the evolution of a painting

 

 Penthesilea (Love is a Dog Bite), oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches by Warren Criswell

I was both appalled and inspired by Kleist's drama of ferocious love and the fragile membrane between love and hate, life and death. But how to paint it? Finally the gruesome climax got pushed back into the middle distance of a post-collapse I-30 landscape, and remnants of Poussin's shepherds appeared in the foreground: the river god without his pitcher; death and the maiden. Et in Arcadia ego.

Music: "Shelf Life" by Carey Ott, from Lucid Dream

(Watch an interview with Warren Criswell talking about this painting)

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