Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
It's a long review, with lots of thoughts and ideas, bravery encouraged.
"Till we Have Faces" by C.S Lewis
This is a modern retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. (Wikipedia link) The story however is told through the eyes of Psyche's older sister Orual.
C.S Lewis has been quoted saying, the story haunted him, which was one of the reasons I wanted to read it, the other reason this book was on my list, was my good friend and art hero Nick Bontorno said it was his favorite book. After reading it, I can understand only on a minuscule level why they both have these feelings toward it.
The book being a C.S Lewis book is filled to the brim with symbols and allegories, with signs of truths and nods at religious views and values, as are all of his books, but something happens when you use a pagan story in order to highlight christian ideas. It provides an environment for you to loosen up your "strict" ideas, and address them how I think an ancient Greek university would. Without judgement, without having to choose a side, it provides you a blank slate to come to conclusions you wouldn't have before considered. I think because of the pagan views, which are also religious the book allows you to stray but not far from the reverence of religion.
With that being said, I'm going to tell you about some of the ideas I got out of this book, since it is a myth you can just read quickly on wikipedia, spoilers aren't really an issue.
Orual is a "hobgoblin" of a woman, I mean that only in appearance, she is told many times in the book, of her ugliness and how if only she would have been born beautiful, how she could have been something. This really bothered me in the book, I was upset about how she was treated, she is admired for her thought and actions, but because she is physically unattractive, all of that feels like it doesn't matter. I related a lot to that, lately I have been trying my hardest to understand the objectification of women in the visual arts mostly. Its something that when its blatant its easy to pick up on, but there have been paintings and artists who I like and respect who do it subtlety, some of them might not even know or think they aren't doing it at all, it felt like that for Orual, that the men of the kingdom were showing her pity by feeling sorrow for her "looks"(with exception of her father, who was a major douche chill.) when they should have been acknowledging the beauty beneath her "mangled" outer shell. Why is a woman who is 100 pounds with no flaws pretty while the mother of 3 who has lived her life, whose trials and joys are apparent, not? (That is just one of the reactions I had to it, more of one that I personally might just get out of the book.)
The book is just filled with little ideas like that, though I feel the underlying message of the book would have to be the fact that Orual hated the Gods for stealing a loved one. Orual truly loved Psyche, she cared for her and raised her, she wished Psyche was her child. Psyche enlightened her life, she really enriched Orual's very existence. Psyche became her only reason for living, to protect, to guide, and to save her from sometimes, herself. There was this battle between the Gods and Orual for Psyche, but also a battle between who and what the Pagan Gods were themselves, which is what I alluded to earlier, the book gives you the ability to sort of pretend that God's many aspects and "faces" are individual Gods. ( I think that is basically what most Pagan Gods are, just different "moods" or periods of God. The God we perceive today is worlds apart from the one in the old testament.)
The short period of Psyche's life made me think of the Saviors, I felt some parrallels between the two in the book. It also allowed me to put myself in the place of Orual, how upset would you be if Jesus was born in your lifetime, and you spent all your days with him, watching him and listening to him, being a companion personally to him throughout his days on Earth, only to have him taken away? (in your mind prematurely) Psyche is sort of a Christ figure in this book, she brings light to many people, and is eventually sacrificed to the Gods for the people, she is given to the Shadowbrute, so the Gods will lift the famine and drought on the land. She accepts her fate, and welcomes it because of the belief she can help the kingdom. To have the one thing you feel has given your life purpose, taken away from you by a God whom you don't understand, love, or want. It makes me ponder on people who don't have the doctrine of our church, those who believe that our mortal existence is it. The rage and feeling of being wronged that rush through Orual I imagine is similar to those who have lost a loved one without a knowledge or testimony of a life after death. In this book, Psyche is really not heard of again, she is referenced all through-out but she has become a Goddess, while Orual is faced with a life without her, still debating whether or not her sister has become mad and deranged, perhaps an object of some cruel prank of the Gods. She is forced to continue her life "purposeless," with Psyche never far from her mind, but always far from her being. Orual dons a veil and becomes the Queen of her kingdom, she becomes one of the greatest rulers of the time, solving the problems of the lands, uniting kingdoms, enlightening her subjects, all behind a mask.
You can see there are just hundreds upon hundreds of ideas and themes in this book. I don't even think I can start to scratch the surface of this book. I think Nick told me he has read this book multiple times, and will continue to read it. I think that might become one of my goals as well. The book really is fantastic, it a book that needs multiple reads and a book that won't stop giving. I think the book has that ability to relate to anyone at any point in their life, as it is a tale of love lost, of faith renewed, of redemption, and to a life not wasted on the past. Also it's a fast read.
P.S I know that most of my friends and family are English majors, so tread lightly and understand, I am not.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
A Psalm of Life
What the heart of the young man said to the psalmist
Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! — For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life, Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act,— act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o’er life’s solemn main, A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.
What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist
Tell me not, in mournful numbers, "Life is but an empty dream!" For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; "Dust thou art, to dust returnest," Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow Finds us farther than to-day. Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave. In the world's broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life, Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife! Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act,--act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o'erhead! Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time; Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o'er life's solemn main, A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again. Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing Learn to labor and to wait.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
These are some pictures from the show, it opened on the 14th with a little awards ceremony, which they changed up a little this year. They awarded Art Department Merit Awards and Honorary Merit Awards. The categories were judged by the faculty whether or not to be put into the show, then they were judged according to merit. I am happy to announce I got 2 pieces in, both in the printmaking category. The first one is called, "How do you solve a problem like Maria," which is playing off of Alphonse Mucha's middle name Maria, it's a dry-point portrait of him.
The second piece is a big ol' self portrait done in the style of one of my heroes Chuck Close. It's entitled "Chuck Close but no Cigar," this one was done with a hard ground on the plate then the plate was dropped into an acidic solution and etched. It took about 2 months to do, and was extremely frustrating, but hey it got in the show so it can't be all that bad. My good friend Chris loaned me a frame from his BFA show, which was extremely nice of him.
These are just some detail shots of the piece, each square is a quarter inch by a quarter inch. The plate is 18 inches by 24 inches, so a ridiculous amount of squares. Each square then has a certain amount of lines drawn into them to show a shade of value, so when you zoom out you get an image.
I have to really thank Carla for teaching me all of these techniques and letting me run free with them, not sure if she is glad she did that, but either way I'm very grateful for her. Even though she has told me many a time, that I got into the student show based off actually having decent pieces, not because we are friends, I think she was extremely nice to put them in the show. (Also she had other faculty come down and help her a little with judging, so she wouldn't come off as biased, which just restates her professionalism and how seriously she takes art) Plus she is just like super mean all the time so it's nice to have something almost maybe sort of appease her. (kidding kidding.........well a little.)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This is a quick I'm not sure if its a portrait, but its a painting of one of my heroes Ben, he is an amazing designer, and a pretty solid friend.
Ben graced us with his presence on the fourth, and in honor of this thug doing so well in Cali, I painted him a quick picture.
P.S I found this image from our little trip to NYC.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
So after that master copy, I thought I would give it a shot, and um, here it is I guess. This is my first time really trying to combine the loose-ness of my oil painting and my digital painting. So be gentle. I am still a lot looser in my oils, but in avoiding the photo-rendering, I found myself smiling.
I got really really frustrated today so I did a quick master copy study. He was referenced by someone on CGHub, so I googled him and just grabbed one and copied it. This took about an hour, so it's not 100 percent there, but just something to get me motivated.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Sketch number 1
Sketch number 2
Just a project on how, people get absorbed into the book they are reading, on how that is where you sometimes find the happiness you need. I guess I kind of want it to feel like it's an escape from your normal life. Sketch 1 felt a little stiff, so we went all Mucha on it.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
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