The Musician Goes Spelunking

The Musician Goes Spelunking, Oil on Canvas, 36×36

I’ve been working full time since the Fall Art Tour and doing much painting has been an impossibility. However, I wanted to post this large work, a nod to the many interpretations of Orpheus and Euridice in the history of art.  I haven’t touched it for a couple of months, until the last few days. It is pretty well developed.

I’ve been reading poetry with Orpheus as the subject lately. I would like to post a poem I love by a poet I’ve only just discovered.*
I Dream I’m the Death of Orpheus
by Adrienne Rich
I am walking rapidly through striations of light and dark thrown under an arcade.
I am a woman in the prime of life, with certain powers
and those powers severly limited
by authorities whose faces I rarely see.
I am a woman in the prime of life
driving her dead poet in a black Rolls-Royce
through a landscape of twilight and thorns.
A woman with a certain mission
which if obeyed to the letter will leave her intact.
A woman with the nerves of a panther
a woman with contacts among Hell’s Angels
a woman feeling the fullness of her powers
at the precise moment when she must not use them
a woman sworn to lucidity
who sees through the mayhem, the smoky fires
of these underground streets
her dead poet learning to walk backward against the wind
on the wrong side of the mirror.

1968I’m also reading Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus. Rilke is an old favorite of mine, probably due to the fascination Greece and the Ancient World exercised generally over the 19th and early 20th Century German thinkers, poets, and musicians. (There is a connection between Nietzche, Rilke and Sigmund Freud in the person of Lou Von Salome, who as a friend and sometime lover, was what one must call a Muse to them all. Those who are interested in the personal lives of these creative people, however fantastical, might want to check her out.)

“The Musician in Mourning” will be appearing in The Best and the Brightest Juried Show and The Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale, AZ from January 15 through March 28.

The Musician in Mourning, Oil on Canvas, 18×18
*The poem refers to “smoky fires” and “underground streets.” I personally believe in the simple Biblical statement that “as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all,” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and that our hope for future life lies in resurrection.
The Musician Goes Spelunking, Oil on Canvas, 36×36, $1400 USD
The Musician in Mourning, Oil on Canvas, 18×18, $900 USD
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