Well, a great deal of things have happened, but alas, not that much art, at least in traditional mediums. I have been thoroughly absorbed in my pursuits as a trapeze artist, but you might start seeing more oil paintings from me as someone has most generously allowed me to take over a spare room as my painting studio. It’s small, but way better (and healthier) than trying to do an oil painting in my bedroom, which is what I did for this little still life here (which I completed last fall): 

“Le Foyer” – oil on panel, 5.5″ x 5.5″

This was actually the first still life I had ever attempted, painted from life, and not from a photograph. I thought I would quickly grow bored, but in fact, it was fascinating to notice new minute details each day that I hadn’t noticed the day before. Eventually, I had to call it quits (especially because I was painting in my bedroom), or else I would have worked on it forever.

Instead of oils, I have mostly been doing digital paintings, such as as these two below. The first is a digital painting study of cinematic screen capture…I find these are quite instructive to do and fun, too, especially if you’re listening to the movie soundtrack at the same time!

“Bottom of the Lake” – digital

“Dreaming: walking on the bottom of the lake of yourself.” ~Teju Cole

That last digital piece, “Bottom of the Lake” is perhaps another representation of the “femme-pieuvre”, what I call a “muse”, though I’m not sure it adheres to the traditional definition. I’m not a huge fan of writing about my art, but I’ve barely blogged at all, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking…so, here goes.

This little piece I started last winter when I was staying out in Seattle. I think this was around the time I began to think about muses and what mine are.

“Femme-pieuvre” – oil on panel, 6″ x 4″

I believe I contain (so to speak) three primary muses, three beasts in my personal mythos, conscious and subconscious. They coexist symbiotically, almost peacefully, although they do at times make war on each other (I am currently working on a digital piece about that…more later).

One of them is the “femme-pieuvre” as pictured above, or as pictured in this digital painting:

“Welcome Home” – digital
“It is all wrong. I am a stone, not a mermaid. A black, viscous stone: the sound of granite flowing shudders through my bones. My organs realign—stomach, intestines, spleen—like celestial bodies in the sky of my being.”

The “femme-pieuvre” is the lover; the romantic, sensual, emotional woman-leviathan prone to love, to gloom, to lust. She is desire, she is dreams. She gives and takes. She yearns and craves. She caresses, she cradles, and yet she can just as easily strangle and smother.

Another is the “femme-phénix” as pictured here in this digital painting:

“La Femme-phénix” – digital

“Quand il a laissé tomber les clés, je les ai saisies. Je me suis envolée d’un bel éclatement de plumes et de feu.” 

The femme-phénix is the artist; she is creative passion, solitary, prolific, intensely dedicated. She is more energy than entity. She is reason and purpose. She burns bridges remorselessly and flies like a flaming arrow.
The third (and possibly the oldest) primary muse is the femme-loup, as pictured here:
“It’s Not a Phase” – oil on canvas, 66″ x 32″

“I was a raw thing, tangled into the new growth, covered in fresh pink scars.”

The femme-loup is the animal; she is instinct, she is silence. She is both stillness and quickness. Androgynous, wary, she is is only at home in the forest and never anywhere else. Too often she is eclipsed by the other muses.
There have been a few others besides these three, but they have come and gone, arriving at specific moments of my life and then taking their leave. The three I have thus far described have been around awhile now, they keep popping up in my art, and I can feel their presence in my life on a day-to-day basis…so, I think they’re here to stay.

So, the question is…which muse will emerge here?