Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Waterman: Ignis Aeris

The Waterman: Ignis Aeris

Ignis Aeris
(Second panel of "The Waterman" triptych)
Watercolor and pencil on illustration board,
15 x 20

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Portrait of Regina

Portrait of Regina

Watercolor and colored pencil on paper,
8.5 x 12

Portrait of Sharon

Portrait of Sharon

Watercolor, pencil and colored pencil on paper,
8.5 x 12

nice stuff and updates

inspiring interview with Sybil Archibald on Abbey of the Arts. enjoyed to know the website too, run by the photographer Cristine Vaulters Paintner. I strongly recommend the works of both artists.


it's amazing to see how bit by bit institutionalized beliefs are dissolving in the name of something bigger, which means a true spirituality and the real sense of religare - to bind together again.


my Etsy shop is up and running. had to price items a little above the price for direct sale, since we have to pay fees to list products and for items sold. I'm very pleased with Etsy's organization. setting the shops is really easy, fun and fast and they make you feel special as a seller.

Friday, April 17, 2009

new website + astroportraits

I finally managed to upload the new website. it's all working properly. and it's working fine on Internet Explorer, in spite of I was fearing, although I still recommend Firefox for viewing. the link for the Portuguese version still doesn't take anywhere, but it's just a matter of time.

working on a portrait:

I love to make portraits, I'm fascinated by the human figure. the ones I make I call Astroportraits, since they are based on your astrological profile. that's how it works: before brainstorming your portrait I raise the chart and identify the archetypes and symbolical elements involved, like colors, animals and others. I also ask for a little help from the Tarot. most of times my intuition plays a major role, but I think absolutely necessary that the person takes part in the process. I want the portrait be a kind of encouragement for her/his to develop other characteristics she/he'd like, so I encourage creative visualization and a look inward, as a little push toward the self-awareness process.

when I was testing the technique I made my baby's and mine portraits. now I use the portraits as samples. they were entirely made in colored pencils, media I'm not using anymore for being too time-consuming. now I use a mix of watercolor, colored pencil and graphite.

Ariel and the Lion
Ariel and the Lion
Colored pencils on Bristol board,
8.5 x 12

this is my self-astroportrait. I'm a Gemini with Leo rising and Moon in Scorpio, and a Water/Air type. it was not that easy to create my own portrait, since I identify with so many symbols and elements that I found better to let intuition go in my favor. I lived a phase of intense changes (moving to another country, marriage and pregnancy, all at once) that made me dive into myself and seek for my own strength, something I don't remember having done so strongly before. I remember having done a rough sketch of a scorpion and a lion, which I consider my two inner powers, stuck the sketch on the wall and looked at it every time I needed encouragement. I needed to get reminded that I had that strength, that it was inside me as part of what I was. things are certainly smoother now, but I wanted that my portrait was a kind of constant reminder of that power I had discovered within myself. then I drew the lion, my rising sign, close to me, as a constant companion (and I realized that my name, that literally means "lion of God", in Hebrew, was not given to me by chance.) this lion arises from the water, from the big ocean of feelings that characterizes all water types. Although one may think that water people are fragile due to their emotional, sensitive nature, they may be considered extremely strong exactly due to this attunement – they know like nobody how to deal with such world. my Air quality is represented by the color yellow and by the butterflies – also representatives of my sun sign, Gemini. butterflies go vivaciously from one place to another just like Gemini does. they are also flying animals, symbols of freedom, one of my strongest characteristics. another reason for picking the butterfly is because it’s one of my favorite animal totems, present in several of my pieces. butterflies are the symbol of rebirth and transformation and this is why it makes them so special to my eyes. rebirth and transformation are also keywords of my Moon sign – Scorpio. another element I created to represent this sign in my portrait was the lotus flower, due to its relation to situations of reconstruction after long struggles or even total loss – the lotus blooms from the mud. it is also a symbol of spirituality, something that is an important part of my daily life and that helps me keep going in spite of any obstacle.

Portrait of Isobel and Unicorn

Portrait of Isobel and Unicorn,
Colored pencil on Bristol board,
12 x 8.5

Isobel is my baby daughter, a triple Sagittarius (Sun, Moon and Rising Sign), with a predominance in Fire and Water. when I made her portrait, she had just completed one year old. I wanted that her portrait had a surreal, magical quality, what I achieved using strong colors and abstract elements. my idea was to portray her as a little elf, as a fun thing. a unicorn was chosen to keep her company: a “lighter” symbol for Sagittarius, more appropriate for a child’s portrait than the traditional centaur. an open field with trees which leaves remind red flaming hearts compounds the background - Isobel is all heart, a spirit full of passion and intensity. a river runs trough the field – the water quality of her personality. differently from the mysterious ocean water of my own portrait, peaceful Isobel’s water nurtures and refreshes, representing the caring side of her personality. on the other side of the background we see a deep sky, symbol of the desire for expansion and unlimited freedom of Sagittarius. two hummingbirds, symbols of optimism – another trait of this sign – come out of the deep blue. on her hair, a crown of lotuses, flower I like to use to represent the sign of Scorpio. although Isobel is not a Scorpio herself, she’s got a formidable stellium (an alignment of planets) in this sign, what gives her a lot of Scorpio characteristics.

if you are interested in commissioning your own portrait, drop me a line ( or visit my store.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

busy bee.

I've disappeared for a while for being involved in my new website development, which hopefully I will be able to upload tomorrow. it gave me a little more trouble than I expected, not really for the "technical" part but more for the layout. it did worth the while, I really liked the results. I'm also organizing La Etherea Officina, my official store for direct sales of originals, prints and portraiture. I also have a new mailing list, and if you want to sign in in order to get informed about recent works and other novelties you are totally welcome. members will be granted 15% off their first direct purchase and at each season I'll be raffling a gift - a print, a small original or something else. the only problem is that, at this moment, the raffles will be restricted to US members due to the international shipping costs. but if you live in another country and are willing to pay the shipping, just send me your name and I'll include you in the raffle list.

that's it... back soon!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

about "The Waterman"

(funny to have finished my depiction of Jesus Christ so close to Easter. I swear it was not on purpose. but the muses sometimes like coincidences. or, if you prefer, synchronicities.)

well, it's finally done, the first part of my most ambitious project so far. it's the middle panel of The Waterman triptych, called Unio Mystica. it is a work full of symbolism and it's impossible to unfold each one of them here, since each symbol leads to a myriad of things, either Bible passages or occult teachings. (anyway, long time ago a person I met told me that the Bible is the greatest occult book in the world. as the years passed and as I advanced in my studies on astrology, tarot and symbols, I was forced to recognize he was totally correct. and my amazement about how all the things are so creatively and intelligently intertwined in this world just grows. with all my respect for the non-believers, with all this harmony I see and perceive I just can't believe there is no Creator!)

The Waterman is about the Age of Aquarius and how the words of the Christ will reveal themselves in all their purity and brightness. the main piece (Unio Mystica) is the macrocosm, in the figure of the Christ, while the surrounding ones are the microcosm, in the form of the Four Elements. when I was brainstorming this piece, I was lead in my research to this page and got in awe to see a picture of a waterman along with symbols of spirituality and transformation. both the picture and the page were what I call a gift from the Universe and provided me with the directions my work should take. all fit perfectly to my concept and initial ideas.

the central figure of the panel/triptych is a naked man carrying a vase of water. he exudes freedom and strength. on his body we see the main chakras lightened and tied, since the base of the spine to the the crown of the head, where it shows like a big multicolored flower. this is the perfect man, the man that was able to rise his kundalini and work his creative/divine potential to its fullest and becoming God. this man is the Christ, the highest model humankind can aspire. the enlightened spirit that incarnated in a dense, material body just like ours to make us learn that we are gods and that all those things he'd done, we could also do. in his hand he brings a rose instead of blood and wounds, to remind us that it's our existence in the flesh, with all its pains and struggles, that make us bloom as spirits.

he pours water over two figures at the bottom, that bathe in it in attitude of deliverance and communion. The water is an universal symbol of spirituality and rebirth. "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. " (Acts 2:17) That is the big spiritual quest humankind will confront when all the dogmatic forms of beliefs start being crumbed by progressive philosophies and scientific discoveries. then the words of Jesus will come through with new strength and understood "without the veil of the letter."

two details were painted without I being consciously aware of. one were the flames that appear on the figures foreheads, that remind the "tongues of fire" that came upon the apostles in the day of Pentecost. another detail is a little more "visionary": the "ribbons" that come down from the rose in a spiral that is very similar to the model of a human DNA. a fresh insight I just had is that, since our incarnations mold our DNA, who knows this will be one the huge scientific discoveries for the next decades that will lead us to the understanding of the immortality of the soul... and that the Master was right when he said "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" (John 3:3)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Waterman: Unio Mystica

The Waterman: Unio Mystica

Watercolor on illustration board,
15 x 20

Middle panel of The Waterman triptych.

I can see the King coming.
Naked and bright, like all the truths should be.
Simple and strong, with stars in his eyes,
and heart of petals, bathing the ground.

I can see the King coming,
and he comes barefoot, hair in the wind,
with no jewels or swords,
like a simple man,
bringing drinking water on his shoulders.
His hands carry the roses that blossom in the cross,
and his crown is a thousand petals lotus.
The King smiles, he is beautiful
and from his mouth lilies sprout,
and all the elements dance at his feet.
In his words the god of me rises,
and fingers my soul with the colors of a whole Universe.
The golden serpent rises,
and I, the free Fool, grow wings,
and dance at the edge of a cliff of dreams.

I can see the King coming
bringing many Graals
that are given freely, in the hands of the rich and the poor,
in the hands of the sane and the ill,
and of the children in backyards.
His kingdom is not of this world, even being so close
that we almost can touch it.
And it's in it that I see him, in red sunny afternoons,
smiling like it was the beginning of the world,
spinning the stars of Aquarius
and telling me secrets.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

one painting a day (or almost)

and here I am, after 5 days of my mini vacation and disconnected from the internet. excepting for going to the movies, I didn't manage to conclude all my plans. think that time was still not enough. but at least half of my website is done, the quick paintings got started, and several pages of one of my books were avidly consumed. I also broke my dietary discipline (low-carbs, low-sugars) eating all the pies that were put in front of me, besides fresh and bold quesadillas.

I was actually inspired by the One Painting a Day concept to create those quick paintings. the idea is to paint one small piece a day, spending no longer than a few hours, what for some artists work as a challenge and an exercise. but in fact the big appeal of this concept is the possibility of selling paintings for small prices, attracting more collectors and people that cannot pay hundreds of dollars for an original piece of art. the perpetrator of the concept was the artist Duane Keiser, but nowadays lots of artists have successfully adhered to the idea.

well, I still don't know if I can complete one painting a day while having to work in my bigger pieces. I can't paint full time yet. but in my first attempt I managed to work on a couple 12 x 8.5 pieces simultaneously; I completed the penciling in one day, and the watercolor in another - excepting the details in one of the pieces - that ended up becoming one more Totem. not bad.

Anemonae + Totem #2

it's true that they are not very different from the first Totem and Flourish, as a reader recently observed. the difference is that, when I made those, I was still experimenting a new direction in painting and they took a few days to get completed. the new ones were supposed to be quick works. in the end, working on most simple pieces revealed fun and a refreshment from the complex concepts I usually develop. sometimes I just don't know how to work with the "simple" - my moon in Scorpio is always leading me to complicated paths. can't wait for more!


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