Horned Gods

(click to enlarge)

September, 1999
Graphite, Charcoal, Acrylic on paper
40”x 32”

These guys haunted me for a while.

I didn’t set out to paint them. They sprung up in a drawing/painting assignment for a class I took with Susan Keizer. They feel ancient. Their horns have power. I recently decided they disapprove of the generations of men who have held “power over” as opposed to “power with.”

This painting led me into an exploration of fear about men. I don’t have conscious fears. In fact I have many sensitive men in my life who are very dear to me. I’m mother to two beautiful sons. But, a series of dreams and past life memories about vicious rapes made me look at my sexual blockages. Plus there are the ramifications of what three thousand years of patriarchy has done to our world – not the least being the huge denigration of women and Mother Earth herself, whose body is also our own.

I see the flower in the foreground as the feminine side that many men today are rediscovering. I think the horned gods approve (in a curmudgeonly sort of way) of the fundamental changes the flower of this opening will bring to the world and all its people. I am committed to helping with that process.

I wrote the above paragraphs for the February, 2004, “Out of the Ashes” Show but the framing/assemblage would not come into focus for it. These guys were not ready to show up even with some fierce nudging. Towards the end I had the strong feeling that they were a little distrustful and needed to wait to see how the first show went – to let the other paintings (all those brave female ones!) test the waters. I prayed that the tenor of that show would give them heart and that they would be ready to come forth soon. Though still unframed, they made it into the Living Out Loud Show (Bay City Arts Center, November, 2005) with some companion pieces to flesh out the story.