Wednesday, January 27, 2010


My boyfriend has a good friend named Razzle whom I'm constantly running into at parties (sometimes by accident). At a recent party he happened to be naked, as one is at parties, and I found myself standing with him, feeling up his arm, and admiring various other attributes, having never before realized what a good looking guy he is! Naturally I asked him to come into the studio, and here is the result.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Four of Jade

My latest tarot card, the Four of Jade, with a few of the stock photos I took to make this painting.
I took several photos, perhaps about 10, using myself as a model - I just used a timer on my camera. I held the pillow in a variety of ways, knowing more or less what I as looking for, and then I selected my favorite pose to use for the drawing, in this case, the one in the center.

In this card, a young man sits on the parapet of a palace, with great jades upon his head and at his feet, and another held lovingly, or protectively in his arms. He is crowned with the turquoise diadem of kings and power, and his boots and belts are decorated with symbols of jewels and wealth. His gloves, however, are decorated with the cross-roads symbol, which represent dark paths and uncertain fates. At his feet is an open casket, in which are numerous cacao beans, which in the ancient Aztec world were used as currency.

This card represents possessions, holding tightly onto what one has, and jealousy of ones belongings. However, it also represents inheritance, gifts, and one's legacy; this card offers plenty, but warns against the seduction of the material.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Three of Staffs

The Three of Staffs, my latest tarot card, and the photo of myself I took as reference.
I am wearing a basket I bought in Laos, which is similar to the type used in ancient Mesoamerica. A young pochteca, or Aztec merchant, stands on the shores of a great lake, with great pyramids and a city in the distance. He is simply dressed for travel, and carries a back basket on his back, from which emerges a great fruit tree, the axis mundi, laden with fruit. The fruit tree held in the back basket is one of the symbols of Yacatecuhtli, the God Who Wanders, special patron of the pochteca, of those on journeys and on distant roads, and symbolizes the tree of shade he offers to the weary and the fruits of abundance he profers to the faithful. He holds a turquoise staff in his hand, crowned with the golden flower of fecundity, poetry and art, and two more stand beside him. In the distance three canoes laden with merchandise sail into the distance. The canoes are his, and carry his products to distant places. This card symbolizes effort, trade, enterprise, discovery, and fruitfulness visited from great effort. This is a card of success in commerce.

You can find this card on my website in the "Tarot" section, and in my ebay store.

The Eromenos

I spent the day working on another painting of my brother, this time as the Eromenos. This title is a play on words; in the classical tradition, the Eromenos was a young boy who was in love with an older man. In my painting, my brother plays the Eromenos, but it is with a god that he is in love; Eros, god of physical passion and sex (hence, both figures are in a sense the Eromenos). This painting also mixes my cultural heritage; in Aztec traditions, young men pierced their penises with a bone awl, bled on a piece of paper, and burned the bloody paper in a brazier. Through this penitential ritual, they called upon and could speak with the gods. Marcel has here completed this ritual; the brazier smokes in the background and paper strips lie at his feet, and the vision of Eros appears before him.
He is in a Mexican setting (or Californian!) with prickly pear in what might otherwise be a classical background. He wears the turquoise leggings and the golden fan of Yacatecuhtli strapped to his back. Yacatecuhtli is The God Who Wanders. He is the spiritual patron of those on journeys. Here, Marcelito wears his symbols for he is on a spiritual journey; the signs are a call to Yacatecuhtli to guide him on his path
This painting, unlike the tarot cards, was drawn from life over a period of a couple of days. Above, Marcel is sitting in the pose; the pose is pretty hard, so we held it for 10 minute intervals, with plenty of breaks.
A close up of the pose. You can check it out on my ebay store!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

At Work on the Tarot Deck

I finally started working on my tarot deck again - here are a couple of the newest. I usually draw from live models, but for the tarot deck I have been taking photographs of myself or my brother (when he is around) and basing the poses on the photos. I included both the finished painting and the photo, so you cold see something of my process.

The Two of Staffs.
This card features an Aztec emperor, crowned with the turquoise diadem and labret of power, stands on a temple parapet, overlooking his dominion. He holds a turquoise staff in his hand, crowned with the golden flower of art and poetry, and to the parapet is fastened another staff, painted with the crocodile skin pattern of the earth mother, lined with thorns, and crowned with a flint. The emperor holds a calendar in his hand, marked with the four directions and the four seasons, thus all of space and time. In the background is the sacred city of Tenochtitlan, rising above the lake, and in the distance the smoking volcano Popocatepetl. This card signifies the man who generates change, who sets things in motion, and awaits the result. He holds the turquoise staff, which suggests good fortune, but the thorned staff awaits nearby, for all is in balance, and has not yet been decided. This card councils patience, and offers guarded tidings of good things.

I am going to post this card to ebay on Friday - check it out!
The original photo. This is of my brother, and the lighting was bad, so its blurry! Good enough for my purposes, but not really to share with you. Sorry!
Knight of Staffs
This card is the Knight of Staffs, which corresponds to the knight of Wands in the standard tarot. Here the knight is a young traveling warrior, as indicated by his staff of turquoise and his back basket strapped to his forehead. He wears a deer helmet, for staffs are the sign of fire, and the deer is symbolic of the dry and dusty season. He carries a macuahuitl, the Aztec sword of wood and obsidian blades in his belt, but he does not use it, for though he is armed, he is not on a violent mission. In his basket is an open casket, for this card is symbolic of absence. He wanders through a desert landscape, but the cactus is in bloom, and in the distance stand ruined pyramids, the familiar abandoned and left behind. This card represents movement, emigration, departure, and flight. It tells of the entrance of a dark and friendly young man into the querants life. It signifies a change of residence.
This card is already available on ebay and in the "Tarot" section of my website.

Write a comment if you like seeing the original photos with the artwork, and I'll be sure and post more!

We're bendy!

I didn't take this photo, but while I wander across south east asia, my friends from Naked Yoga (I go 4 times a week when I am in the city) are doing their thing in Hawaii. I thought they looked to cute in this picture not to share!