Friday, June 10, 2016

Zeus Velchanos

These are images of Boy Zeus, the Great Youth, as worshiped in ancient Crete - or at any rate as I conceive him. It's possible that I may at some time create an oil painting of this subject. What's needed is a superlative model.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Manuel Carpeta

I just completed this watercolor portrait of the great flamenco dancer Manuel Fernandez Montoya, called El Carpeta. It's based on a photo taken in 2012. I'm reposting below the graphite drawing that underlies this image. These are the same piece, executed on the same sheet of watercolor paper, the drawing serving as guide to the creation of the painting.
I'd like to do an extended series of pictures of El Carpeta. However for this purpose I need access to technology which is not currently at my disposal. There are several potential projects on my plate at any given time, so I'll forge ahead with whatever happens to be achievable at the moment, and hope to create the proposed images of El Carpeta when that becomes feasible.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


He is the god of commerce, communication, merchants and thieves. He is the luck god. He is the Psychopomp, the guide of the dead to the underworld, and speaks to us in dreams: or so the ancient poets tell us.

Son of Hecate

Sunday, June 5, 2016

In Praise of Sensual Pleasure

A scientific researcher wrote:
"I am now convinced that the deprivation of physical sensory pleasure is the principal root cause of violence. Laboratory experiments with animals show that pleasure and violence have a reciprocal relationship, that is, the presence of the one inhibits the other. A raging violent animal will abruptly calm down when electrodes stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. Likewise, stimulating the violence centers in the brain can terminate the animal's sensual pleasure and peaceful behavior. When the brain's pleasure circuits are 'on,' the violence circuits are 'off,' and vice versa. Among human beings, a pleasure-prone personality rarely displays violence or aggressive behaviors, and a violent personality has little ability to tolerate, experience or enjoy sensuously pleasing activities. As either violence or pleasure goes up, the other goes down."
- James W. Prescott, Neuropsychologist
I take this to mean that those who attack, punish and vilify sensual pleasures are in fact promoting violence, and willfully creating and perpetuating a culture of violence. This, in my view,  is the true meaning of the "morality" of the Abrahamic faiths, at least so far as regards bodily pleasure, including but not limited to human sexuality. They systematically propagate a culture of brutality. I.S. is merely the currently most salient example of this principle in action.
These drawings are designs for the doors of a temple I wish to create. In accordance with the ideas expressed above, any temple that I have to do with will necessarily incorporate a sense of the importance and essential goodness of bodily pleasure as one of its core operating principles.

Selene, Goddess of the Moon

This is my ink drawing for a watercolor of the same subject. Many preliminary sketches were required to bring the composition to this point. The design, as with several other of my images, is based on the writings of Giordano Bruno. In future I'd like to create further images of this and related themes based on pagan sources like Hesiod and the Homeric hymns.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Sun and Mercury

This is an allegorical image of the Sun, based on the writings of Giordano Bruno. Below is the ink drawing for my watercolor of Mercury, inspired by the same source. I've made the first image a bit sexier than Bruno probably intended, and this is very much on purpose.
Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun, and hence is a mythologically suitable accompaniment to it.
 Both images are constructed in accordance with my spherical perspective system, based on a dodecahedron whose geometrical center is identical with the center of projection. This makes it into a kind of dymaxion map, only representing the visual sphere rather than the sphere of the earth.

The Sun

Hitherto I've posted a full-color image based on these drawings, combining all their features. This series shows some of the steps in the process by which that picture came into being.
The enclosing rosette derives from a series of logarithmic spirals, which in turn are based on a gnomonic or stereographic projection. The resulting spiral diamond configuration is geometrically similar to the heart of a sunflower, appropriately enough.
The template below served as a guide to creating my 2-D picture. But I conceive this outline as potentially defining a parabolic dish on whose concave surface the image may be painted. The idea is to produce an image which can be dramatically illuminated by a single light source, such as a candle, similarly to one of my aluminum parabolic reflectors. I fancy this would make an excellent altar piece.
However to paint on a concave surface could be a real bitch, so I may stick with flat surfaces for painting purposes. Nonetheless I want to paint this image or something similar in a larger format than I have thus far. Also, there are other design variations for the parabolic dish that I wish to realize.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Boy Zeus

This is my conception of Zeus Velchanos, or Boy Zeus, as worshipped in ancient Crete. I've given him bull's horns because it is in the form of a bull that he appeats to Europa in that ancient myth. In one hand he holds a thunderbolt and in the other is a scepter. Behind him is the branch of an oak, the tree most associated with Zeus. Below is his eagle.  
I did both these pieces using acorn ink which I made myself, as described hitherto. I also made the paper using recycled materials. The dimensions of the larger piece, that above, are about 6 by 8 inches (15 by 20 centimeters) or a trifle larger.

Torquil overflies Spiral City

India ink on Strathmore sketch paper. Image dimensions are a little over 11 by 14 inches.
Note: my web access has gotten spotty again, so I'm not able to post quite as often as I'd like to. Hopefully the situation will improve fairly soon.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Freehand Ink

This is drawn freehand using a brush loaded with acorn ink that I made myself. You gather the acorns in early autumn, you simmer them for a few days, and you mix the resulting fluid with a spoonful of rusty vinegar that you've prepared in advance. It's pretty good ink, and I've found that I like the tone. Tannic acid from the acorns is what makes it work.

I also made the paper from recycled materials. It's cast on a mold that's 12 by 15 inches, but I've cropped in when making this shot so the dimensions here are somewhat smaller.


Update and correction: I did indeed draw this piece in ink I made myself, but the paper is not made by me. It's standard Strathmore sketch paper, 11 by 14 inches. This pieces on blue-tinted paper that I posted today (31 May 2016) are done on my own paper: Boy Zeus and his eagle.


This is Eros dreaming. He's bound to wake up any moment now, and then things will get really interesting.
India ink on Strathmore drawing paper, 8 by 10 inches.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Global Calendar

Each face of the dodecahedron represents one month of the year. Each day of the month is represented by a polyhedral module, the layout of the whole being based upon a geodesic configuration. These modules are like stepping stones, such that one can step from one day to the next as upon a flagstone path. From the first of the year, the path of days uncoils outward until it flows into the next month. From every month thereafter until the last, the path spirals inward, then outward, until it flows again into the next face of the figure, and so on. In the last month, the spiral path coils only inward until the very last day of the year.
I invented this calendar and printed it by hand in silkscreen. Each pentagonal face fits within a US letter-size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) sheet of card stock. I'm contemplating making another for some future year.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fencing Lesson

This a page from my GN. In it my protagonist jumps his fencing master, starting an impromptu sword fight. I've conceived this as a comix page; in a later iteration I mean to recast it as a sequence of illustrations which will accompany the text of my novel.
The medium is ink and watercolor on Arches watercolor paper, 140 pound cold press. Dimensions are 12 1/8 by 16 1/8 inches (31 by 41 centimeters).

Dragon Spiral

This youth is a god; that's why he can fly. The flying serpent is a wingless dragon.

This image comprises a 360 view of the horizon. The right and left edges of the drawing meet at the same cardinal point, such that you could wrap the picture into a cylinder, with the spectator at its axial center. This is the true surface of projection; hence the picture is mathematically akin to a Mercator map. The spiral towers lean inward and outward simultaneously because the cylinder of projection is inclined with respect to the horizon, creating upward and downward convergence. The horizon, though not visible in this case, can be assumed to undulate in the form of a sine wave. The angle of incline is 12 degrees.

The drawing is in prismacolor pencil on heavy Strathmore drawing vellum. The dimensions are about 14 by 20 inches (roughly 35 by 50 centimeters).

Friday, May 20, 2016

Taylor Hanson: Oils

These oil portraits reflect my obsession with Taylor Hanson back in the day. Both are in oil on Belgian linen, 14 by 18 inches (about 35 by 45 centimeters).

To speak truth, I don't consider either painting to be quite finished; completing an oil painting to my preferred standard can take hundreds of hours. But I think they're passable as they are.
 To my mind, this youth sets the gold standard for beauty. He's a Leonardo angel.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Torquil and Friend

Once again, this is a former graphite image that I've inked. It's drawn entirely from imagination, of course. Torquil and his fencing master are relaxing after a good workout.

I'm thinking of putting some of my images up for sale on Etsy, or Amazon or the like. I have no idea whether anyone wants them, but I feel I might as well put them out there. They could be laser copies, silkscreens or giclees. The question is, does anyone want this stuff, and if so in what format?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Friendly Human

In the land of Cythera, humans are friendly to satyrs and other nature spirits. They're highly civilized, yet their culture is in balance with the natural world that supports it. Not coincidentally, they're also pretty good dancers.
This youth is engaged in a Hermetic ceremony of some sort. In his hand is the Caduceus, the wand of Hermes, aka Mercury.
P.S. - Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been under the weather lately, and also there are some logistical impediments to my frequent posting. I hope to rectify this at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Dancing Satyrs

I've posted this young dancing satyr here before, but now he's inked. Below is a shot of the full page to give some context, as in the preceding post.

Satyrs are fun-loving nature spirits. They like to dance and sing. They're known for being sexy and, in a word, horny. That's one of the principal reasons humans persecute them. Demonizing satyrs goes hand-in-hand with demonizing sex - and nature too, if truth be known. When you help to protect the environment, you're also helping to save friendly nature spirits like satyrs and nymphs; and dolphins, too.


This young satyr is pissed off at the way humans have been treating his kind since at least the 4th Century A.D. He's mad as hell, and he's not going to take it any more!
I've been inking selected pencil drawings from my latest drawing pad. Here's a wider angle on the current image, to give some sense of context.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016


These images are watercolor panels that form part of a larger piece, collectively comprising a geodesic sphere. A couple of images I've posted previously are also parts of the same artifact (Son of Nereus, and other sea people rising from the deep). This group is distinct from the Hermetic planetary images of similar composition that I've also posted. The circular panels shown here are 25 centimeters (about ten inches) in diameter.

In these images, I'm depicting my vision of the good life - the sort of environment I'd like to live in, and the sort of people I'd like to be around. I'm not one of those artists who are into showing the gritty side of reality. Far from reality, in some paradisial place where one's feet hardly seem to touch the ground - that's where I'd like to be.


Saturn is Kronos, or Time. He is the god of limits, including death, and is associated with the element of Earth. He is the Black Sun of Midnight. In his hand is a basilisk.
The Renaissance mage and philosopher Marsilio Ficino said that Saturn is the spirit associated with the study of mathematics and philosophy, and that those engaged in these studies - such as himself - have a tendency to melancholia. Ficino prescribed an antidote of various remedies and activities relating to the three benefic planets - Venus, Jupiter and the Sun - in order to achieve a harmonious balance.

As with all my Hermetic watercolors to date, which are based on the writings of Giordano Bruno, the perspective layout accords with the panels of the dome of light. Medium and dimensions: watercolor, 12 by 12 inches (30 by 30 centimeters), on Arches 140 pound cold press pure cotton rag paper.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mercury and Moon

Or Hermes and Selene, if you want to go Greek. Hermes is, among many other things, the father of Hermaphroditus, western mythology's first tranny boy. His mother is Aphrodite, goddess of love.
As with my other watercolors in the same vein, these are both based on the writings of Giordano Bruno. What I like about Hermeticism - I think Bruno's ideas can be characterized by that term, at least to some extent - is that it's allowed pagan mythology and cosmology to survive Christianity and (who knows?) maybe beyond it. According to Hermeticism, the universe is one great living being filled with spirit and with consciousness, and I think that's a lot more fun than a Cartesian or Newtonian universe where matter is dead and devoid of intelligence until proven otherwise.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


The satyr is my own invention, as you might suppose. The others are all of El Carpeta, taken from various videos of his performances. Of these the first - that immediately below this text- is from the film "Flamenco Flamenco," by Carlos Saura. His sequence is brief, just two minutes, but spectacular.

In the film he's about twelve or thirteen years old. In the drawings below, he's a few years older. I think he'll be eighteen this coming August (2016).

The last is from the show at Casa Patas, Madrid, 23 April 2011.

I may ink some of these later on, as with other drawings.


I made the paper this is drawn on. It was executed ink alone, without graphite preparation. It's about 7 or 8 inches square (roughly 18 or 20 centimeters). The spot of rose is a drop of red acrylic paint that got into the vat.

Need I mention that satyrs are pagan nature spirits who symbolize sensuality and lust?

Monday, May 2, 2016

I said I would ink these...

... so I did:

Inking a drawing is a tricky business. You can easily botch it, and of course ink is a completely unforgiving medium. On the upside, ink drawings are much easier to read than graphite, shadows stick to the page and make the image pop out, so that most people have a much easier time making it out.

 Also, ink drawings are easy to reproduce very cheaply by Xerox, ideal for self-published zines and books, and make a good basis for limited edition hand-printed silkscreens. These ones are inked with fine-pointed brushes, which I prefer to steel nibs or fountain pens.

As I mentioned before, the subject here is my hero Torquil, boning up on his sword practice and frolicking with wood nymphs.

Tay Hanson

This is one of my many portraits of Taylor Hanson, keyboardist and lead singer from the pop group Hanson. It's based on a photo taken around 1999 to 2000. This piece is in oil on canvas, 8 by 10 inches (20 by 25 centimeters).

When I do portraits of the gods, his is one of the faces I mean to use for reference.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Torquil Is a Horny Slut

I hate to tell you this, but my protagonist is not 100 percent gay. Neither is he really straight. He just likes to fool around with all the pretty people he can find - not just humans, either. Here he is getting fresh with a tree nymph. I'll ink this one later on.