Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Caput Mortuum

This is a couple of progress shots of my latest painting: Caput Mortuum.  It is the name of another of my favourite pigments. It's basicly a dark red/purple oxide.  Caput Mortuum translates as Death's Head.

From Wikipedia:

"In alchemy, caput mortuum (alternately called nigredo) signified a useless substance left over from a chemical operation such as sublimation and the epitome of decline and decay; alchemists represented this residue with a stylized human skull, a literal death's head."

Well, in my bleak moments of despair, that pretty much sums up how I feel about myself.

Also, I have been thinking about our mortality as I get older and begin to face the inevitable.  I am also now considering the mortality of the human race. Humanity seems to be hell bent on self destruction and the geo-political (latest buzzword), situation is the gravest it has been in all the relatively brief time humans have walked on two legs.

I have never considered myself a political animal, and have never been one to make political statements in my work. But lately I find it hard to not do so, if only at the subliminal level.

I started this painting just after the Paris attacks.


old swimmer said...

I think your painting and your commentary are aligned perfectly with where many of us are in our heads today. The painting is elegant. The artist is looking more relaxed having accomplished it than he might have looked before! And I relate to your thoughts..the thoughts of other people of a certain age that counts backwards to guess the odds of longevity.


Paul Hutchinson said...

Thank you!