Koran 5" x 3" illuminated with paint and gold leaf.
The 5th and final poster that I painted for the Tropen Museum was for a Koran from Iran dated 1799. Some Korans were designed for making predictions or Istikhara. This Koran was especially designed for this purpose and its pages are marked with specific letters—KH (khair), meaning good; SH (shar), meaning bad. After asking a question, the book is opened to a random page by a professional reader. The corresponding text on that page gives spiritual support and more knowledge about the situation at that time and a view into future. People use istikhara most frequently in regards to matters of health, marriage, business, employment and journeys.
The Tropen Museum told me that the utmost care and sensitivity would be given to this project. The concept and sketch process was intense. I think we went through about 50 sketches. The Tropen Museum had an Islamic Art expert to assist with the approval process.
Last week I got another chance at Newsweek. The article was about the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subprime mortgage mess. The article really got my blood boiling. Are we living in "Stupid Land"? If I ran my business like Fannie and Freddie I would not only be fired but probably be in jail. The article was mainly about Roy Barnes, governor of Georgia in 98, who had some foresight and realized what these snakes were doing and pushed through the toughest anti-predatory lending law in the country. It made the lenders legally liable for unfair loans. Of course, Barnes was besieged by lobbyists from the major banks and regulators - including Fannie and Freddie. In 2003, the Georgia legislature gutted the law because they were warned that Freddie Mac was about to cut off most of its business with the state. Presently, Georgia has one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the country. Ugh!
Final pencil drawing
The AD Dan was great to work with. The initial concept was two twisters destroying a town. I just took his initial concept and ran with it. The one good thing about the economy and the world's downward spiral is that my images can have a darker more interesting tone.
The 4th poster that I painted for the Tropen Museum was for a Jainism alter piece. Jainism is an ancient religion of India. The goal for a Jain member is to leave earth and to reach Dharma/Nirvana. To achieve this they need to stop their soul from rebirthing. The Jain strongly believe that they are punished with a rebirth when their soul is open to negative emotions such as jealousy and greed. To block every possible negative emotion they live an extremely peaceful life where meditation plays an important role. This modern golden statue of emptiness (made in 2004) is used by Jain people in their meditation to purify their soul. It helps them to become nothing, disconnect from the existing world and free their soul from the material world.
color studies (about 1"x2")
I usually paint a few quick color studies to hash out some of the details. The client wanted a specific blue in the background so I sent these.