Thank You

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For the last six months or so, maybe even a bit longer, it has been hard for me to write regularly here on ArtDuh. The truth is, my mind has been focused on other things.

The world has been getting stranger and stranger for a long time. This world has been weird for as long as I can remember, but man-o-man, it is really damn weird at this point in time. 2016 is just… so weird! Seems to me we’ve all, the human race has, collectively gone a bit crazy. No need to go into details, because pretty much every person I know can see and would agree. We all know and feel how strange it has become.

Still, there is every reason to hope too. This life, this world, and the people in it are beautiful.

See… I have so many things running through my mind, all the time, but I just don’t know how to articulate my thoughts properly. So that is why I haven’t been writing very regularly here on ArtDuh. And, although I am sure I will be back and writing more often at some point, I won’t be posting a whole lot for now and for a little while.

Not to worry though. My mind and imagination are filled with ideas and new artwork. I’ve never felt so inspired to create. I already have so much artwork I am proud of, I work on new art every day, and I have so many ideas I look forward to completing. I expect it’ll take me the rest of my life to finish everything I want to make. Two, probably three lifetimes, really. So much to do, so little time.

I will say this… please, please, please get out in nature as much as you can. Walk under the trees, meet some animals, look at the mountains. That is our hope. If we can’t all, individually and together, develop an appreciation for the natural world that we are a part of then we are truly fucked. If we can’t see that a healthy natural world trumps any economic model, then we are doomed. Nature is not simply a commodity… a resource to be exploited, extracted or harvested, repackaged, and sold back to you with tax and interest… until its dead. Nature is our life, our breath, our water, our health. It is you.

Anyway, if you’ve read this far, thank you. I’ve really enjoyed ArtDuh, and have liked writing and posting. I will still upload and share new artwork from time to time, but I’ll change the name of the blog here soon. You’ll always be able to get to this blog using ArtDuh.com as the web address, but I will probably change the name and branding. I started this here blog with Anna about six or seven years ago. Anna stopped writing a few years later, focused on other things, and that’s cool. I found I still liked writing, and tried to maintain my weekly posts the best I could, but I always kind of thought of ArtDuh as Anna’s.

So maybe I’ll change the name to songsfromtheearth.com. Seems like the name might be a little long, but maybe it’ll do for now…

I’d also invite you to check out my personal website, toddpowelson.com. Check out some of my past work, and look there for new artwork too. Also, if you’re able and have a few sheckles to spare, please consider buying some artwork. That kind of support always means a lot to any artist. If you don’t have any spare coins, that is a-okay too. Take a look around and enjoy.

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So why the picture of the moon?

I started writing this post under that November ’16 super-moon (Ha! Took a long time to finish). I walk every day, and in the winter months I usually find myself walking after dark. I’d walk up into the hills, thinking on the strange way America has gone, is still going, and see the weird things developing in my personal life… and there was the moon looking down on it all. This huge super-moon shining its silver light, illuminating us all. That was over a month ago now, but the moon has a brand new significance for me…

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Reptiles, Birds, Vegetables & Furries: The Art of Zachari Logan

"Leshy"
“Leshy” by Zachari Logan

I first came across the artwork of Zachari Logan when I was looking at different images for the Green Man, but I find myself going back from time to time to look at his plant people and animal men. I look forward to watching his artwork evolve. I hope you enjoy it too!

www.zachariloganart.com

"Wild Man" by Zachari Logan
“Wild Man” by Zachari Logan
"Emperor's New Clothes" by Zachari Logan
“Emperor’s New Clothes” by Zachari Logan
"Green Man" by Zachari Logan
“Green Man” by Zachari Logan
"Leshy" by Zachari Logan
“Leshy” by Zachari Logan
"Green Man 2" by Zachari Logan
“Green Man 2” by Zachari Logan
"Feeding 1, from Wild Man Series"  by Zachari Logan
“Feeding 1, from Wild Man Series” by Zachari Logan
"Feeding 2" by Zachari Logan
“Feeding 2” by Zachari Logan
"Wildman 2" by Zachari Logan
“Wildman 2” by Zachari Logan

Western Caduceus

“Western Caduceus” by Todd Powelson

About a month or so ago I was walking up the canyon at dusk watching this bird fly over my head. It wasn’t long before I lost sight of that bird ‘o prey through the tree canopy, and I just kept on a-walkin’. Soon I came to the same general spot where that bird disappeared from my view. I stopped at for a second in front of a big rock and, looking down, I saw a large grey and white feather sticking up in the grass. I tend to keep feathers when I find them and, even though I don’t know if its true or not, I imagined that this feather belonged to the bird I had been watching a few minutes before. So, yeah, I picked it up and carried it back with me a few miles back down the canyon.

Two nights later I was walking along the same path and came up to the same rock. Next to that rock the trail sorta splits, and I’d never been up one of the paths before. I decided that I’d see what was up that little side trail I’d never been up, but for some reason I started to think I should throw a rock or branch up there ahead of me. This isn’t something I ever do, but the thought just kinda pop’d into my head. There was a big pile of dead branches at the head of the new trail and… I don’t know. I guess I must have sensed something, because right while I was thinking of doing that this large rattlesnake came out from under those branches and started shake-shake-shaking its tail at me. I decided not to go up that new trail after-all and turned back down the canyon.

I’ve seen many rattlesnakes over the years and they don’t bother me all that much. I mean, when you go into Utah canyons you gotta know you may come across one any old time. Not that it is too common, but its always possible. And really, its not a huge deal. But for some reason I kept thinking about that snake. And about how I was gifted with a cool feather in that same spot I saw the snake. I just kept thinking about the bird, the snake, and me… all hanging out underneath the scrub-oak trees.

The snake, the bird, and the trees all kind of merged into one image in my minds eye and became the caduceus drawing above. I kept thinking about a western caduceus and the idea would’t leave me alone.

I had a couple false starts and do-overs,  but I like where the artwork ended up. I actually finished this drawing a few weeks back, but sat on it because I wasn’t sure if it was… I don’t know. Sometimes I like to set my artwork aside for a bit and then look at it again later because that extra time might help me see things I might like to change a little more clearly.

Its a simplification, and of course I’m not the first to think it, but life really is a dream. Like any dream, there are certain creatures or encounters that seems to have extra special significance. The bird, snake and oak branches became an omen of some sort for me. Or a special symbol. I have no idea of what or why, but I do know I like them.

Speaking of dreams, I had a sleepy-time dream about the snake and bird a few nights after I saw them. The bird was flying overhead, and the snake was wrapping itself up my right arm, until its face was next to my face. I could even feel its breath on my face. It wasn’t really scary, but it was a strange dream.

Anyway, I decided to post this picture of my green man drawing below. I finished that right around the same time too…

“Green Man” by Todd Powelson

Voynich Manuscript

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The Voynich Manuscript is an amazing document. Both its history and the illustrations contained within. It probably has a great story too, but so far nobody has been able to translate it, so who knows what it actually says.

I’ve read all sorts of interesting theories about it, who wrote it and why. Over the years, I come across bits of information about it in random places, which I always enjoy. At one point, it was thought to be a forgery, but after many many test it has been determined to be completely genuine (well, by most experts anyway. Maybe there are some that still don’t agree). Although, again, nobody can really make much sense of it. I’ve heard it described as a witches grimoire, a history of medieval herb lore, or perhaps some sort of alchemical journal. I’ve even read one theory that it was created by Leonard Da Vinci (which has been proven false because the ink and velum are much older than that). One thing most articles I’ve read agree on is that it was probably written in code to pass along information that the Catholic Church was trying to stamp out.

One thing I do know though is  I do like looking at the illustrations. They are primarily made up of plants, plant people, and (what seem to be) strange astrological charts. Pretty cool and unique stuff!

www.voynich.nu

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Broken Smiles

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I come from  a family of pretty creative folken. Anna wrote about my mom and sister Tonya a few years back, for example.

Well another sister, Tara Mayoros, has a book called Broken Smiles coming out this week on September 23rd and I am very happy for her. I know how much goes into that sort of thing!

In addition to picking up her new book, you should also follow her on Facebook (linked below) and be sure to check out her blog. She has many more exciting ideas and stories that she has shared with me, and these are great places to keep up with what she has going on.

www.facebook.com | Author-Tara-Mayoros

taramayoros.com

Mercury Inventing the Caduceus

"Mercury Inventing the Caduceus" 1878 - Jean Antoine Marie Idrac
“Mercury Inventing the Caduceus” 1878 – Jean Antoine Marie Idrac
"Mercury Inventing the Caduceus" 1878 - Jean Antoine Marie Idrac
“Mercury Inventing the Caduceus” 1878 – Jean Antoine Marie Idrac
"Mercury Inventing the Caduceus" 1878 - Jean Antoine Marie Idrac
“Mercury Inventing the Caduceus” 1878 – Jean Antoine Marie Idrac

I’ve had the Caduceus on my mind lately. Maybe I’ll explain why soon, but in the mean time I thought I’d post pictures of a couple of sculpture showing Mercury (Hermes) inventing the Caduceus. Both are exceptional. I especially like the sculpture by Antonin Idrac (images above), but I also love Henri Chapu‘s interpretation (below) too!

"Mercury Inventing the Caduceus" Henri Michel Chapu - 1860-1862
“Mercury Inventing the Caduceus”
Henri Michel Chapu – 1860-1862

The Flash

Flash

This post is dedicated to Finn and Jake, because I saw so much of them this weekend in downtown Salt Lake among all of the other comic-book fans crawling around the city. I just think they may be the ones who appreciate and understand why I have my Flash tattoos.

When I was a kid of about 9 or 10, I liked to run everywhere. I imagined I was fast as hell too. It didn’t last forever (ha!), but yeah, I loved to run. My family lived in Taipei back then, and partly because that was (and is) a very populated and dense place I imagined that the crowds of people were amazed at how fast I was going… but I knew I had lives to save (and taxis to get run over by, but that is another story…)

I also loved comic books back then, and the Flash was the perfect hero to satisfy both of my interests. I mean, I’d make costumes for all sorts of heroes out of paper-bags, but I loved the Flash so much that my mom actually had a seamstress make me my very own orange Flash outfit (pictured above).

As I got older the Flash just became a fond memory, and I had to retire and put away the costume. Years later, when I was in my mid-to-late 20s, my mom had the costume framed (also pictured above) and gave it to me for Christmas. Made me very happy, and I hae had it hanging on my wall ever since. Even though time has turned me into the slowest man alive to be sure, I may need to come out of retirement someday and that costume’ll come in handy.

Anyway, over time I came to understand that I needed to get a Flash tattoo to commemorate these fond memories. It wasn’t until just a couple of years ago, but I finally had the Flash flash put on my left ankle by the lovely Sarah De Azevedo of Oni Tattoo. But I wasn’t quite done yet, because I wanted to celebrate Flash dualism by getting the Black Flash chasing the Flash around my ankle. There probably isn’t room for Professor Zoom or Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick

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