The unfinished 36 X 48 inch oil on canvas Mythology: Metamorphosis of Medusa is a free composition based on the iconography of the ancient Greek figures of Athena, Poseidon and the maiden Medusa. A brief overview of these character’s features and characteristics will make the content of the image more meaningful.
Athena, the goddess of wisdom, strategic war, and the arts, among other things, was among the most revered of the Greek gods and goddesses. She was a virgin goddess of great beauty and intelligence but could be vengeful and spiteful. Her symbols are her helmet, spear, aegis, shield, serpent and owl. Her main temple complexes were in Athens and Delphi.
Poseidon, was a brother of the great gods Zeus and Hades. He was the god of the sea, earthquakes and was husband to ‘mother earth’ (Demeter), as well as being renowned as a “tamer of horses”. His major symbols are the trident, tritons, maenads, hippocampus, and dolphins. Poseidon lost the competition against Athena for patronage of Athens and played major roles in the epics of Homer.
Little was written about the beautiful ‘fair cheeked’ Medusa who was a major figure in the story of Perseus. She was raped by the sea god Poseidon on the floor of a Temple of Athena. This so inflamed Athena that she changed the poor woman into a hideously ugly winged creature with a disfigured face surrounded with venomous snakes growing in her hair. She is best known for having the ability to turn men into stone by merely looking into their eyes. She was beheaded by Perseus, who then used it to save the princess Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus sent to ravage Aethiopia as divine punishment. During the classical period she was usually depicted as being beautiful but nevertheless terrifying.
The composition, begun November 3rd, 2014, was developed around the original figure studies of one of my models (see below). I have just begun adding the color, and plan to have it completed by December 31st, 2014.
I have reworked Spatial Trepidations and am showing three stages of the process. The painting was originally executed in acrylic in 1999 and was never finished. Because I was unhappy with the original color scheme, the grooved textural pattern and did not know how to correct it, I let it sit for 14 years. When I decided to get back to it I decided to work in oil and to completely change the look and meaning of the composition. The landscape and sky have been completely repainted, and the figures have been re-toned but are the least finished elements of the composition. The woman’s face is now more visible and her expression is one of uncertainty, and both figures express a resignation of their situation. Now I see its meaning as a reflection of our fears of the unknown and our limited understanding of the nature of existence. Our fears range from what is directly beneath our feet to the distant landscapes to the expanses of deep space. The more we know about physical reality the more mysterious it becomes. Below is its current state as of November 30, 2014. The grooved texture of the surface is what accounts for the numerous reflections in the sky. This problem will be worked out as they fill with glaze. The painting should be completed by the end of the year.
I have submitted four oil paintings to the 60’s Retrospective Exhibit (July 15 to Aug. 16: Artwalk Reception July 17: I hope to see you there.) at the Mistlin Gallery (http://www.ccartassn.org/) 1015 J Street, Modesto CA 95354. You can call the gallery at (209) 529-3369 for further information. The four works I submitted include: Jump, Calabi Yau, Fireworks and Origin of the Eye. These paintings are all older works that I consider among my best and fit into the exhibition theme through their psychodelic characteristics of multi-dimensional brushstroke patterns and brilliant contrasting colors. The gallery curator has hung them all together along the end wall under a set of new LED lights as a test for the revamping of the entire gallery lighting system. I wish to thank them for hanging the works to such great advantage. On the topic of the Mistlin Gallery and the Central California Art Association I should add that I have been invited to join as a member of their Board of Directors. I have agreed to do so and will attend the July 14 meeting to get things going. I hope to help them in their desire to modernize the gallery and make it the best it can possibly be to serve as many aspects of Modesto’s art needs.
Welcome art lovers! After many months of development the Serros Studios website is finally live. I hope that you like what you see and that you will be coming back many times in the future. I have been making art for the past forty years, earned a PhD in Art History, and have taught Art and Art History at the college level for twenty-six years, so I have a lot on my mind about art. During the coming months I will be showing you my art through my eyes and taking you with me to many destinations during my sabbatical year including to Italy, Spain and France. My objectives for the next few years are to meet many new friends, expand my galleries and delve more deeply into the art domain.