Monday, December 31, 2012

Here Comes 2013

Reflecting on 2012 while beginning this piece...
Almost 40 paintings, 20 shows including my first real solo, and trips to NYC, San Francisco and Philly were all amazing moments of 2012.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported my work; I promise to continue to work even harder next year! Happy 2013!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Guardians

"Winter Guardians"
acrylic and silver leaf on birch panel
18 x 24 inches, plus frame
For Bold Hype Gallery's "Far Away, So Close" show

This painting was an intense experience for me; I haven't had time enough with all my projects to work on a large painting like this since before my solo show in August, and even then I was racing to create several large pieces in a very short amount of time.


For this piece, I wanted to create a scene about my most favorite of seasons; winter.
There is a barn owl, albino doe and raven, and two arctic foxes and two white wolves.  They are flanking a snowflake-like acanthus pentagram, which is silver leafed and painted with white details.
There are also icicles hanging from the pentagram, snow falling in the background, and some pink roses and pine cones and branches.

The concept deals with my fascination of the opposition between nature and christianity.  Throughout history, christians viewed nature as of the Devil; pagans and witches of all kinds seen as heathens.  I myself see the Devil not as a god that should be worshipped literally, but as a symbol of all that which I hate about the life-hating religions, including christianity.
Thusly, I seek to paint the beauty and majesty of animals and nature.
Before christianity, there were beautiful old ways that seem to become buried and forgotten.  
I wanted these animals, which may be seen as spirits, to be the ones who guard the old ways and make sure that some part of the magic of nature cannot be forgotten or destroyed by christianity.
These Guardians are as old as the seasons; as the winter itself, and cannot be destroyed.


I had an extraordinarily difficult time photographing this painting because of the white highlights on the silver leaf, and the lights and darks I painted onto the birch.  Hopefully I will have a chance to get a better picture of the painting at some point.

I'm hoping to make three other paintings dealing with spring, summer and fall over the next year.

Here's the flyer for the show, I'll be in NYC for the opening!

So excited to be with such a great group of artists, at such an amazing gallery.  This is actually my first time showing in the city, so it will be a fun experience.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Demon Bird

"Demon Bird"
inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven
acrylic on birch panel
8 x 10 inches, plus frame
available HERE

Here's my painting for Modern Eden Gallery's upcoming Nevermore show, based on Edgar Allen Poe's immortal poem, "The Raven".

I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this show, as I've been a fan of Poe, and especially this poem since I was a kid.  I remember reading it in elementary school on my own, and being fascinated by the imagery it conjured in my head.
And then I memorized it after seeing the episode of "The Simpsons" where they did their own version of The Raven in a Halloween special; Bart was the raven, and Homer, the narrator.
I still can't read the poem or imagine the words without hearing Homer's voice in my head!

For my version, I decided to focus on the idea of the raven being seen as a demon; evil, taunting the narrator, like a "devil bird".  Poe refers to books that the narrator is reading, alluding that they are about the occult, or black magic, so I decided to give my albino raven ghostly horns, and added the Death and Devil tarot cards.  I added champagne colored roses, which mean "devotion" in Floriography, since the overarching theme of the poem is undying devotion.
My raven is perched on the bust of Pallus, where her face is that of the long departed Lenore; the narrator's lost love that he cannot forget.

The show accompanies the amazing new work of one of my favorite artists, Leilani Bustamante, and there are many more of my favorite artists showing in the Nevermore show as well!

Check it out this Saturday in San Francisco!

Far Away, So Close

Here's a recent picture of my progress on "Winter Guardians" for Bold Hype Gallery's Far Away, So Close show.  

If you're interesting in seeing more of my progress shots, you can follow me on Instagram at @corybenhatzel or .

The show is coming up soon in January, and I'll be traveling to NYC for the opening and some sightseeing!