Portfolio > Digital Paintings

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Digital_Cintiq 16_PhotoShop_Hard Pencil
Hardcopy size: about 22" x 30"

"Foam," "Ether," "Sunflowers in Moonlight," "In These Metal Days," "Hemera," "Form," and "Format" depict the primeval forces of the ancient Greek religion. I used "The Homeric Hymns" and Hesiod's "Theogony" as my sources. (Please see my commentary about "Sunflowers in Moonlight" for more information about these primeval forces).

"Foam," "Form," and "Format" are related. "Foam" is a version of "Form," and "Form" is a version of "Format." The working of these three artworks seemed like a printmaking process, but instead of getting three states from one plate, I got three different, virtual plates! Although these three works are intimately connected, I think only of "Foam" as part of my cycle of artworks about the ancient Greek primeval forces and primordial gods.

These three drawings are more psychedelic than my other digital artworks about the gods: swirls and frenetic line work and hallucinatory colors coalesce into the form of the nude, artistic correlatives of ancient Greek ideas about cosmic creation. (See my entry for "Sunflowers in Moonlight" for more about this ancient Greek idea about creation). (See also "Form" and "Format" for more about the visual ideas). But only for "Foam" did I add full-color and white. I was curious about what white and white-tinted colors would look like against the black environment and day-glo colors of "Form." The results were crazy psychedelic! I was happily surprised!

Only when I was almost done with "Foam," did I have some sort of inkling as to why I was drawing this nude and who I was drawing. As the white and tinted-white colored lines accumulated and made a frenetic web, they reminded me of sea foam after a wave crashes. I then thought about Botticelli's Venus born on the waves of an azure sea. "That's it!" I said to myself, "I'm drawing Venus! No! I preferred her much older Greek counterpart and wanted it to be about her, someone more primeval, Aphrodite!"

Long after I completed "Foam," I started reading "The Homeric Hymns" and Hesiod's "Theogony." In the "Hymns" Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus, but in "Theogony" Aphrodite is far older than Zeus: she was born from the castrated genitals of Ouranos (Heaven and the father of the Titans) mixed with sea foam (Aphros). Somehow I divined this story without knowing anything about it beforehand. This realization gave me goosebumps and hit me like a tidal wave. I said to myself, "Wow! What a coincidence!" And then I remembered something Carl Jung said that had always sent shivers down my spine: "There are no such things as coincidences." More shivers! Synchronicity? Messages from another plane of existence? God? Or merely coincidence? Ah! The possibilities!