Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Oracle

The Oracle, acrylic, 24" x 30", 2013

This is my most recent painting, completed on November 1, 2013.

They Came From Within

They They Came From Within , acrylic, 12" x 16", 2013
(portrait of Randy Tessier)

This past August, I attended this three-day workshop with Amanda Sage @ Alex Grey's CoSM "Art Sanctuary" in Wappingers Falls NY. The CoSM house is a combination art gallery, event venue, learning environment, and guest house. It was a wonderful experience-- Amanda is a great artist, and she apprenticed for ten years with Austrian visionary artist Ernst Fuchs, one of the founders of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.

Fuchs paints with a method known as the "mischtechnik" (mixed technique), as used by 15th century painter Jan van Eyck among others. Painter Mati Klarwein (known to many as the cover artist for Santana's "Abraxas", Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew") also studied with Fuchs. Amanda Sage has also mastered this technique, and this was the focus of the workshop.

Traditionally, mischtechnik involves alternating layers of egg tempera with glazes in oil. Because of the short time frame of this workshop, most of us used acrylic paint-- technically not "misch" in the strictest sense, but the principal is essentially the same-- start with a darkish red over the whole canvas, develop forms in white, glaze with transparent color, and repeat as many times as necessary to get the desired effect.

There were some outstanding artists that participated in the workshop, and everyone was super-nice and supportive of each other. Amanda was very helpful and generous with her time, and a really positive force in general. All in all, it was a great experience-- it was difficult to leave and come back home!

Spending several days at Alex Grey's CoSM house was an amazing experience, incredibly inspiring (we stayed on-site, in one of the guest rooms upstairs). At CoSM you are surrounded by many of Alex's original paintings and sculptures, his art/metaphysical library, and much more.

Many thanks to Amanda, the other workshop participants, and to Alex for sharing his space with us.

Note: CoSM stands for Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. If you are not familiar with Alex Grey, I highly recommend a bit of research online. Ditto for Fuchs, Sage, and Klarwein.