Bitch Rabbit

I've been thinking about the idea that my job as an artist to to create what wants to be created. Imagine my surprise when my own personal Athena turned out to be a fashion-obsessed, foul-mouthed rabbit

Bitch Rabbit emerged fully-formed from my forehead, cosmo in hand and ready to dish on everyone in sight. I can only say 'What the @#$*" and run with it. 

Bitch Rabbit will update M-W-F (or whenever the hell she feels like). 

Hey There

I love this. It just goes to show that you can't always judge by appearances. The persistence of affection also speaks to me. Kudos to the artist!

Fuzzy Goddess

Wooly Goddess of Willendorf
I'm still on a major prehistory kick. This piece was loosely inspired by the Venus of Willendorf, one of many enigmatic paleolithic figures of women of various forms, but usually quite zaftig, with lush, fertile bodies.

Venus of Willendorf photo cc by Don Hitchcock
Anthropologists and paleo archaeologists have been arguing for decades over the meaning of the Venus figurines. Are they fertility charms? Goddess figures? Pornography? Portraiture? No one knows, and no one will ever know for sure, unless we develop time travel of some sort. The mystery is part of what makes them beautiful.

In a culture where the dominant standard of beauty for women is super skinny and boyish, I find something very compelling in the fertile curves and folds of these ancient figures.

Art Written in Stone

An Etsy Treasury of Petroglyph-inspired Art
There's some really great rock-art inspired artwork out there. I made a treasury of prehistoric art-inspired goodness over on Etsy. I've also been working out a few ideas of my own.

Felted river stones with petroglyphs
I love making little fiddle-objects (you know, things you fidget with when you're thinking or talking on the phone), so doing some felt versions of painted rock seemed like the natural next step. They're available over in my Etsy shop. Later, I may do some larger versions with more elaborate petroglyph images.

Stepping Stone

Deer petroglyph I painted on smooth basalt
It's such a simple thing, but the plainness of the lines and the smooth, velvety texture of the rock held in my hand make me happy. I've been looking at pictures of petroglyphs, filling a page or two of sketchbook with designs and ideas.

Recent sketches
The idea fairy has been sending me some good ideas for combining my love of ancient art with modern craft. Stay tuned...

Monday's Inspiration: The Past

University of Oregon's Museum of Natural and Cultural History
This year, I've been working to overcome my creative block and other issues keeping me from making art. Part of that process is taking myself on weekly "artist dates" where I do something special for myself, usually in a way that relates to my creativity, but not always. Last Friday, I decided to go the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon, my first alma mater. Lately, I've been wondering how I can combine my love for anthropology with my love for art, since I have degrees in both.

Stone lamp, found near the John Day Reservoir, Gilliam County
As I walked up to the museum, I was asking myself how this week's date related to my art. I had the answer pretty quickly, thanks to the work I've been doing recently to figure out what most speaks to me aesthetically. The museum's main exhibits are a series of near-life sized dioramas, showing Oregon's different regions –the coast, the valleys, the Columbia plateau, and the great basin– and how Oregon's first peoples lived traditionally.

10,000 year old sagebrush sandals
In the exhibits, I saw my favorite colors, greens, blues, browns, grays, black and white. I saw the beautiful textures of natural materials. I saw the enigmatic faces and symbols of rock art, found almost everywhere in the world - a universal human heritage. The experience was both restful and inspiring.

I'm going to be asking myself how I can incorporate the essence of this experience into my artwork in a way that is respectful of the sources, creating without acting in a way that amounts to cultural appropriation. One of the themes of the museum is to remind visitors that the descendants of the people whose lifeways are depicted are still here, something that is indelibly etched in my thinking as a result of my studies in archaeology and anthropology for my first degree.

If you happen to find yourself in Eugene, a visit to the museum is well-worth the time and the small admittance fee.