Klimt’s Water Serpents

"Water Serpents I" by Gustav Klimt

“Water Serpents I” by Gustav Klimt

I’m still looking at the work of Gustav Klimt this week. I love the patterns and colors! Here is another quick post showing a couple more of his beautiful paintings.

"Water Serpents II" by Gustav Klimt

“Water Serpents II” by Gustav Klimt

 

Klimt’s Hygeia

"Hygeia" by Gustav Klimt

“Hygeia” by Gustav Klimt

A quick post of an image I wanted to see today. Gustav Klimt‘s piece Hygeia, above, is really a detail of a larger painting… but such a beautiful portrait!

Bowie

David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World

David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World

I’ve got to admit, the death of David Bowie has been on my mind a lot this week. More than expected, because I didn’t know him outside of his creative work. Of course, getting older means that you’ve seen too many people pass away… People you know, and people you don’t. I don’t think the passing of any other celebrity or musician has ever bothered me this much.

I read about David Bowie’s passing right before going to bed last Sunday, January 10th. After reading about it, I wasn’t able to get to sleep until after 3am. Strange. The news really bugged me. And then when I finally did get to sleep, I had a short dream that Bowie was visiting with me in my front room and then he walked out my front door. Also strange, but not too surprising. I guess it isn’t all that suprising he’s been on my mind off and on all week either.

It bothers me so much because David Bowie has always been there, releasing fantastic new work. There might’ve been gaps, but he’d always show up again with some creation new to enjoy. A movie, an interview, artwork, a concert and, most especially, new music.

I think I must have been 9 or 10 when Bowie first registered for me. My family was living in Taiwan at that time, and I remember we rented a Christmas special that had David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy. I don’t know why I have such a clear memory of that, but I do.

When I was 12 years old Bowie released his album Let’s Dance, and I bought and listened to that a whole lot. Getting that album had me going through and buying from his older catalog too. Scary Monsters stands out as one I really liked. But I became obsessed with Pin Ups, listening to that record over and over (and over). It wasn’t until later, when I was in High School maybe, that I found Hunky Dory, The Man Who Sold The World, and Diamond Dogs. Those three albums… Wowie-Zowie! Still my favorites! I think Diamond Dogs is among the greatest albums ever recorded. I remember in the mid-90s he released Outside, and that was another CD that I just couldn’t get enough of. Such great music. Then there was Heathen a few years later. Yep, Bowie was always there, releasing new stuff. I’ll miss that.

Of course, Bowie was not just a musician. He was an all-around performer. An actor, performance artist, visual artist, and more. Constantly challenging, redefining and reinventing himself.

Do you remember BowieNet? I used to go there all the time in the late 90’s for inspiration… In addition to David Bowie, there were some really great visual artists and musicians being showcased on BowieNet back then.

Kind of dumb memories, but I guess I’ll still share them. Why not? Back in 1997 I got my very first personal computer and printer. My very own. One of the first things I did with that was print out the artwork from The Man Who Sold The World (shown at the top of this post) as a heat transfer and put that on a t-shirt. I loved that t-shirt! Bowie’s Panic In Detroit was also the very first, and only, ring tone that I customized and added to my cell phone. I didn’t keep it for very long though because I was always bummed that I couldn’t listen to the whole song and had to answer my phone.

I remember watching David Bowie in concert on the boob-tube back in 2003 or 04 and being so impressed by his performance. Then there was this long silence. I missed him. I read that he’d had a heart attack… I missed him, but still had his music.

Now we have Blackstar, Bowie’s final gift. I know I’ll miss knowing he is out there, making new music, creating new things… but I appreciate the music and creativity he’s shared with (and inspired in) me already.

R.I.P. David Bowie

The Ninth World

"The Ninth World" by Todd Powelson

“The Ninth World” by Todd Powelson

First there was the Monad, alone, filling all space and time. The Monad divided itself in two, and became the Dyad. The Dyad would divide again, and again, an infinite number of times. Eventually creating the whole material universe we see now.

This is, basically, the creation story the Pythagoreans tell, and it seems like a good one to me. One singularity, filled with potential, exploding outward and becoming everything. It sounds pretty similar to the Big Bang to me. But instead of a fiery explosion, I personally tend to think of it more in biological terms… a good metaphor might be a single cell dividing itself over and over again to eventually become a larger organism. A larger universe?

This was on my mind when I created my newest artwork, shown at the top of this post. But I suppose I had more on my mind too…

I was also thinking of the Hindu god Brahman. Brahman contains everything: creation and destruction, male and female, good and evil, movement and stillness. Brahman is in you, and in me (in the individual, Brahman is called the Atman), and also in everything we can see. Brahman is everything, but is also known as the Trimurti, moving through the universe wearing one of three cosmic forms. Those three forms are Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.

I suppose I was also thinking about sounds and words. In many many creation stories, the very first universal event was a sound. A word. This sound has always made me think of wavelength… a sound vibration which creates geometry, a.k.a. cymatics. And I can’t say or write wavelength without thinking about the subatomic particles which create the geometry of the material world. Maybe that seems like a stretch, but it makes sense to my mind and imagination, and that is also why I added the sort of script-type-shapes into my artwork here as well.

And all of that together is the Ninth World.

You can buy this as a high quality 24″ x 16″ canvas print over at toddpowelson.com, or by emailing me at toddpowelson (at) comcast.net .

This is part of my “Songs from the Earth” series, and you can check out the rest of that artwork by clicking here.

Hello! I Luv U

Untitled-1

This year Sapphron and Scout wanted to give Warm Winter Wishes…

Happy Holidays!

Sometimes a Wild God

A friend sent me a link to this poem by Tom Hirons (below) a few months ago, and I’ve found myself going back to it from time to time to re-read it. I really love it. I’m sure you will too.

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Sometimes a Wild God

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.

When the wild god arrives at the door,
You will probably fear him.
He reminds you of something dark
That you might have dreamt,
Or the secret you do not wish to be shared.

He will not ring the doorbell;
Instead he scrapes with his fingers
Leaving blood on the paintwork,
Though primroses grow
In circles round his feet.

You do not want to let him in.
You are very busy.
It is late, or early, and besides…
You cannot look at him straight
Because he makes you want to cry.

The dog barks.
The wild god smiles,
Holds out his hand.
The dog licks his wounds
And leads him inside.

The wild god stands in your kitchen.
Ivy is taking over your sideboard;
Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades
And wrens have begun to sing
An old song in the mouth of your kettle.

‘I haven’t much,’ you say
And give him the worst of your food.
He sits at the table, bleeding.
He coughs up foxes.
There are otters in his eyes.

When your wife calls down,
You close the door and
Tell her it’s fine.
You will not let her see
The strange guest at your table.

The wild god asks for whiskey
And you pour a glass for him,
Then a glass for yourself.
Three snakes are beginning to nest
In your voicebox. You cough.

Oh, limitless space.
Oh, eternal mystery.
Oh, endless cycles of death and birth.
Oh, miracle of life.
Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.

You cough again,
Expectorate the snakes and
Water down the whiskey,
Wondering how you got so old
And where your passion went.

The wild god reaches into a bag
Made of moles and nightingale-skin.
He pulls out a two-reeded pipe,
Raises an eyebrow
And all the birds begin to sing.

The fox leaps into your eyes.
Otters rush from the darkness.
The snakes pour through your body.
Your dog howls and upstairs
Your wife both exults and weeps at once.

The wild god dances with your dog.
You dance with the sparrows.
A white stag pulls up a stool
And bellows hymns to enchantments.
A pelican leaps from chair to chair.

In the distance, warriors pour from their tombs.
Ancient gold grows like grass in the fields.
Everyone dreams the words to long-forgotten songs.
The hills echo and the grey stones ring
With laughter and madness and pain.

In the middle of the dance,
The house takes off from the ground.
Clouds climb through the windows;
Lightning pounds its fists on the table.
The moon leans in through the window.

The wild god points to your side.
You are bleeding heavily.
You have been bleeding for a long time,
Possibly since you were born.
There is a bear in the wound.

‘Why did you leave me to die?’
Asks the wild god and you say:
‘I was busy surviving.
The shops were all closed;
I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’

Listen to them:

The fox in your neck and
The snakes in your arms and
The wren and the sparrow and the deer…
The great un-nameable beasts
In your liver and your kidneys and your heart…

There is a symphony of howling.
A cacophony of dissent.
The wild god nods his head and
You wake on the floor holding a knife,
A bottle and a handful of black fur.

Your dog is asleep on the table.
Your wife is stirring, far above.
Your cheeks are wet with tears;
Your mouth aches from laughter or shouting.
A black bear is sitting by the fire.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.