Portfolio > Digital Paintings

* To enlarge, click over the image's upper right corner *
* For commentary about this painting, scroll down *

In These Metal Days
In These Metal Days
Digital_Cintiq 16_PhotoShop_Hard Pencil
Hardcopy size: about 22" x 30"

"In These Metal Days," "Sunflowers in Moonlight," "Hemera," "Ether," "Foam," "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).

I'm thinking about Erebos, Nyx, and Hemera. As in "Hemera," I represent Hemera in this picture, too. The kind of light is not ambiguous as it is in "Hemera;" In "In These Metal Days," Hemera represents sunlight only.

I'm also thinking about Adam and Eve, before their fall: the garden, bright blue skies, and pleasantly colored dancing clouds. Seeing the moon in daylight always seems a little out of place, making its presence all the more magical. And the delicate contrail, some might see as prosaic, but I see it as a bit of pure poetry.

Often in Western European representations of Adam and Eve, of nudes generally, artists covered their nudes' genitals with fig leaves, or would in some other way hide or obscure them. Not here! Instead, fig leaves and the fig tree serve as a lush backdrop to highlight this sensual couple's gorgeous bodies. Just like depictions of Greek gods by Greek and Roman sculptors, I use physical beauty to indicate their divinity.

Since I'm exploring the personifications of primordial forces and entities, I thought my characters should be unclothed. I didn't want to depict my Greek gods wearing togas and flowing robes. The ancient Greeks might have worn such clothes, but I wonder if their overuse by artists since trivializes and diminishes the Greeks' far-reaching ideas about cosmic creation. I think such garb just reinforces the idea that they belong only to the past. I didn't want to dress them in modern attire either because this, too, would date them. I think nudity takes them out of time and makes them ever present, eternal.

I often listen to music when I make these artworks. "In These Metal Days" is a line from a Brian Eno song called "No One Receiving." I wonder if Eno might be referring to the ancient Greek era of human existence that was "good" and "pure?" Well, I am! "The Age of Gold." In his "Works and Days," Hesiod used metals to indicate the various ages, in chronological order, from rare and lustrous to common and lackluster, they are: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Iron. At the time he wrote about these "ages," Hesiod thought he was living in the Age of Iron.