2017 MoonBlog

This isn't really about the moon, I call it a moonblog because a new homepage image appears twice a month on the new and full moon. The home page shows a featured image —sometimes freshly minted, sometimes seasonal, sometimes from years past— along with improvised ruminations, something like a leisurely blog. Previous years’ entries are here for your perusal; see the links, above.

Rain Prayer

A Robert Spellman watercolor of rain clouds over a mountain.

This is a watercolor from a few years ago. It shows moist rain clouds nestled around a mountain. It is not generally known what the mountain was called in millenia past, but in the current era it is called Greenhorn, after an eighteenth century Comanche warrior chief named Tabivo Naritgant, whose headdress was adorned with green horns. For the crime of defending his ancestral land, Tabivo Naritgant was hunted down and killed by the Spanish.

The mountain is also called the Wet Mountain, a more recent name dating to a time of abundant rainfall. It is now much drier there. Images can express a supplication or a vision, for good or ill. This one asks for rain clouds to return to this very ancient mountain, that its springs and streams may flow with new abundance.

New Moon ~ February 26th, 2017

P-40 Flying Tiger (first state)

A Robert Spellman painting of a P-40 Flying Tiger World War II fighter plane

I've returned for the time being to the theme of aircraft from the Second World War. The image here is of a P40 Flying Tiger; it's something I'm working on right now. While “first state” is actually a term more commonly applied to the various stages of a plate or woodblock in traditional printmaking, it's useful to describe the way that a painting develops. Like most art forms, painting is a process of continual revision, working through various “states” (both of material and mind) until there is a sense of rightness. This piece, which is in three panels is is 114" x 42", a little less than four by ten feet.

It's a strange time in America right now. In 1941 my future father and father-in-law went off to war in Europe to defeat heavily armed countries who denigrated Jews, Gypsies, “homosexuals”, and anyone else who were perceived as a taint to their assumed purity. I grew up thinking that the USA had done the world a good deed at great personal cost; and with simple-minded ignorance of our own history I couldn't help feeling proud. Part of me still does feel rightfully proud about the generation of my parents. It's not hard for me to imagine what they would think of the leadership in the country today and the chilling similarities to the very regimes they vanquished.

Full Moon ~ February 10th, 2017