Friday, August 17, 2012

Letterbox Spoiler—Mayan Gods

linocut72Linocut in action.

Jaguar Knight, ACEO 2.5x3.5, linocut, gelatin monoprint & ink pen. This one’s going up on Etsy.
12081702jaguar-knight72This iteration is going to a friend and mentor. This one is purely printmaking for method. The top version has some hand-inked detail in black. The hand-carved image is inspired by Mayan art and from my imagination. Strangely enough, I feel like I know this dude. From what I’ve been reading, that may not be a good thing.  You may notice the background on the lower version looks familiar, and yes, it’s all part of one of those ‘started’ gelatin prints.  I’m so happy I keep this stuff, and wait until the perfect combination of images presents itself.
Maize God. This linocut is a hand-drawn copy of a Mayan depiction of the Maize God.  In this case, I was striving for a reasonable amount of historical accuracy, and let the act of carving be my contribution of individual style. I always leave my cuts a ‘little rough’ as I want them to have a rustic hand-tooled look, so I don’t reach for precision tools. I want to see those knife marks in the same way that in a painting I want to see brush strokes.  The languid sensuality of this carve, however, is all Maya. The Maize God is depicted as a beautiful young man, holding a corn cob as a symbol of fertility and a blindingly obvious phallic symbol.  In all, I chose it because it is a very sensual image that speaks across the ages.  The one on the left, finishes a gelatin print that I’ve been hanging on to quite awhile. Portions of it are a ghost print transfer from my Gardens of Delight print.
This one is the Rabbit in the Moon, Moon Goddess.  Again, while hand-drawing the design, I reached for historical accuracy, and while scanning/enlarging and tracing would have been much faster, I feel it was worth the effort as it helped me learn and understand the proportions and forms and quality of line in this ancient work of art. The moon goddess is depicted as a wise old woman sitting in the moon, and I loved how her face and form differed from svelte popular female images of today.  I am actually very happy that letterboxing has led me to take a serious dive into Mayan art, as the research and time spent drawing has been wonderful exploration.
I’ve posted these on Fine Art America in the printmaking section, if you want to have a peak at super magnified details which includes silvery secret highlights.


Bumble said...

Ooooo! They're fantastic!

kaslkaos said...

Hey You! No peaking!!! The 2 'historicals' will be on the way soon, I just HAD to pull some prints before I set them free. Psst, Jaguar Knight will arrive with me in October, he's more of a personal traveller sort of guy.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

:D love these :D since i use to want to be an archaeologist i love anything having to do with mayan civilization, such an interesting history

Bumble said...

Well, I will peek if I need to peek! And you can't stop me! Your stuff is just amazing to look at ;)

Anonymous said...

I saw your blog on The Mayan art caught my eye because I love ancient civilizations and art. These pieces are fantastic. Keep it up. :)

kaslkaos said...

Jennifer, thanks (& sorry I'm slow, end of summer and all that). The mayan civ. almost scare me with all those sacrifices & such, but then I was forgetting completely the white dude druid rituals. It seems to be a thing humans do...
Bumble, THANKS for compliments. Trust me, compliments are always welcome. I just make sure that I have SPOILER there, so no one can blame me for spoiling the surprise.
Onecanvasonesoul; thanks so much for stopping by (and compliments, see above). I really appreciate it--and you have a great poetry blog--I peaked.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

yeah some of the rituals were um....interesting :p


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