… And More New Drawings

April 13, 2014 by


Dragon Dancing

Crowd of People

Crowd of People

Here are a couple of additional new drawings I just finished. Really only one piece, a diptych, over two pages.

Jan van Eyck’s Last Judgement

April 6, 2014 by


I’ve been looking at a lot of old religious artwork lately, and have been enjoying the work of Jan van Eyck especially. One piece in particular stands out, and that is his Last Judgement, pictured above. This incredible piece is really a part of a diptych, made up of two panels, called Crucifixion and Last Judgement. The truth is, it is the Archangel Michael in the middle of the Last Judgement that I just keep looking at (I just realized that I wrote about another painting of Michael not too long ago. So there ya go). With his peacock wings filled with eyeballs, holding hell at bay with his shield and sword. Pretty sweet!

"Last Judgement" detail

“Last Judgement” detail

New Drawings

March 30, 2014 by

"Taurus" - by Todd Powelson

“Taurus” – by Todd Powelson

"Leo" - by Todd Powelson

“Leo” – by Todd Powelson

This last week or two I’ve been doing some drawing, and here is what I’ve come up with. I often just let the drawings kind of reveal themselves to me as I go along, and with these four pieces I started drawing and pretty soon I saw the bull, so I went with it. Then a lion started to appear, so I let that one come on out too. Then I knew what I was drawing, although I wasn’t completely sure why.

The bull, lion, eagle and man often represent the fixed signs of the astrological zodiac… but more than that too. They are also the four different faces of the angelic cherubim, one of whom was the angel who kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and stands guard over the Tree of Knowledge with his flaming sword. Also, in Christianity, these four animals also represent the Four Evangelists. Thats what came out of my pen this week, although I can’t really say why. I guess I do love symbols, and these are ancient and powerful. Think the three different traditions and their usage of these symbols are connected? I’m pretty sure they are somehow :)

"Scorpio" - by Todd Powelson

“Scorpio” – by Todd Powelson

"Aquarius" - by Todd Powelson

“Aquarius” – by Todd Powelson

Lee Bennion & Brian Kershisnik

March 23, 2014 by
by Lee Bennion

by Lee Bennion

By Brian Kershisnik

By Brian Kershisnik

I had the pleasure of seeing some very nice painting this week here in downtown SLC. Specifically the beautiful work of Lee Bennion and Brian Kershisnik on display at the Mormon Church History Museum.

I’ll be honest, I don’t really like church-y stuff. I respect other peoples beliefs completely, but I don’t find any kind of organized religion to be a good fit for me personally so I tend to avoid. Yep, even the Salt Lake religious art museum. I know I live in Utah (and I love it here) so I’m going to come across church-y stuff sort-a regularly, and that’s okie dokie. Whatever floats your boat… plus, there is obviously a long history and so much fantastic religious art. But anyway, I know both Bennion and Kershinik to be very fine painters, and because I love to look at beautiful things I found myself in the official Church Museum®.

I’m very glad I stopped in and saw the pieces I’ve posted here, and many more (again, I apologize that my photos don’t do the work justice).

I’d recommend this show to anyone, so check it out!



By Lee Bennion

By Lee Bennion

By Brian Kershisnik

By Brian Kershisnik

By Lee Bennion

By Lee Bennion

By Brian Kershisnik

By Brian Kershisnik

By Lee Bennion

By Lee Bennion

Curiouser & Curiouser: The Artwork of James Christensen, Cassandra Barney & Emily McPhie

March 16, 2014 by

By James Christensen

By Cassandra Barney

By Cassandra Barney

I’d been meaning to go and see the artwork of James Christensen, Cassandra Barney and Emily McPhie at the Springville Art Museum for some time, and last weekend I finally made it. It was great to see so much work by this talented family collected in one place!

Rather than write too much more I think I will just post a number of the different pieces I enjoyed. I apologize that my photos don’t do the work justice, but this is a show you should see for yourself anyway :)


By James Christensen

By James Christensen

By Emily McPhie

By Emily McPhie

By Emily McPhie

By Emily McPhie

By Cassandra Barney

By Cassandra Barney

By Cassandra Barney

By Cassandra Barney

By James Christensen

By James Christensen

The Green Man

March 9, 2014 by


osirisI’ve been thinking a lot about plant people and will probably sit down to draw them soon. One of my favorite plant buddies would have to be the Green Man, god of the forest. I’ve already painted him a few times over the years, but yeah, he is starting to play in my imagination once again. This week, I’ve decided to post a few pictures of him throughout history.

2012-ZL-Greenman-WEBI’ve read that the first incarnation of the Green Man (that we know of) may have been the Egyptian god Osiris.  His body representing the land of Egypt as it goes through the winter months when he is murdered, dismembered, planted in the ground, only to rise again for harvest (with his skin a nice shade of green). The Green Man has certainly evolved since then, and has been represented throughout Europe, and even India and Asia to represent the guardian of Nature. Even the Catholic church couldn’t get rid of the Green Man, and his image can be found inside and incorporated into their medieval cathedral’s architecture, columns and stained glass.

green-man-bambergI love the Green Man. Branches and bark on his face and skin, leaves as his hair, with flowers and foliage growing out of his mouth.

I remember being very happy as a kid if he’d show up in one of the books I’d be reading. I may have initially encountered the Green Man the first time I read Tolkien, where the he was embodied by the Ent, Treebeard. I’ve come across him many times since, in comics (Yay Swamp Thing!), literature, artwork, sculpture, and out in the wild wood. He shows up all over the place, and if you keep your eyes open you will see him everywhere!

Some books and things:

The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest

Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness with the Earth

A Little Book of the Green Man (Little Books)

The Earth Has a Soul: C.G. Jung on Nature, Technology & Modern Life

Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1

The Green Man Tree Oracle: Ancient wisdom from the greenwood





"Fall" by Todd Powelson

“Fall” by Todd Powelson

"Green Man" by Todd Powelson

“Green Man” by Todd Powelson

Hide and Seek

March 2, 2014 by

“Hide and Seek” – by Pavel Tchelitchew

I found myself thinking about Russian Surrealist Pavel Tchelitchew‘s large painting called “Hide and Seek” today. I first came across the original painting many many years ago and was completely mesmerized. Back in college, it was also one of the color plates in a text book for one of my art history classes. One of my favorites, and I looked at it a lot.

I kind of forgot about the picture though, over time. But then today, while walking under some trees, it just suddenly came to mind. And here it is on ArtDuh for all to enjoy.

Floating Dragon with Sky Beast Clouds

February 23, 2014 by


A while back I was in the bookstore flipping through a book called Sacred Symbols and I came across this beautiful image of a blue dragon floating in a field of red. So beautiful! I knew I would draw it.. or something inspired by it anyway. I studied the lines, gestures and posture. Then I put the book down and walked away. I didn’t even want to learn the artists name or to see that picture again until my version was finished. I like to get an idea, walk away, and let it roll around inside my mind and imagination for a while. But those colors and lines… I like a lot of old Chinese painting and prints, and liked this one in particular.

I finished my Dragon, and you can click the image at the top of this post to see a larger version. I also went back to learn who did the picture that inspired my piece. I couldn’t find the specific picture of the dragon online, so I went back and bought the book. It turns out the artist is anonymous and the original piece was painted on silk sometime in the 16th or 17th century. I took a picture of the pages with my phone (not the best quality) and you can see that by clicking here.

Apollo and Daphne

February 16, 2014 by

Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1622-1625

I think the sculpture of Apollo and Daphne by Bernini may have been the very first piece of artwork that I ever really noticed. It was the first piece to really register, if that makes sense. And I didn’t even see the sculpture in person, but watched a film that featured the sculpture in it. I’m not sure, but I imagine I must have been in maybe 2nd or 3rd grade. I don’t know why I was even watching the film, but I did like reading the Greek myths especially back then.

The film portrayed the story of Daphne running away from Apollo, praying to the gods that she can somehow escape. Then it showed her skin becoming bark, branches growing from her fingers and hair, until finally she turned into a tree. Then the show ended with this sculpture. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized that the piece I saw in that film was this sculpture by Bernini. I do know that seeing the transformation played out on screen really disturbed me. Or maybe that’s the wrong word… it fascinated me.

I think about it from time to time. I also have drawn a number of dryads and other plant people over the years. Maybe this is why. Even now I see dryads and human forms playing in the trees.

I’m starting to think I might want to draw a few plant people again.

Saint Michael the Archangel

February 9, 2014 by

Archangel Michael

I went to the BYU Museum of Art down in Utah County last week. They get some good shows going through there from time to time, and I like to pay a visit when they do. I’ll probably write a bit more about it later, but I enjoyed their current exhibit called Sacred Gifts.

But first I wanted to post a picture of their painting called Saint Michael the Archangel, painted by an anonymous Spanish painter. I really like this picture but it is hard to explain why. Its a little off-kilter, and the face is sorta messed up (eyes especially), but man… I enjoy looking at it. Ha! Part-’o-the-appeal, maybe. I especially like the cloth and folds, colors, clouds, and cosmic breast-plate.

Good fun stuff!



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