Forest Revelry is an image from my White Deer graphic novel that I am still working on. This art represents the moment when the magic in nature meets the nature in our soul. In the poem the young lady who is picking mushrooms, berries and herbs is introduced to a magical part of the forest. She is invited to a special party and banquet. Will she partake of the festivities?
In our life, we are offered opportunities to learn and grow and sometimes party! This art represents the moment we are presented with a mystical choice. What would you do?
THESE LIMITED EDITION PRINTS ARE BEING OFFERED UNTIL FEBRUARY 18TH. AFTER THAT THEY WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE AND THE EDITION WILL BE BASED OFF THE TOTAL NUMBER SOLD. PRINTS WILL BE SHIPPED A WEEK LATER.
White Deer is an important piece of art in my Goddess cyanotype series. White Deer is associated with myths and lore from around the world and I wanted to bring this timeless story into the world of popular art culture.
I have written a poem that reflects White Deer's rite of passage. It's classical poetry with a hint of children's book prose and is becoming a very limited edition graphic novel! I intend to have the project finished in 2024.
These beautiful graphic novels will accompany the purchase of a White Deer artwork of which there are limited versions.
Here is an excerpt from the poem, with a sketched panel from the graphic novel above.
White Deer by Greg Spalenka
In the depths of nature's core
A truth awaits, forevermore
That life's enchantment never ends
We evolve, transform, transcend
I awoke, yet still was dreaming,
Lucid but my eyes were sleeping
I see the pond, an ancient mirror
Revealing a ghostly White Deer
This rite of passage – girl to crone
Ancient wisdom, we learned to own
When this looming fate pressed near
Uncertain, this maiden fled her fears
With the blush of dawn life bloomed
Illuminating all the darkened rooms
While mushrooms rose in sodden nooks
and berries bounced by babbling brooks
Morning beckoned heartily
Paths of sun lead nature’s bounty
Fauna played, birds alighted
World’s of dark and light collided
Innocence is a mystic trance
In light of day, where shadows dance
The solar rays weave and wind
Through verdant woods of fable
Yet, to step beyond the realm of fear
and let the forest draw me near
I requested a tale untold
Of love and courage, brave and bold
A little video I made from a recent trip to Chaco Canyon, New Mexico with Earth Walks and the ancient wisdom from Bea Duran of Tesuque Pueblo. The massive buildings (now ruins) of these ancestral indigenous peoples of this area still testify to their amazing organizational and engineering abilities. From 850 to 1250 CE, Chaco canyon was the NYC of the southwest, with tribes making pilgrimages from across the continent and South America for a myriad of celebrations.
The strata and petroglyphs in the cliffs are remarkable.
In 1989 I was asked by Silas Rhodes, president of the School of Visual Arts in New York City where I lived at the time to create a piece of art for their subway series of posters that lined the NYC transit stations. I was honored to be a part of this tradition that had been around for decades and had enjoyed seeing many of them while riding the subway.
Dee Ito (Marshall Arisman's wife) conjured up the copy for the poster I was to illustrate… "Even a great idea is just an idea until you make it real."
During that time in the 80’s the subway system was not in the best shape, it was depressing and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) was attempting to clean it up. So I thought I would put an angel in the subway to uplift the environment in a small way. The image I produced shows an angel in a small jail like room, painting a landscape with paint from her wings that are painting palettes.
The posters (hand silk screened in Paris!) looked great in the subway, but within a week or two I was noticing they were disappearing from the walls. No one at SVA knew why this was happening and so I contacted the MTA directly and asked why they were being taken down.
They said to me, “We are sorry Mr. Spalenka, but people are stealing your posters!”
I loved being a part of that SVA history!
SVA is presenting “Underground Images: A History,” a new exhibition showcasing the full collection of the College’s Subway Posters, which have covered the walls of NYC subway stations for almost 75 years. This is the first time the entire collection of more than 200 posters will be shown to the public.
In addition to the posters, this rich time-capsule tribute to SVA's history will include multimedia installations, progress sketches and paintings and a recreated NYC subway platform. Presented by SVA Galleries in partnership with the SVA Archives, “Underground Images: A History” will be on view through Saturday, October 14, 2023, at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 W 26th St., 15th floor, New York City.
Birth of Venus conjures up aromas of verdant flowers on a sandy beach with a whisper of sea air. This art was created as a compliment to the Page 47 botanical fragrance produced by Illuminated Perfume and also a nod to Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter of the Early Renaissance.
Venus was said to be ‘born of the sea spray’, representing love, beauty, freshness, spring and femininity. Delicate jasmine flowers dropped from her hands herald her arrival along the seascape, imbuing the salt air with their beautiful scent– a blossom that is prevalent in the perfume.
The seashell behind her and various shells on the seashore symbolize fertility, and the subconscious.
The Page 47 scent with its citrus rind unfurling into a rich, nectarous jasmine bouquet laced with underpinnings of champa, driftwood and golden amber, reminded me of 1800's Parisian posters, hence the hint of Art Nouveau in the diaphanous dress.
This signed limited edition (10), 18"x24" digital print with a white border is made with archival inks on museum quality acid free paper.
Recently at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen I conjured up a culinary performance art piece with some very talented people. We celebrated the Divine Nature Oracle Deck while exploring facets of our senses, including that of intuition. Joining me were Roxana Villa, Christine Remy, Starbird Inès, Lester Fu, along with Soma Franks who opened her awesome restaurant to this event. Below was the menu-
We received glowing reviews from the guests; "Loved it"... "More than Generous"... " A Delight!" Ritual of the Senses was a first step into creating experiences that compliment my art and personal vision while collaborating with other talented souls. The goal is to produce more theatrical pieces that accompany a gallery opening or similar.
It appears I am always biting off more than I can chew... but as I mentioned in my art presentation my mantra is... Am I more than I am? and of course... Onward and Upward!
Special thank you to Kim Aronson who shot the video footage on his iPhone.
The Divine Nature Oracle Deck inspires the curiosity in everyone... including Luna, who is the animal companion to Starbird (who shot this video). The card that Luna picks is perfect.
"They say an elephant never forgets, and now is the time to emulate her powerful spirit. She knows who she is and carries the wisdom of the ancestors in her veins and the song of the earth in her mighty step. Her grace and power remind us we need only honor our own nature and embrace its natural shape in order to embody remembrance.
Allow yourself to take up all the space you need to express your particular genius. Allow yourself to love who and what you love, unabashedly. Make no apologies for what feels most natural and alive to you. Now is the time to remember who you were before the world told you who you should be."
White Deer 41”x42”
Cyanotype emulsion on chromogenic print. Limited Edition.
Showing at Wolf Gallery - Located at Music Hill Ranch 16219 Navajo Trail Austin, TX 78738
Within the great story of reality, we enter into the canopied forest of our life, then emerge into the sunlight of our transformation.
The white deer holds a place in the traditions of many cultures. Native Americans believed the female white deer represented benevolence, kindness, creativity, spirituality, renewal, connectedness. A white stag symbolized longevity, virility, abundance and endurance. Symbolically, antlers represent sun rays of the great spirit.
The Celts considered white stags to be messengers from the “other world” and their appearance was said to herald profound change in the lives of those who encountered them. White deer are also a symbol of higher knowledge and to remind us of our spirituality.
Combining masculine and feminine principles, Deer with Stag, God with Goddess, creates a synergy of alchemical forces. Personal transformation is the goal.
My experiments with cyanotypes and early historical photographic processes reflect a type of alchemy in the elements of earth, fire, water and air. The symbolic elements of EARTH are found in the film, paper, and emulsion, FIRE is the sun’s rays exposing and transforming the chemicals into light and shadow, WATER develops and transfigures the image, AIR finishes the process of manifestation. This technique includes painting with the emulsion, destroying and rebuilding the image and repeating the process. Each piece is an evolution. Resurrecting concepts of Spirit and Alchemy in this manner, allows me to reflect upon aspects of my own personal evolution.