Sepulchre of the Sun

Elizabeth Luallen, Artist

Sepulchre of the Sun, Endless Summer Painting by Elizabeth Luallen, circa 1985. Click on the image to purchase or send a free email.

There is always something fascinating to discover in the art of Elizabeth Luallen. This is her self-portrait. In inimitable wit, she is, at the moment the work is taking place, painting the piece. You can see her, under the umbrella, her back turned, under the straw hat.

She includes herself in the moment of creation. She understands that an artist can never be separated from her work: that artist and art are forever one.  She is well aware that objectivity is a metaphysical ritual better practiced in darkness. The bathers have disrobed and emerge from the cramped obscurity of the changing shed, in contrast to the infinitude of the sunny beach. Their faces are only distinguishable enough to convey a mood – anything more distracts us from the feelings we are invited to share. How little of an image can you see and still understand that person’s attitude and feeling in this moment? Innocent, coquettish, happy-go-lucky, forthright. Could these figures be here more in spirit than in flesh? Have they ‘changed’ out of their garments of this world?

You can see that the figure I have named ‘the artist’ is imbued with all the colors of the painting. The painting is within her, she within the painting. The bathers pose for the picture, while she ignores the camera. What interest has she in being seen, as it is she who is observer? Even so, in all honesty she has to admit that she can never escape her own painting. So, there she sits, shaded from the unforgiving sun.

The shed stands dilapidated; burnt, sun-worn. In other words, it is old. We know that it’s made of wood, and yet the colors suggest stone.The little shade enjoyed is a rapturous lavender or glowing maroon. The black inner compartment of the shed is altogether a different portal from another world: an aerie void. The shingle hanging above the double doors is nameless. It is, like an ancient sepulchre of the sun itself; the apparent but ineffable, from which this moment of creation has emerged. You enter, fully attired. You leave, practically naked, to be bathed in unrelenting light. But you can sense something is still waiting in there – something too powerful and awe-full to be described through color. Strangely, the door on the left resembles the spirit of a man. You can just make out his shirt collar, pants – even his boot points out to his right. His face in profile, expresses loss and mourning as the young people emerge. What does he know that no one wants to learn?

We live within our own selves. We can never escape this fact. We must learn to trust in our own feelings and understanding. The time for relying on others to explain things to us is rapidly reaching its end.

A Blue Moon | red pill, or blue pill?

John Lane Images

“Moonrise” by photographer John Lane – these other images available for purchase at

who knows if the moon’s
a balloon, coming out of a keen city
in the sky—…

e.e. cummings

When you look at the moon, there seems no way to discern it other than in a personal way. It seems to hang there, knowing that you are gazing up at it. It emanates “awareness.” Even for those who have the unhappy habit of denigrating their own imaginative impulses, inserting in their place a dry set of ‘objective’ facts from a trusted book or website, the moon summons awe.

Everyone remembers a story associated with the moon. And it is always a poignant and deep recollection that marks a turning point in one’s life. For me, it was knowing that, one evening, as I looked up at the moon, that my mother was also looking at it from a distant part of the world. To know that, together, we shared a vision of heavenly mystery, set that moment aside among my thoughts of her, in a grandeur gilded in affection and longing. Whenever I look up, I always remember her and feel that she also looks upon it now, although from a new vantage point that I hope someday to share.

Is this why the moon sports such a ‘crazy’ reputation? Our reason is no match for its splendor. Its magnificence defies cool, calm calculation – it watches you with the same treacherous romance as the glowing eyes of a wolf from  the darkness: waiting, still, patient, terrible, wonderful. If we think we understand the moon, we have imbibed the blue pill. And, unless you absolutely cannot resist the red, I would strongly recommend that you keep taking the blue, once in the morning and once before bedtime. You won’t regret it because you’ll never know what you missed.

How to Build Your Own Stargate

sculpture by Pete Welty

Stargate by Pete Welty, sculptor, Orcas Island, Washington.

A stargate is a location where the energy of a star is squeezed into a space you can walk through. You’re not squashed because there is no mass in the opening, only the energy that would exist if there were mass. There is no mass because there is no time in which the mass could exist. This compresses dimensions closely together into the dimension in which the stargate is located, so that when you walk though, you walk ‘around’ time rather than through time. Time is distance. Once you figure that out, the rest is easy.

There are many naturally occurring stargates on Earth as well as other locations on other planets and spots literally in the middle of nowhere. They open and close at different times so you have to be ready to go otherwise you’re stuck, unless you can artificially create the conditions that will open the gate to a particular location. This can be done with sound frequency if you have an atmosphere, but you have to wait until the right  moment. If you can’t wait around for the conditions to be right, It is helpful to have a huge power cord with an insane concentration of electromagnetic energy to open the door.

Dimensions co-exist under a respiration of sorts, basically breathing in and out. These orificies are what we call ‘stargates,’ or simply ‘stars.’You see, the universe of many dimensions is the ultimate organism, and it breathes. So, when the dimensions collapse you travel into the first dimension where all points are one point. Then you pass back up into either a third dimensional realm somewhere else and voila – you’ve arrived. (And when you do, you’d be surprised who you might meet coming the other way.) Now, you’ll be somewhere else in time because time is space. Forget about space as it’s just one of the many versions of time; Space is the way Time is expressed in the third dimention.

Okay, I think we’ve gone far enough. Let’s just stop right there.

sculpture by Pete Welty

upon closer inspection….

This is what good sculpture does. It compels us to create an explanation for it. It exists with such an inevitability that it just has to make sense. And if it doesn’t, the rest is up to us. Sculpture is the sparkplug of imagination. It’s not there to tell you anything but to pose the question in a new and sparkling way, prompting you to answer. You finally realize it’s not solving the mystery that matters, it’s the mystery alone that matters.