The Second World

"The Second World" by Todd Powelson

“The Second World” by Todd Powelson

I’ve never considered myself to be a wildlife artist, even though I love being out in Nature. Not that there isn’t really a lot of good wildlife artwork out there, but making it was just never my thing. But there are plenty of really great artists out here in the west, and one of my favorite museums to visit is the Buffalo Bill Art Museum up in Cody Wyoming. And it is very very western.

I guess I’ve always been more interested in abstraction and geometry. And yet, I really enjoyed making the pictures above. This diptych. The elk, the wolves, the mountains, sky and snow. Man, they were fun to draw!

I’ve never really seen wolves out in the wild. They are incredible animals, but I have never seen one. I have encountered many elk though, and they are magnificent. I’ve come across them while hiking on Montana trails. I’ve also watched herd of elk running and buggeling through western meadows many times. Such an amazing sight.

One time, my car broke down in the middle of somewhere Wyoming late at night. Although I was miles from any mark of civilization and it’d take a while, I decided to walk back to a gas station I’d passed a bit earlier, and after walking for an hour or more I came to this crossroads. There were some bushes next to me right by the side of the road and I heard something moving around in them. Suddenly these huge antlers rose up and out of those bushes, and then the rest of the elk. Right next to me, in the dark night, under the Wyoming stars and sky.. I could have reached out and grabbed that elk’s nose! But I didn’t. We just kind of looked at each other for a second (which seemed like forever), and then I crossed the road (as calmly as I could), while it stood there watching me go. It was pretty amazing to stand so close to such a powerful animal.

Anyway, I love animals! And the Second World is the animal world.

Check it out, I have added a shopping cart to my personal website, www.toddpowelson.com. If you’re interested, you can buy a high quality canvas print of these two digital paintings there:

www.toddpowelson.com | elk-canvas-print

www.toddpowelson.com | wolves-canvas-print

Ancient Venus Figures

Venus of Willendorf

Venus of Willendorf

Venus of Dolní Věstonice

Venus of Dolní Věstonice

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while… or at least start collecting images of these Venus clay figurines.

I love Stone Age artwork, and these Venus figures are among the oldest, created between 33,000 and 9,000 BCE. There are examples of these figures found all over Europe and Asia, but especially in France, Russia, and Germany.

There are many many of these sculptures, but I wanted to at least start my image collection here on ArtDuh.

Probably the most famous Venus is the Venus of Willendorf (image above). At least that is the first figurine I remember seeing way way back when. Then there is the Venus of Dolní Věstonice (top right image), which is especially interesting because it has a child’s fingerprint embedded in the clay. There are so many beautiful examples I guess I won’t try to write about each individual one.

Most of these are sized to about 4″ tall. Its not really known why they were made, but they probably had some sort of religious/spiritual function.

That reminds me, although they were created much more recently, I was so surprised to see so many goddess figures at the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit I went to about a year ago. Walls and walls of these little goddess, and all from Isreal. I was happy to see that the ancient Jewish faith incorporated the goddess into their faith, but also bummed that today she isn’t represented at all in Judeo/Christian religions. So very strange how that all changed…

Venus of Lespugue

Venus of Lespugue

Venus of Laussel

Venus of Laussel

Venus of Hohle Fels

Venus of Hohle Fels

Uncovered in Zaraysk, Russia

Uncovered in Zaraysk, Russia

Venus of Moravany

Venus of Moravany

Venus of Parzadzik

Venus of Parzadzik

Venus of Savignano

Venus of Savignano

Venus de Brassempouy

Venus de Brassempouy

Venus of Kostenki

Venus of Kostenki

Yeliseevichi Venus

Yeliseevichi Venus

Happy New Year!

l1-648x1345

I’ve said before that the Hermit Tarot card always reminds me of Father Time, winding down the old year, and bringing in the New Year. I’ll post another Hermit this year, this time from Led Zeppelin IV (which is basically the Hermit from the Rider Tarot Deck), and wish you a very Happy New Year!

Swimming with Niki de Saint-Phalle

Niki de Saint-Phalle - "Nana" - 1968

Niki de Saint-Phalle – “Nana” – 1968

Its just been a number of quick posts this last month, but that is a-okay. I enjoy seeing images more than anything else really. And today I am looking at the work of Niki de Saint-Phalle. Her work has been showing up for me in random places all week really. In different books. In my email inbox. I’ve paid attention… maybe because its kind of cold here in Utah and I’d like to spend some time with her and her people swimming in the warm ocean.

www.nikidesaintphalle.com

 

Niki de Saint-Phalle - "Bathers or Dancers" - 1980-81

Niki de Saint-Phalle – “Bathers or Dancers” – 1980-81

Niki de Saint-Phalle - "Nana Star" - 2000

Niki de Saint-Phalle – “Nana Star” – 2000

Hunters in the Snow

"Hunters in the Snow" by Pieter Bruegel "The Elder" , 1565

“Hunters in the Snow” by Pieter Bruegel The Elder, 1565

Today was the first real snowfall of the season in Salt Lake valley. I found myself in the canyons walking through some flurries in November, but still, no real snow. Even now, I suppose the valley didn’t get too much. But the hills got a fair amount earlier this morning.

Even though it wasn’t coming down to hard today on my walk (it was just sticking to the ground), I did enjoy taking my dog up into the hills. I like the way the trees, valley and streams look in the winter.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking of Pieter Bruegel‘s painting “Hunters in the Snow” for various reasons. I like to look at it, and it seems like a great day to post it here on ArtDuh.

Bye Bye, Reuel’s

Going Out Of Business

Going Out Of Business

I learned the other day that the local Salt Lake City art supply store, Reuel’s, is going out of business and will be gone for good after Christmas Eve. This makes me kinda sad.

When my family first moved here to Utah, before I was able to drive, I remember hoping on my bike and riding everywhere. I rode that bike all over, but my usual destination was either Comics Utah (they were in a little shop in Sugar House at the time), or Reuel’s.

Back then I’d usually pick some fancy mechanical pencil, colored pencils, brushes, or one of my many many sketchbooks. But what I really loved were their art books. I’d spend a lot of time flipping through those, especially the ones that had reproductions of ancient symbols. As I got older, I bought more and different supplies, always from Reuel’s (if I was able and they had it in stock. If not, I went to Zims, who has also gone out of business recently). Canvas, clay, paint, paint, paint, paint, pastels, markers, paint, easels, paint, additional sketchbooks, and even more fancy-ass mechanical pencils.

I guess with this post I want to say “so long, and thanks for all the fish!”

www.reuels.com