Recently I got turned on by the stuff coming out of the old Czech republic. Artists like Max Pirner, Hanu Schwaiger, Gabriel Von Max and his monkeys as well as others who were all part of the Bohemian Renaissance. They viewed Death as glorious, gorgeous and unfettered by the usual doom and gloom that is associated with death portraits. Witness Von Max's moneky calmly checking out the skeleton on the right here. A stunning piece, wonderfully detailed. The monkey's face is so expressive and serene. It's as if the monkey is us -- checking out the end of life in a detached, yet honest manner. All the Bohemian artists used this remote manner in their work. They showed Death in a very different light - rich, colorful and honest in a frighteningly real way. I was reading over Marilyn Houlberg's Obit the other day. She was unfazed by Baron as well. She asked her assistant to build a glorious altar to Him in her studio. The assistant was also nonplussed about it, and did a fabulous job - check it out here. Perhaps, we all go to the Baron in the end willingly. Like a lover who has woo'd us our entire life, we succumb to his eternal kiss and swoon into his embrace at the end. I am probably procrastinating here, but I am not doing well in the 30 day challenge. I have a wedding to officiate this week, then a client's commission to complete. and the Lwa are begging for more of their own art. I may have to fold due to unseen circumstances - literally unseen. I noticed the leader of this challenge has withdrawn from Facebook, the better to concentrate on the Great Work. I applaud his self-motivation. Wish I could say the same. But I have an on-line course happening shortly, and I still have four videos to complete. Not to mention the second book manuscript that is in the works (175 pages down, 125 to go!). Where does the time go?
I did a better job with the underglaze than on the Ghede shrine. I used plain old DAP caulking. I slathered the surface with it, then use a piece of hard plastic to "stucco" the material across the surface. By dragging the plastic, I get a smear that leaves lots of bumps and ridges for the paint to pool in.
The sides and back look particularly fetching, in a decayed and morbid kind of manner. I did the colors in the Baron's style of blacks and violets. There are spirit arrows flying over it, and the crosses are stylized florals, with lots of edgy squiggles. A wash of cream and gold to give it the "rusted" look of an old tomb. I am still working on perfecting my 'verdigris' effect for that lovely mossy look I saw on the graves in New Orleans. Hell, maybe I should just glue moss directly on it - hmmmm.....
I love my little demon, hanging in space, playing his fiddle. And I am very happy with his Neo-Bohemian cornice, all awash in blues and violets. But it's still missing something. I think I must go find my skull box. Yes, I have a skull box and I am not talking about decor. It's filled with skulls. I go a little nuts at Halloween, collecting them. I stash them away, until I need something like now. Perhaps, a small gaggle of those bad boys at the bottom will help anchor the floating fiddle player.
Off to hunt down my Halloween stash - ever since I cleaned, I can't find anything. But I can't work in disorder, so it's fitting that I am doing these shrines at the moment. The Baron is an orderly dude. Most folks think he's all crazy, decaying and stuff falling off everywhere. Not. He's dapper, a dandy, the very epitome of decadence and morbidity. I will find some additional details to add in. Meanwhile, I have a wedding ceremony to polish, clothes to pack and a chime to locate.
Mambo's work is never done. Kwa!