven't found a use for it in a painting yet. I guess I'll submit that to the subconscious for a while and wait for it to resurface later.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Skull

I generally try to shy away from imagery that is so dramatically played out that it actually repels serious consideration in favour of that which catches a person off guard and possibly engages a subject from an unfamiliar approach. Of course, with a skull, how can this possibly be? What "new approach" can possibly come from such an image that is so frequently recycled for sucha variety of ideas and products? I don't know. I thought the drawing turned out rather nice though as it recalls some of Bacon's painting for me. I think it is the blue and the orange colors that bring up these thoughts though it may be the similarity of Bacon's handling of paint and the way soft pastels brush accross paper.
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