Friday, September 28, 2012

New Painting: "The Standing Death of Ben-Kei St. Sebastian"

Whoo, new painting!

I've been having a bit of medium identity crisis lately, confused about what I truly like best. This piece is the first I've done in awhile that is entirely on Arches watercolor board. No collage of patterns this time; everything is hand-drawn. The only "collage" part is my signature stamp and the gold leaf.

I've also tried to incorporate more of my non-objective elements into the background to tie in a little with my recent "abstract" paintings for Fash Art Home.

So here he is the handsomely tortured guy!

"The Standing Death of Ben-Kei St. Sebastian" |  18x24 |  Watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic, & gold leaf on board
Detail of the shiny gold leaf halo/moon.
And here is the poem I wrote for the painting:

The Standing Death of Ben-Kei St. Sebastian

For my master or the king
I’d always wished to die.

But as the world began to dim
And all the arrows entered in

My end would be, to my chagrin
A wasted, senseless battle cry.

For ‘twas not royalty I held
Within my arms, all thick with barbs
 It was some man’s imagining
Of a squabble paramount
Inside the circus-master’s ring.

This piece is inspired by the old paintings of St. Sebastian, all run through with arrows. He is also Ben-Kei, a brave warrior-monk from Japanese history who died defending his prince (and took his last breath standing up because he would not collapse even under a barrage of arrows.)

Do you have any ideas as to what this poem is about?  I'd love to hear what it and the piece make you think.

You'll be able to see this piece in person at Coffee Slingers in OKC as part of a little group show I'm doing next month. More info to come on that event!

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