Darker Skies


The layout of Darker Skies, part I, is inspired by the work of the 16th century Italian herbalist who depicted giant medicinal plants hovering over a landscape with miniscule people and houses below. The wind-driven wave at the bottom of the work mimics the mortality graphs of the corona virus.

Title: Darker Skies. Part I

The first of three panels

Date: March 12 to April 12, 2020

Size: 60” x 30”

Media: Lithographic ink, litho tusche, lithographic pencil, oil paint, graphite, stencils, fingerprinting, erasers on Formica panel.

The scarred background is created with the lithographic levigator and carborundum. The lacerations get inked in the manner of intaglio.


Easter. (4-12-2020)

“It is finished! Four weeks of isolation in the studio. I reworked the light around the top of the palm, and then mixed some litho tusche to drag streaks of grey across the panel.

An artist fights on two fronts: first to render the palm with feeling, crisply and accurately, and then: to mutilate it and expose it to darkening winds and flying debris. I look at paintings from the Italian Renaissance – where are the storms, the cloudbursts, the darker moments in life? I want to capture what happens between me and the image. And the palm is my accomplice: bending under the strain of that effort.” Herlinde Spahr, Notebooks