Making really good progress on this poster even with a busy week and weekend. I had taken some progress photos to explain my rendering process but lost them on a buggy memory card. Not sure it would be terribly interesting to anyone else anyway. I'm basically figuring out everything as I go and I've kind of started to hit my stride in the past year, working with the paint I like and teaching myself techniques which makes big projects like this go a lot faster and smoother than they would have a year ago. blah blah blah.
Not much else to report. I'm actually reading two books at the moment, Ancient Oracles: Making the Gods Speak and Mystery Cults of the Ancient World. Both are fairly readable to someone who isn't super familiar with Classical studies but they both make a lot of references that are better understood if you are at least a little familiar.
The truth about Mystery Cults is that they are very very very appropriately named, and the academic conclusion is more or less that there is none. The book even outlines a cult in which the actual participants didn't know what god they were worshiping. So despite being halfway through the book I have to assume that it wont be revealing any mysteries, but what little definitive information there is is pretty fascinating. I bought another book called Finding Persephone which I haven't started yet, which focuses on the role of women in ancient religion and cults, something I read a really good essay about years and years ago that I've been wanting to follow up on with more reading.
The oracle book has been pretty great so far and I'm currently sketching a flier for a show that will make use of some of the things I've been reading about. The book does a really good job of touching on the psychological appeal of prognostication, especially in a culture (Greek) that believed so firmly in irreversible fate. So far I've only read about Greece but the book does touch on oracles in Asia and various shamanistic practices and will eventually discuss Rome as well. I've been thinking over some ideas for a new series of paintings and one of the ideas was to do a series on divination so I'm taking a lot of mental notes as I read.