8″ x 11″
oil on canvas
So the great beast himself, knocked out so to speak- Alla Prima- in a few hours . Not that I’m an acolyte you understand. Even Bowie stated something along the lines that one better know their Latin inside out, if one wants to be a Crowleyite.
No, what I liked about the photo it was taken from, was that indomitable spirit, defiant in the wake of decrepitude and darkness, the last embers of a pipe hanging limply over that jutting chin. It was also a nice way to whet my whistle and make a bloody mess before getting down to the meaty stuff-something I’ve missed quite honestly since the days when I was doing author portraits before gritting my teeth through the Man/son series.
It loosens the arm you see, making you less inclined to over finicking.
At any rate, if the main course has seemed slower to get off the ground this year, it’s only because of group exhibits and the ever prevailing need to hustle. Except to say, I shall be making an announcement shortly in regards of my next solo show- Paradiso’s Fall. So that drip is about to become a flood.
Speaking of indomitable spirits, someone I was honored to be introduced to by my artist friend Evgeniya Golik this past weekend was the artist, sculptor, architect and philanthropist James Hubbell. Nestled sedately in the hills of Santa Ysabel and a short ride from my own studio, his property is like a secret enclave that I can only describe as a kind of collusion of Hobbiton, with Art Nouveau, and Gaudian flourishes.
Actually, that doesn’t even begin to do it justice, its organic, metaphysical, psychedelic, just really odd, but what it is, is an awe inspiring embodiment of a lifetimes work, from an artist who has clearly lived, breathed and made a gallery of his entire existence since laying roots there in 1958.
Being escorted through building after building, each idiosyncratic in their singularity, illuminated with dappled stained glass and intricate allegorical mosaics, with studios filled to the brim with sculptures, paintings and drawings was utterly staggering in its prolific accomplishment. One could barely fathom it being the product of ten lifetimes, let alone one. That he had to rebuild four of the buildings following a brush fire in 2004 makes it all the more astonishing.
Now in his 80’s, he shows no sign of slowing down, and on a personal note, it was a welcome and humbling reminder that age need not dull the blade. That the life of the artist is at his or her best, when the very will, the mere act to create, supplants any other constraint. Material, imagined or otherwise.
You can learn more about this incredible man or about his foundation (and perhaps donate) from the following links:
On a not insignificant and final note, I have my dear friend and fellow artist Evgeniya Golik to thank for the invitation to meet James.
As you can see, she is a tremendous artist who having lived through Perestroika, manifests the indomitable spirit of the artist in her own right-and I’ll write more about Evgeniya in another post, but for the time being you can see (or purchase) her beautiful exquisite art from the following: