Art and Magick of Austin Osman Spare

The soul is the ancestral animals. The body is their knowledge.

- Austin Osman Spare

Austin Osman Spare was a magician and artist whose work and theories are very interesting to me because of the way he blends the two and finds a certain power there. He is definitely attracted to and influenced by the Symbolist painters of the ninteenth century, but Spare takes it to an even more personal level. He was born in Yorkshire, but moved to London at a young age. Trained as a painter and draftsman, he also worked as an illustrator and book-plate designer. Like a lot of his contemporaries, Spare became interested in Theosophy, and that was probably where his quest for occult knowledge began. He had a number of exhibitions in England, which were all well received, up to a point. There was a backlash, and some people thought his artwork was just too bizarre and unhealthy, as some people always do. Spare also began to publish his own books and grimoires. I first became familiar with Spare’s work through my interest in Surrealism, because there is a very strong and profound overlap, although I think that his theories and ideas developed independently.

Although I won’t go into it much here I am very interested in his ideas, philosophy, and writings. Artistically, his line work can’t be beat. I like most of his work, but am especially drawn to his automatic drawings and sigils. The way he blends text with imagery is very interesting, and his bookplates are exceptional.

The means used and the way it happens are simple, the inverse of scientific. I use a formula, created by instinctive guess and *arbitrarily* formed, not evolved by hypothesis and experiment. The law of sorcery is its own law, using sympathetic symbols.

- Austin Osman Spare

hermetic.com/spare

They Live!

There is another Presidential debate tonight…

I’ve mentioned the movie here before, but watching news coverage of this election season brings to mind the movie They Live.

So tonight, as we reflect upon the leadership of this fine country, its important we all remember:

No Independent Thought
Money Is Your God
Submit and Conform
Stay Asleep and Watch TV
Buy and Consume
OBEY

“Father!”

“Frankenstein’s Monster” by Todd Powelson

I like this spooky season, partly because I feel justified in posting my illustration of Frankenstein’s monster. I finished this years ago, but I’m still really happy with it. Especially when October rolls around.

It’s Adobe, Duh!

Today my interview was posted and I had artwork was featured on Adobe’s Creative Layer blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Check it out :)

blogs.adobe.com/creativelayer/creative-spotlight-todd-powelson-on-adobe-touch-apps

facebook.com/AdobeTouch

twitter.com/AdobeTouch

Pretty cool!

I Have A Secret

Cat Palmer has been putting together a show that will go on display this Friday at the Gray Wall Gallery in the Salt Lake Arts Hub. She was telling me about it a few weeks ago, and I am looking forward to checking out the artwork. It is such a great idea, and a group of very talented participating artists. Be sure to stop in and take a look!

Here is what Cat has to say about “I Have A Secret”:

Since 2010, I have been collecting the secrets of women from all over the nation for an empowering and rare exhibit, this October. The secrets (all submitters staying anonymous) will give insight into the profound, sad, deeply personal, and often time’s quirky world of hundreds of different women from hundreds of different backgrounds…

The exhibit will include original artwork inspired by the anonymous secrets, from a select few of my favorite artists.

In addition to my own pieces, I am pleased to present the outstanding work of: Cassandra Barney, Alison Armstrong, Melissa Peck, Zuzanna Audette, Erica Houston, Desarae Lee, and Stefanie Dykes.

Opening reception information:

Gray Wall Gallery (at the “Hub”)
663 west 100 south
6:00-10:00pm
October 19, 2012

The show will remain hanging until November 8th.