El Barquero Picture

ink on paper with acrylic on wood panel, approx. 51 x 40.5cm (framed) / 37 x 30.5cm (artwork)

This is my somewhat unconventional take on a scene from Greek mythology in which Charon, the boatman (“el barquero”) ferries the soul of a deceased woman, across the river Styx, to the Kingdom of the Dead (Hades). The rather satanic depiction of Hades in the tower above is the result of an evolution of sketches that began with the inspiration of having seen the menacing, three-headed Satan tile-mosaic on the ceiling of the baptistery in Firenze, Italy. (cheerfully located directly above the baptismal font)

The architecture on both shores is based largely on buildings I saw, sketched, and/or photographed in Denmark, The Netherlands and Belgium. In fact, the very conception of this work began not with the idea, but with one of these drawings. I sketched what ultimately became the pen & ink on paper in the foreground of this work on location in Bruges, Belgium. The gorgeous, old “Radhus on Eekhoutstraat” was later inked in, but for about four years, it languished in my sketchbook. I was completely stricken with creator’s block when trying to devise a background for this architectural jewel on an otherwise blank piece of paper until the bold idea occurred to me that I should cut the Radhus free from its stagnant fate on paper and apply it to something totally new and in colour. Thus, “Radhus on Eekhoutstraat” died as a concept and, passing into the Kingdom of Hades, was reborn in “El Barquero”.
Continue Reading: The Fates