A Dream of Osiris

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osirisDreams can be pretty important. Maybe not always, but they certainly can be.

I don’t often remember my dreams. Sometimes, but not all that often. About a year ago I had a dream about Osiris and his family. It came at me out of the blue really. I have a very deep interest in mythology, but I’ve never really looked too deeply into Egyptian mythology, but just have what I think of as a sort of hi-level familiarity with it really. Anyway, I hadn’t thought about the dream a whole lot since, to be honest. A little bit, from time to time, but not a lot. This last week though, for whatever reason, the dream has haunted me and I think about it almost all the time.

1373320719_osiris_egyptian_godI think of the beginning of the dream in particular, it started with Osiris being murdered by his brother, his body bleeding green in the dirt, with flowers and vines growing through that green blood.

I keep thinking about that image. It just struck me again, like I say, about a week ago. It seems like I’ve got to do something with that dream vision. I don’t know what to do yet, or how to do it, but… Until I am able to, until I catch up on other artwork and projects, I guess I’ll have to just let the idea percolate even more and post a few images here on ArtDuh.

Amen.

Ra-Amen-Ka.

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Oh, as I was concluding there I remembered a book I read a few years ago that I thought I’d share… kind of a loose interpretation of The Egyptian Book of the Dead (as it’s come to be known. Traditionally known as The Book Of Going Forth By Day), called Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Awakening Osiris isn’t meant to be a literal and exact translation, but I did enjoy it quite a bit.

Also, I just remembered this story from earlier this year too.

Secret Wars


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Secret-Wars-1-Marvel-Comics-All-New-Avengers-NowMarvel Comics is doing some very cool stuff in all of their books, and all of those books tie into their newest event, Secret Wars. All of their comics, all of their stories, are truly in a state of limbo right now… but that allows the creative people working on those comics try all sorts of new and interesting things.

I used to avoid the larger comic publishers for years and years, often because of their product-wide events, but when Jonathan Hickman started writing the Avengers and New Avengers a few years ago it kind of revived my interest in Marvel in general. Hickman is one of my favorite comic writers and is also the author of the main Secret Wars title. And it has been great to see how what he did in his Avengers books led directly into what he is doing now with Secret Wars, and how what he is doing now affects the future direction of Marvel Comics, their characters, and the fictional universe at large. Damn, its been so good!

I guess I should say that I will probably have spoilers from here on out.

kneel-before-doom-bf599Marvel is making some big changes and updates to their whole line of books. Its normal for comic publishers to do this from time to time because after a few years, a character’s storyline can become convoluted. The more support characters you add, and the more writers you get working on those characters, the more convoluted it can become. Then trying to merge all of these characters into one common universe that might have hundreds of creative people working on and developing each month… well, I expect that can be hard to manage. One way that writers sometimes avoid creating problems and inconsistencies in these characters is to place them into a new and alternate fictional universe. Related to the original, but slightly and intentionally different. An alternate universe where the writer can explore new ideas without having to worry about how it’ll affect everything else their comic book publisher might be putting out or the long history that has come before. Over time, this can become convoluted and confusing too. Up until Jonathan Hickman’s work on the New Avengers, Marvel had an almost infinite number of these universes. It was what came to be known as the Marvel multiverse.

In the New Avengers, Hickman began to destroy that multiverse. In New Avengers story, these different universes started to overlap and sort of phase together until they destroyed one another. There were ways to save each separate universe, but not without destroying the overlapping alternate earth.

Like I said, spoilers…

With only a handful of worlds and universes left, it is discovered that a race of god-like beings called the Beyonders are responsible for the destruction of the multiverse. A number of different Marvel characters confront the Beyonders trying to stop them and, although most of them fail and are killed off, in the end the Beyonders are stopped by Doctor Strange, Molecule Man, and Doctor Doom.

secretwars2This final battle ends up destroying the multiverse, but also allows Doctor Doom to steal the Beyonders power. With that power, Doom is able to salvage and save pieces of those final alternate earths and creates a new earth out of them called Battleworld, with Doctor Doom becoming a sort of demiurge god.

The surviving pieces of these alternate earths each have different rules and rulership. Because they each come from alternate universes, you might see multiple versions of individual Marvel characters you’ve known over the years. For instance, there is a whole geographical location pieced from the Marvel Zombie universe, with its own Spider-man, Iron Man, and Hulk. The Marvel Zombies might be next to a chunk from the world Planet Hulk (a.k.a. Greenland). And the overall Battleworld is policed by the Thor Corp, an army of alternate versions of Thor. Maybe it just sounds too strange, and maybe I just think it because I grew up reading Marvel comics, but it is really cool and well done.

Very highly recommended!

This Secret Wars shake-up is only half-way through right now, but will culminate sometime in the fall. I don’t know how the Marvel universe will look once it is done, but we can already see hints in their newest marketing. One thing that is sure, the X-men and mutants in general will play a much smaller role going forward. And so will the Fantastic Four. Probably because Marvel sold their movie rights years ago and can’t get them back, so now they are downplaying them in the comics. Corporate decisions, who knows…? Like I say, I don’t know how the rest will play out, but if the last few years are any indication, it’ll still be pretty damn cool!

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OriginalSecretWarsCoverThe first Secret Wars was a Marvel event that happened in the 80s when I was a kid. In that event, specific Marvel heroes were snatched up and teleported to another Battleworld created by a child Beyonder. I loved that book so much as a kid, although now it is hard to read and not nearly as enjoyable as an adult. Still, this 2015 Secret Wars event is a sort of homage to that older event, and that’s cool…

Geek out!

Fare Thee Well (Part 2)

"Fare Thee Well, Chicago 2015" - by Andrew Jones

“Fare Thee Well, Chicago 2015″ – by Andrew Jones

I thought I’d do a follow-up post featuring Android Jones‘ second picture commemorating these very last Grateful Dead shows in Chicago. I like this artwork too, and you can also purchase this as a limited edition print on Jones’ website (it looks like last weeks prints may have sold out):  androidjones-obtain.com/products/fare-thee-well-chicago

Fare thee well. Thanks again to the Grateful Dead for all the fine music over the years!

Fare Thee Well

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It was the summer between 8th and 9th grade that I bought my first Grateful Dead cassette tape, Wake of the Flood. I guess that would have been in 1985. My old friend, Ben Schmidt, had been sharing some of his records with me around that time too and I was starting to become a bit of a Deadhead. On that first cassette I remember there was a sticker saying “20 Years So Far”. It’s very hard for me to believe I bought that over 30 years ago, and now the Grateful Dead are turning 50 this summer.

Since then, I’ve owned and listened to more Grateful Dead music than I care to admit. I probably listened to them pretty much exclusively (with a little Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath sprinkled in there from time to time. Oh, and Jimi too. Jimi Hendrix was and is still a constant musical companion) up until I discovered Jane’s Addiction. Ha! I guess I was a classic rock geek for a long time there. I saw my first Grateful Dead show out in Colorado at 19 years old… And my last show in 1995, although I don’t remember for sure if that last show was in Las Vegas or Salt Lake (the concerts both took place pretty close to each other). In between that first and last show I probably saw them some 30+ times…

Thinking about all this makes me both sad and very happy at the same time. Sorta sad thinking on how fast time goes by, but happy as hell thinking about great memories, good times, and such fantastic music.

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I don’t know all of the details, and haven’t seen the footage yet, but from what I understand an artist I’ve sort of followed for close to 15 years helped put together some of the artwork and multimedia that was used during the Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary concert last night (6/27/15). I guess it was projected behind the stage as the band performed.

Andrew (Android) Jones has kind of made a name for himself over the years with his “live” performance painting (among other things). He’s made artwork for a number of different musicians that gets projected and incorporated. I look forward to seeing what he painted for the Grateful Dead during their show. So cool! It’s been great to watch Jones’ success over the years.

Android also made the artwork at the top of this post to celebrate these farewell/anniversary Grateful Dead shows. If you like the artwork at the top of this post, you can buy it from Android’s website by clicking the link below.

androidjones-obtain.com

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Brokedown Palace
by the Grateful Dead

Fare you well my honey
Fare you well my only true one
All the birds that were singing
Have flown except you alone

Going to leave this broke-down palace
On my hands and my knees I will roll roll roll
Make myself a bed by the waterside
In my time, in my time, I will roll roll roll

In a bed, in a bed
By the waterside I will lay my head
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

River gonna take me
Sing me sweet and sleepy
Sing me sweet and sleepy
All the way back back home
It’s a far gone lullaby
Sung many years ago
Mama, mama, many worlds I’ve known
Since I first left home

Going home, going home
By the waterside I will rest my bones
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

Going to plant a weeping willow
On the banks green edge it will grow grow grow
Sing a lullaby beside the water
Lovers come and go, the river roll roll roll

Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

www.youtube.com/BrokedownPalace

Sphinx

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“Sphinx” by Todd Powelson

I thought I’d add a couple of quick sketches I did this week of the sphinx. I love drawing her, and am happy with how these look…

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“Sphinx” by Todd Powelson

The Fifth World

"The Fifth World" - by Todd Powelson

“The Fifth World” – by Todd Powelson

I may be wrong, but I expect this digital painting might seem kinda strange to some people. With this nude dude running across the piece, and these brightly colored rainbow bodies running uncomfortably close with him… But this painting isn’t about ascension,  as the rainbow body might normally imply. Instead, this piece is showing the descent of the soul/spirit/mind down into a physical body. When I draw, I am sometimes trying to work out through my artwork an idea or philosophy that has been on mind, and this idea of our descent into matter is something I seem to return to again and again (and again!).

I struggled with this piece. I had a number of false starts, one in particular that I spent a lot of time developing, drawing… and I was pretty happy with it… but then, one day while walking, the image above just sort of floated in front of my minds eye and I knew this was it. This was a better expression for the idea, so I started over.

It is usually hard for me to talk about the artwork I make. The picture should say it all, right? Francis Bacon said, “It’s always hopeless to talk about painting – one never does anything but talk around it”. Even though I get his point, I don’t know that I believe it is completely true, so I will try to explain some of what I was thinking the best I can.

In ancient Egypt, there was the idea that the human soul was made up of five different parts. These different parts, when combined with the physical body, are what make up a human being. Now, I don’t think I was literally trying to represent this Egyptian idea, but I am bringing it up because I’m sure this concept was lurking around in the back of my mind while I was drawing. I could see an overlap with what I was creating…

… And I was creating, like I said above, a picture of the soul’s decent into matter and the physical world.

In Asia, it was/is thought there are five different elements that combine and make up everything we see. Of course, in the western tradition we typically only recognize four (earth, water, air, and fire). That missing fifth element is sometimes called wood, sometimes called life, and sometimes called spirit. I represented that spirit in the grey human form that surrounds and encompasses the other colors or “bodies”.

The other colors or “bodies” represent the more physical and classical elements… the elements which literally do create each individual physical body. Red is fire. Fire in the mind, the fire in our heart, electrical and nervous systems. And it shows an external fire too… How does that old song go? “We are stardust, billion year old carbon. Well, I guess we really are…  elements created and forged in star fire, exploded into space and eventually ending up here. The lighter blue body is the air we breathe, the air that circulates through our blood. The darker blue is water and rivers inside each of us. And the main and most obvious running body is the earth… the meat suit. What we tend to see when we look at each other. All of these combine to make us. And the body is running because that is what it’s for. It seems to me that the body is a kind of vehicle that the spirit uses to run around in.

I’m not the greatest writer I know, but that was some of what I was thinking on while I was painting. And all of that is The Fifth World.

You can buy this as a high quality 24″ x 16″ canvas print through my website by visiting www.toddpowelson.com

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