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Sticky Lip Wishes and Vampire Hisses

Concepting photo with Cora Dietz and Elizabeth Tolley MUA

It took me forever to get something edited from the shoot I did with Cora Dietz. Jason helped me with most of the editing with his photoshop skills. I was attempting to concept out some future paintings and Cora was awesome enough to help out. Our friend Elizabeth Tolley did her make up and hair.

Le Fanu's Carmilla painted by Leonor Fini

Above is a painting I found by Leonor Fini of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s lady vampire Carmilla. Bram Stoker is said to be inspired by Le Fanu’s story, so yes, Carmilla is a work older than Dracula. If you are a Vampire Hunter D fan you will probably recognize the name. The villainess in the second movie shares the name.

I honestly am not much of a vampire fan, or at least not of pop culture’s latest incarnation of the vampire. I can’t stand the sight of blood, real or fake. It doesn’t scare me really, but it makes me feel slightly sick and I can’t get the taste of iron out of my mouth when seeing it.

I did enjoy the story of Carmilla though. Atleast from what I’ve read about it and heard in the below linked radio play produced by the horror series Nightfall Have a listen. It’s hosted on my site so you can listen to it on it’s own page or download it.

I won’t bother to describe it except to say that it’s less bloody and more interesting than typical gory vampire fare. I have downloaded the short story to my nook but haven’t read it yet. You can find it online to download here.

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Pencil to Paper

drawing 4 project

Today has been a Vincent Price movie watching kind of a day. School consisted only of watching a movie of Picasso drawing and painting, and I basically spent the rest of the day working on the above piece for my drawing class. It’s more of the ink wash combined with gesso and colored pencils. I am beginning to wish I had used used black india ink, but I was really thinking that the violet would be interesting.

I also wish I had purchased a block of hot press watercolor paper instead of cold. I’m thinking this paper may be too toothy for colored pencils.

It’s not complete yet, but I am liking the effect…so far.

After watching Vincent Price movies all day(Masque of the Red Death, Tomb of Ligeia, Haunting on the Hill), I have now found myself in Dunwich Horror land. I’m baffled that the guy from Quantum Leap(Dean Stockwell) is the villain, Wilbur Waitley. Oh, and I just got to watch Sandra Dee get molestered by body painted up hippies with blue feather boas.

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Leonor Fini – Sphinxette

Artist Leonor Fini Portraits

My google searches and tumbling for artwork featuring Greek sphinxes keeps bringing me back to the work of Leonor Fini, a 20th century female surrealist, and I am left feeling ignorant because I have never read about her, heard her mentioned in a class or viewed her work before. Of course I am not an art historian and my education has been far from exhaustive, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but yet I am.

She was incredibly prolific and multi talented(stage designer, painter, illustrator, writer), but I am drawn more to photographs of her than her own work. There is so much theater and poise, much like her sphinxes. Much like her cats. Even her paintings that feature herself tend to appeal to me the most, which is odd. I feel very uncomfortable, almost annoyed, when looking at a female artists work that tends to concentrate on the artists own image. It has more to do with me than the artist, I’m sure. I think I am uneasy about the fact that women are taught to be looked at, to want to be looked at, to share their face and appearance for others pleasure, and to take pleasure in others pleasure in their image. It’s an exercise in culturally taught narcissism. It’s beautiful and sick. I’m part of it too, though I don’t often paint myself. Perhaps I would too if I thought my image would appeal to the art buying public. A prettier way to interpret what I said above is that women are socialized to want to share themselves, be it their thoughts, feelings or face, with others, and that the narrative self portrait is a natural step.

Leonor Fini Paintings

Off hand I immediately am reminded of William Blake, Bosch and in the colors and allegory some Klimt. She was a contemporary of the better known, and male, surrealists. She was not one of their wives or sisters and seemed to be an extremely independent and strong willed artist. In fact she didn’t identify as one of them(surrealist), but art history needs to categorize things and that is where she falls. There is sexuality in her paintings, but it feels remote and not necessarily for the male gaze. Many of her figures are sculptural yet also ghostlike. They have both the solidity and coolness of a marble sculpture, yet look like they could float away like a spirit, or they are operating on a different plane than us, and we can only see them shimmering momentarily(specifically her lithographs). Wow. I should stop there before I embarrass myself.

See more Leonor Fini works at CFM Gallery, Spaightwood Gallery and Minsky Gallery.

You can read an informative essay about her here and find more work from her on the Wurzelforum.

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The Root of All Evil

The Summoning - acrylic on masonite

I don’t often have work for sale. I feel like i am always in the middle of a painting, rarely at the end of one, and with school that slows me done further.

I do have some work for sale scattered about on the internet. Pictured above is a painting I have waiting to find a home currently for sale at the J Fergeson Gallery in Farmville VA(no, not the obnoxious notification producing Facebook game). Jason and I had a show there last year and the gallery still carries some of my work that didn’t sell at the opening.

And of course there is Etsy. I have a lil’ Etsy Shop where I sell some of my smaller work and hair pins there.

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The Symbolist Sphinx

The Symbolist Sphinx

1. Fernand_Khnopff – The Caress, 2. Sphinx , 3. bernard1, 4. the sphinx by Von Stuck

Not much to say, just pretty things to see.

I really wish I knew more about the lower left image. Supposedly it’s a black and white image of a painting by William Sargeant Kendall, and is called The Sphinx. This is kinda believable and kinda not. If you look at other black and white images of his work, you can see some similarities, but this work was supposedly done at a time when photography was new and also when similar images were taken of actress Theda Bara, as Suzanne of Wurzeltod points out to me here. Perhaps Kendall had seen those images and was also inspired by other symbolist sphinx works by Knopf, Von Stuck and other artists.