Fall Road

Fall Road – Acrylic/canvas – 28 x 44 inches.

In old Celtic tales, “summer goes to its rest” in autumn, and the “darker half of the year” begins. Here, a man and his dog walk along a deserted road. Everything looks innocent enough. That’s because the sun shines on trees and fields and cozy houses in the distance.

But it won’t be long before a special night arrives. Then, in darkness, invisible curtains that separate the worlds will open, and spirits from under trees and fields will stalk this road looking for souls who are alive.

The ancient Celts called this night “Samhain” and took care to dress up like monsters or animals to dissuade the spirits from the world below the earth from kidnapping them.

The man enjoys a warm afternoon stroll. Ever alert to danger, the dog senses something and stops to listen.

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The Polish Girl

“Bright and warm this morning under the awning of the café in the little plaza, the one with the playground and palm trees. No lindens here, or willows, but coffee smells as heavenly in this old Mediterranean port as it does at home. My gray city. Its name Spaniards find impossible to pronounce.

“Summer still feeling close this afternoon. It was fun posing without my dress for the painter from America. October. The first rain of Autumn. It’s cold without my sweater.

The Polish Girl – Watercolor – 14 x 17 inches.

“It must be colder at home. I’ll be back in time for the first snow. November. Too soon.

“Tomorrow I’ll put on the long-sleeved blouse, the white one, and walk to the café again for coffee. The American? In the afternoon I’ll paint my toenails blue, blue like the sky above the sea.”

Firecracker Flowers

Firecracker Flowers – Watercolor – 11 x 14 inches.

Throughout the history of human beings, flowers have had to bear the burden of being symbols of something other than merely being flowers. Angels, for instance, have not been able to simply exist as angels, but have also had to be symbols of invisible forces, messengers of various Gods, guardians of humans, et cetera.

Flowers suffer the same fate: Beauty and Spring and the Brevity of Life are obvious examples. Alchemists have called meteorites and shooting stars “Celestial Flowers.” (Have you ever wondered why there are so many paintings of peonies in Asian art? One reason is that peonies symbolize vulvas. There, now you know.)

Aside from the most obvious associations of yellow flowers with the sun and red flowers with passion and blood, my own favorite flower symbol is the “Mystic Center,” that is, an archetypal image of the Soul. But when I’m actually drawing and painting flowers, I never think of what they symbolize. I just try to honor their presence as beautiful gifts from somewhere that poke their paths out of dirt in search of sunlight, bringing moments of joy into the lives of their fellow creatures on this earth – us.

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