Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lion and Lamb

All I was sure of at first is that I was playing some game of opposites.  It was not good vs. evil, male vs. female, war vs. peace that I was trying to convey, but two opposite temperaments that would appear in a glance the same.  The lion represents ambition while the lamb represents humility.  It was also not my desire to portray one as better than the other.  While the lion might be an aggressor, he also is a protector, a builder and inventor.  

The lamb wears the same cloth as an adornment.  She is unconcerned with power, fame, or glory, but leads a noble, quiet life.  He is the hunter and she is the gatherer.  I don't mean at all to assign these particular traits to gender, because we all have a little bit of both, and they surface in different parts of our personalities.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


A couple reclines in marshy water.  It is somewhat of a reversal of a scene in George Macdonald's "Lilith".  The man may be dead or only unconscious, and he may or may not be aware of the angelic figure reclined beside him.  She is the strength he needs, and she may even have the power to nurse him back to vitality or perhaps a resurrection.  A cat nearby laps water, disinterested in their human affairs.  This is partly inspired by Pieter Bruegel's "The Fall of Icarus", in which workers go about their day aloof to Icarus's plight.  The black cat represents my son, who is so psychologically connected with his cat that they have become inseparable and even interchangeable.  Elements of nature are symbolic of the chaos of life, and the things that are outside of our control.

Pieter Bruegel "The Fall of Icarus", circa 1560


She has awoken to discover that a forest grew around her while she slept. As a child I had a Disney comic of Goofy as Rip Van Winkle, I took the story as literal truth, and I think stories are always more powerful that way. Another favorite was of course “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.

The image began with a series of sketches in my sketchbook, in which I attempted to push certain distortions far past physical possibility, but not past where the viewer would still accept it as a figure. The result was this bizarre emotion. As a friend mentioned she looks like she’s been beamed from another planet.  I became interested in the look of speed or aerodynamics in the shapes, and using everything including hair and background elements to push toward the effect of fast movement in complete stillness.

One of the original concept sketches.

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I am a painter.,!/CefaloStudio