Drawing Down the Moon

I began making red paintings after viewing a full color portrait through a piece of amber colored glass. It was a way for me check the value relationships in a painting by reducing the image to monochrome. I found this version of the painting compelling enough to begin experimenting with the limited palette.

At this time I also became aware of a tradition known as drawing down the moon, a ritual during which an individual enters a trance and requests that the Goddess, symbolized by the Moon, enter her body and speak through her. She then exists in an altered state of consciousness. I find this entire process to be a metaphor for recognizing one's own empowerment.

Some of these paintings also deliberately reference the Pythia, commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, who was widely credited for her prophecies inspired by being filled by the spirit of the god Apollo. 

I chose to use cadmium red because it is a brilliant color with an excellent value range, and an imposing electric personality. The figures in this series are almost always life size or larger, in order to communicate their presence of being.

                                                                                                      Joshua Bronaugh

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