Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Year of the Dragon 2012

Part of the series Divided Dragon. Demon Eyes 5"x7"
I have heard that the most popular tattoo worldwide is a traditional eastern style Chinese Dragon. Who knows if this is true. This tattoo is said to embody strength power and good luck. In China, the Dragon has been the the bringer of rain, hurricanes and floods as well as the national emblem of the emperor.  Some scholars believe that the Chinese dragon form originated from totems of different tribes in China. Huangdi, the first Emperor of China used a snake for his coat of arms. According to the myth, every time he conquered another tribe, he incorporated his defeated enemy’s emblem into his own, this may explain why the dragon appears to have features of various animals. Separating mythology from a China’s politics has been challenging in creating this series.
The series Divided Dragon is a tribute to the 9 animal resemblances of the dragon in Chinese mythology as documented by The Han Dynasty scholar Wang Fu :
“... as to the nine resemblances, they are the following: his horns resemble those of a stag, his head that of a camel, his eyes those of a demon, his neck that of a snake, his belly that of a clam, his scales those of a carp, his claws those of an eagle, his soles those of a tiger, his ears those of a cow. Upon his head he has a thing like a broad eminence (a big lump), called chimu. If a dragon has no chimu, he cannot ascend to the sky.” 
You can see the rest of the of this series here
On view at The Bennington Arts Guild 103 South Street, Bennington, VT. reception May 12, 5-8 pm

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Ergot. 8"x10" or classique on panel. My painting for the show Made in Medway
Made in Medway: Exploring Medway’s Past Through Contemporary Art
is in partnership with the Medway Historical Society and The Stone Mill Art Gallery, both located in Medway, Massachusetts.
Participating artists chose one of a select number of historic artifacts related to the historic industries and livelihoods of Medway, Massachusetts, to respond to through a contemporary artwork.  These contemporary works will be on display at The Stone Mill Gallery from April 7 through June 8, 2012, with an opening reception to be held on Saturday, April 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

  Programming related to the exhibit includes a gallery talk with exhibit curator Kate Laurel Burgess-Mac Intosh on Saturday, May 5, at 6:00 pm, and a discussion with staff from the Medway Historical Society on Saturday, June 2, at 6:00 pm, both at The Stone Mill Gallery.  

From the collection, straw braids and hats from the 1880s got me thinking about Ergot.  something not in the collection, but a curious fungus effecting wheat and related grasses. certainly something farmers then and now deal with. Ergotism proves to be more that a painful trippy ride.

 From Wikipedia: 
 "Ergotism is the name for sometimes severe pathological syndromes affecting humans or other animals that have ingested plant material containing ergot alkaloid, such as ergot-contaminated grains. The Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony (monks) specialized in treating ergotism victims with balms containing tranquilizing and circulation-stimulating plant extracts. The common name for ergotism is "St. Anthony's Fire", in reference to monks who cared for victims as well as symptoms, such as severe burning sensations in the limbs. These are caused by effects of ergot alkaloids on the vascular system due to vasoconstriction of blood vessels, sometimes leading to gangrene and loss of limbs due to severely restricted blood circulation.
The neurotropic activities of the ergot alkaloids may also cause hallucinations and attendant irrational behaviour, convulsions, and even death.