CARTAPESTA IN PROGRESS: Hermaphroditus

12 May

Right now finishing the “inside skin” of male and female sections of sculpture.
In the myth 15-year old Hermaphroditus undressed and entered an empty pool. A Nymph, Salmacis, sprang out from behind a tree and jumped into the pool. She wrapped herself around the boy, forcibly kissing him and touching his breast. While he struggled, she called out to the gods that they should never part. Her wish was granted, and their bodies blended into one form, “a creature of both sexes.”

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Preparing Prints for Gallery Show

10 May

At the end of the afternoon, I wound down by selecting two small prints and matting them for  the show. I’ll put one print behind glass, to hang; others in poly envelopes for sale.

Both are small mini-views of the larger painting/story on the  back of “Aphrodite” sculpture. Above, is Aphrodite plucking an apple from the tree of life.  Below is the same print containing a short Rilke verse: “Physical pleasure is a sensual experience no different from pure seeing or the pure sensation with which a fine fruit fills the tongue…

The Great Allegheny Passage

7 May

Doodles

5 May

Here’s some doodles of bird designs for the “A Bird in Hand” eggs. I used two of the designs on recent eggs. See last post of eggs.

No work today ….Brett and I hiking the Great Allegheny Passage for our anniversary.

bird eggs

2 May

Aphrodite Cartapesta Sculpture: First Announcement

26 Apr

Yesterday I sent out email announcements to my friends in Pittsburgh, people I have known for quite a while and who live close enough to Saxonburg to drive out for the opening reception on 21 July. I chose  images of Aprhrodite.

Here the sculpture is turned on its side. You can see the tail-- somewhat mermaid-like. Aphrodite emerged from sea foam. On the back is close-up of "Eve" , a Christian incarnation of Aphrodite; detail of writing.

More Eggs

26 Apr

I had a chance yesterday to poly some of the eggs I’ve been working on.  I am doing a series of bird designs for the hand egg stands…..a bird in hand series.

Cartapesta Sculpture of Greek Gods: Omphale, Queen of Lydia

17 Apr
copyright April 2012 Palamidessi

Omphale, an earth Goddess and powerful Queen, took Hercules, the Strongest Man in the World, as her lover.

In progress, this sculpture generated many associations. Omphale is the feminine form of the Greek word for “umbilicus.”  So from there…

Navel. Connection between worlds. Omphalas, the center of the Greek world. Transition. Wormhole between earth and sky. Life and death. Protoplasm and flesh. Mother and child. Nourishment. A hole. Butterflies, too: omphale, and psuedoomphale, butterflies, both with dots.

For a while I was a volunteer at Boston’s Museum of Science and worked in the Butterfly Room, so I had butterfly mojo. http://www.mos.org/educators/field_trip_resources/field_trip_activities/butterfly_garden&d=673)

FRONT OF SCULPTURE: From those intuitive and intellectual ideas, I began to draw butterflies on the blank cartapesta, which had been cast over my model’s lower torso.

Then there was the story of Queen of Lydia (the Kingdom of Lydia is where modern-day Turkey is now) and it was a very sexy story. The back of the sculpture became a platform for sex talk, between Hercules and Lydia.

BACK OF SCULPTURE: Lydia was an earth goddess who acquired Hercules as a slave.  She bought him from the god Hermes. Hercules, you see, wanted to purify himself after having had killed his friend Iphitus, so he allowed himself to be sold: a great insult for a god.

Once ensconced in Lydia’s court, Hercules held the yarn while Lydia and her female slaves spun it into cloth.  He  did whatever this woman commanded of him–including fathering children with here maids.  He and Lydia had a peculiar habit of role reversal and cross-dressing. Hercules, the Strongest Man in the World,would wear negligee, girdles, yellow pajamas and have his hair braided and perfumed by Lydia’s maid servants. Lydia the Queen wore her lover’s lion skin and carried his club.

I assumed it was an experimental. fun, and polyamourous few years and that is what I wrote about on the back of the sculpture.

A small book covered it with animal hide, like Hercule’s garment, is affixed to the back of the sculpture. In it, there’s a story about another escapade–Pan visiting Lydia’s castle. Pan you know, is a rascal. He arrived long after midnight and wanted a roll in the sack with the queen.  He went into her bedroom, reached under the sheets, felt silky negligee , and –yes, you guessed it–he ended up having sex with Hercules. This upset Pan , the god of the wild and music, whose lower body was the hindquarters of a goat: homosexual love was not his cup of tea.  He made a rule: from then on anyone who partied with him or participated in his nocturnal forest rites had to do it naked.

Cartapesta Color: Under Painting and Top Painting

10 Apr

I am winding up work on this sculpture.But who knows??!! The sculpture may call for another brushstroke, an edge adjustment, a little tweak of word.

Here are images to show lovely surface of the cartapesta ( Italian word for paper mache/  technique I learned in Italy).

Eros the blue

Nike Goddess of Victory: Good Luck Mediator between Gods and Men.

9 Apr
  

With Victory beside her she is already a winner.

When I built this sculpture of Nike, my daughter was in my mind everyday. She was  going through a challenging patch, looking for a job, spending months and many hours searching for a job, emailing resumes, answering job.com ads, going on “phone interviews”, maybe being called back for second interviews but most often not. When I finished this sculpture, my daughter had a job; a very good job at that.

Synchronicity had happened. I was working with an archetype and through art and that archetype reached into the deeper order of life.  Grace intervened.

It is my wish that anyone who might possesses this sculpture wil enjoy its beauty and have tremendous luck.

Two Sisters Do Art

Christine and Pamela Palamidessi

Kristen Lamb

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