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Posted 2 years ago at 9:39 am.

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“At Home with Aliens”

Oil on canvas – 35” x 30”

At Home with Aliens
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At Home with Aliens detail 1At Home with Aliens detail 2At Home with Aliens detail 3At Home with Aliens detail 4At Home with Aliens detail 5At Home with Aliens detail 6At Home with Aliens detail 7

It felt like time to paint another alien portrait. My friend Tladik, my first alien, needed a partner. In contemplating the design I remembered looking at some images of hairless cats and went back to find the one that captured me the most. It was still so striking that I couldn’t imagine inventing something much more alien, interesting, or mysterious. I am still always struck by the fact that such interesting life forms like dogs and cats live with humans so easily, with 4 legs and tails, species so different from us that it is always remarkable to me, indeed like living with aliens. In many ways I credit them with more intelligence than humans, and constantly wish I understood the language. I imported an imagined world for my cat alien, with tree lights that light her way as she moves through the landscape. The tree lights only come on when she passes under them, as you can see from the fact that the other tree lights are not casting beams, but waiting to light her way if necessary. Note her semi-transparency; she is able to fade in and out of sight, perhaps paying a little visit, checking her traps. In this world (a possible future Earth?) nature, the Big Mother, has revolted, having cast off the Destroyers in “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight” (Thom Hartmann), and there is a more symbiotic relationship among the inhabitants who are left, the ones who understand the Gift. A Lady can only take so much, and then philosophies and politics and economies and governments and borders and democracies and religions become whispers lost in the wind, tiny echoes of old growth, the shedding of old skin, of arrogance.

Posted 2 years, 1 month ago at 4:28 pm.

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“Remember, Little One”

Oil on canvas – 28” x 42”

Remember, Little One
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Remember, Little One detail 1Remember, Little One detail 2Remember, Little One detail 3Remember, Little One detail 4

This is a painting of one of my favorite photographs. The Mother and Daughter were imagined in. I’m trying to teach myself how to paint real landscapes, like you would see here on Earth. I’m always fascinated by the way our mind continues the interpretation of what our eyes see, sometimes giving a painting a greater reality that doesn’t actually exist on the canvas. We see some dabs of paint and all of a sudden we know exactly what it is, a flower, grass, a fence, even the exact type of flower, and that is what we see. I even fooled myself! I adjusted the strokes until I saw what I wanted to see. Is that what we do with our thoughts, adjust them until they meet our needs? Do we need to differentiate our personal strokes from others in order to feel that we actually exist? To feel separate? To feel safe in a confusing world? I’ll leave that to the Mother to explain to her daughter.

Posted 2 years, 1 month ago at 9:10 am.

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“Eternal Hard Drive”

Oil on canvas with attached flotsam & jetsam – 20” x 23 ¾”

Eternal Hard Drive
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Eternal Hard Drive detail 1Eternal Hard Drive detail 2

Captured once again by the Blue Heron, this canvas is an interpretation of one of my favorite photographs. I had found a pair of bird legs on the beach and they looked so much like a heron leg that I decided to use them as the building blocks for this mythological creature, partially attached beach findings and partially painted. I’ve tried so hard to create depth on a 2-dimensional surface through the years that I believe this is what led me to begin attaching findings to the canvas surface in order to create actual 3-D canvasses. In this canvas I am inspired by that moment of suspended animation just as a blue heron is about to land, when time seems to stop for just a fraction of a second when all things are in such a delicate balance that movement ends.

Posted 2 years, 11 months ago at 8:54 pm.

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“School of Thought”

Oil on canvas with attached flotsam & jetsam – 30 ¼” x 42 ¼”

School of Thought

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School of Thought: detail 1School of Thought: detail 2School of Thought: detail 3School of Thought: detail 4School of Thought: detail 5School of Thought: detail 6

A simple school of fish … but nothing is simple, is it? The life of a sea creature is as complex and magnificent as any other life. Are we as important as we think we are? To nature we are not; but it doesn’t make us any less magnificent. Will someone look at our skeleton one day and wonder who we were? What do skeletons make us think about? That we are not long here at all – life passes in a heartbeat, but that heartbeat is an infinity of experience and magic. Perhaps that is where the word “imagination” comes from. The Seas tickle our fancies with questions like these, and the skeletons are shadows speaking ghostly volumes … but about life, not death.

Posted 3 years, 3 months ago at 10:12 pm.

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“The Tree”

Oil on canvas – 28 ½” x 42”

The Tree

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The Tree: detail of whole treeThe Tree: detail of right cornerThe Tree: detail of rocketpodsThe Tree: detail of centerThe Tree: detail of main treeThe Tree: detail of background trees

I discovered this tree on one of my hunts for photo opportunities. I thought it was stunning in how complex its life is with so many other living things using it for support, covered in their stories, yet still so majestic in its singularity that its majesty cannot be obscured from view. I have been photographing it ever since the first time I saw it, full with summer growth and beautiful with fall color but this one fog covered January evening revealed its bony mystery in a way I have never seen since. For me this is Monet’s haystack. That is what is so captivating and exciting about photography – you just never know what you might come home with…and what is happening when you are not there that leads you out again and again.

Posted 4 years ago at 11:17 pm.

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“Professor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam”

Oil on canvas with attached beach findings – 37 1/2” x 30 1/4”

Oil on canvas with attached beach findings - 37 1/2” x 30 1/4”

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Professor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam: butterfly detailProfessor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam: tree detailProfessor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam: dewdrops detail Professor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam:  Junior detailProfessor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam: leg detailProfessor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam: elbow-knee detail Professor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam: head detailProfessor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam: vertebrae detail Professor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam: chair-legs detail chair
Meet Professor Flotsam & Junior Jetsam, risen from the local beach, just waiting for a new lease on life. Can you imagine what the Professor can teach us? About things we never see and worlds we never visit. The beach is an archaeology of life and death – bits of branches look like limbs of creatures, shells look like eyes, real creature limbs tell of other kinds of lives lived and lost. They are puzzle pieces just waiting to be another story than the one they began. Junior looks like she has a few pressing questions and perhaps an argument or two. Why should I believe what you tell me? How do you know? Maybe she isn’t really a student at all but a fellow philosopher discussing the things we want answers for. Why does a paintbrush in the hands of an artist look for things never before seen? Why does the “pen” in the hands of a writer look for words never before spoken? Your imagination is the shape of infinity.

Posted 4 years, 7 months ago at 2:45 pm.

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“Grace & Royalty”

Oil on canvas – 30 ¼” x 30 ¼”

Grace & Royalty - detail 2

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Grace & Royalty - detail 1Grace & Royalty - detail 2Grace & Royalty - detail 3
I have been photographing blue herons for a couple of years now and have thousands of photos of them as they are my favorite subject. This canvas is a painting of my favorite real life photograph, as you can see if you view this link – . In flight they leave me mesmerized and speechless. I feel like I am watching flying dinosaurs from eons past bringing an indescribable grace and magic to the present, as well as all their goofiness when stationary. There is a moment just before landing when they seem to be in suspended animation and it is the moment I constantly try to capture. I find the Blues to be very good at avoiding me just as I am about to click my shutter, as if they are enjoying playing games with me; and so I shall continue to pursue them longing for a perfect photograph and regretting all the ones that got away.

Posted 4 years, 10 months ago at 4:55 pm.

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“First Sighting”

Oil on canvas – 32 1/2” x 42”

First Siting: Painting by Smilia Marvosh

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First Siting Detail 1First Siting Detail 2First Siting Detail 3First Siting Detail 5First Siting Detail 6First Siting Detail 7

I never knew a place like this existed – the rookery – a place so magical and beautiful I don’t necessarily have to go “off-planet” to be totally thrilled; although instead of in the swamp where I found it I placed it in the hypnotizing sand ripples at my local beach.

This is the place where blue herons build their nests in the spring; they fly in from all directions carrying branches for delivery to the nesting site. When I first saw this place it was late fall – it was abandoned – just the bones left, waiting for new life in the spring, like most of us. I’ve been spellbound ever since.

Posted 6 years ago at 10:53 pm.

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“Portrait of a Driftwood Horse”

Oil on canvas – 26” x 32 1/8”

Portrait of a Driftwood Horse by Smilia Marvosh

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Portrait of a Driftwood Horse-body detailPortrait of a Driftwood Horse-head detailPortrait of a Driftwood Horse - detail

Several years ago a friend of mine gave me a little piece of driftwood that he thought I would like, which I surely did. I felt like I was looking at the bones of a very old story, one in which this most marvelous animal lived, ruled, fought, and won. There were no compromises here, but a power that was awesome to behold and silenced those who witnessed it. Over the last few years I tried to find a place in my home for this “horse skeleton” but it wasn’t comfortable anywhere; it just kept moving around. One day my best friend, another artist, came to visit and was looking at some sketches I had drawn up for my next canvas, another kind of horse being, when she looked at my driftwood gift and said – “Why don’t you paint this?” I have yet to name this mythological god, but I will – or maybe I’ll just discover its name…

Posted 7 years, 2 months ago at 6:36 pm.

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