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A Look at the Visionary Art of Paul B. Rucker
Crafted From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Vox Acct.: 373135
Link ID: 37196
Website Profile: Hello-- my name is Paul B. Rucker and I have been making art from visionary encounters since very early childhood. I've been hearing-impaired since birth, which I think has strengthened my connection with the heightened reality of the Otherworld. Making art was my way of bringing magic back here. It still is.
What I do primarily is make images of Gods in heightened otherworldly colors and milieus.
"You are an iconographer, " I sometimes hear, "You are a dream fisher, " and "Your art is your yoga." All true. Art is a shining mirror that gives back to you what you bring to it.
Every now and then, people have dreamed of me or my work before encountering either in the material realm. I have some stories like this, and others, posted on the Testimonials sectons of my website.
I paint in acrylic and occasionally in other water-based media and in oils. I draw in pen, pencil, and mixed media. Other experiences involve creating theatrical backdrops, murals, collage, sign painting, mask-making in clay and paper-mache, silk painting, costuming, and elaborate face and body paintings.
Since 1994, I have traveled over the U.S. to sell my work in gallery, retail, and alternative venues, conventions and festivals, and private sales around the country. My images have been featured on and in magazines such as Green Egg, Hecate’s Loom, Mezlim, Psychedelic Illuminations, Tapestry Journal, and Reclaiming Quarterly. I’ve provided work for card games, logos, T-shirts, brochures, and CD album covers: “Ancestor Energy” and Mojo Roots: “Prakriti’s Kiss.”
My influences include astral dream travel from a very young age, mythology and mystery from all over the world, and individual artists like Leo and Diane Dillon, Vali Myers, Bernini, and many many unknown icon and thangka painters, neoPlatonic dreamers, and idol-makers.
At this time I am probably best known for having created a seminal image of the tutelary Yezidi deity, Melek Ta'us, the "Peacock Angel, " also a major deity in the Feri current of witchcraft. That painting was created over a period of two years (1993-1995) with very little information or lore to go on (since I was not then, nor am yet, an initiate of Feri-- except perhaps by the Gods) yet its reception in the world, especially among Feri, has been nothing short of spectacular. Scans of my postcard of this image appeared on the web years before I got my own site and some startling conclusions have been drawn by people at large concerning it. (For more on this, see my upcoming essays that describe how this image came to be and its aftereffects.)
In the spring of 2008, European students of T. Thorn Coyle commissioned me to paint the "Divine Twins" of Feri, which work has been well received by Thorn and the larger Feri audience.
For over 14 years I have travelled around the country to show and sell my work and to find out what's intriguing in many places. Though I have lived in San Francisco, New Orleans, Portland, OR, and Sedona, I grew up in MN and to date have kept coming back to the Twin Cities, AKA "Paganistan." Nevertheless, every place I've lived has influenced my work.
Rather than organizing my work chronologically, my website presents themes: Faeries and Angels, Gods, Goddesses, Fantasia [visionary scenes], Walk on the Night Side [darker and more disturbing work], black and white images [mixed media/drawings], and "Camera Paintings."
The last category showcases experiments with photography, body paint and digital layering. One of my favorites, the "Faerie Madonna" from June 2004, is on the cover of issue #14 (Spring 2009) of SPELLCRAFT, the premiere metaphysical magazine of the Southern hemisphere! The inside of this issue also features a short piece about me featuring my "Blue Man" persona, a self-created avatar in jewel colors, peacock feathers and richly ornamented blue skin. I "launched" the Blue Man at the Faerieworlds festival in Eugene, OR in 2006 and have brought it back two other times to date. "Iconic" is the word I most often hear about the effect-- and images of me in this guise can be found in promotion and advertising for the event as well, and on my site and my Facebook and Myspace pages also.
In addition to pursuing body paint and exploration of the "magical personality" in environments of spiritual intention outside of the formal temple, I am looking forward to exploring imagery of male faeries in general, as I am convinced that the current fashion in faerie points to a need for a connection with natural magic in a manner that is intimate, personal and enchanting-- and the presence of the masculine is sorely needed and desired here. My Blue Man is the male faerie self I wanted to see but which didn't exist until I made it. I have been brewing ideas for paintings and other kinds of images to further express this image of the male faerie that will not exist until I myself give it a form unique to my style. (I'm hoping to find some inspiring models!)
Though my images of the Divine Feminine are well received, there are simply not as many well-developed or varied images of the Divine Masculine out there, so I have tended to show and sell more male avatars simply for this reason. My travels around the country in various venues have pointed out a passionate yearning and hunger for images of men in their beauty as well as their strength.
I want to add in conclusion that I have published essays, articles, poetry and reviews in addition to creating artworks. Regarding what may come, generating oracular decks, monographs, and other forms of visual/textual presention rank high on my list of future activities. The "What's New" section of my website will showcase whatever updates in these areas occur.
Bringing the magic of the Otherworld into this one, is what it's all about for me. After this lengthy preamble, feel free to click on my link and see for yourself.
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