Chichen Itza Blues
watercolor on paper; 16" x 20"
mixed Media on paper; 10" x 12"
The Maya certainly had music. We hear it called sacred music. Was music only for the King, priests, and the upper class?
What about the popular music of the people? Drums, bells, flutes, rain sticks, and maybe a string instrument would have made life joyful, Mother Earth content, and even the fierce Gods satiated—at least while harmonic fusion and all that jazz filled the Mayan air.
The ancient forest was home to magnificent creatures.
In addition to farming and growing maize, the Maya were adept hunters. They had all sort of tricks to capture their prey.
But this Golden Gazelle could not be fooled by one of their wooden whistles that imitated its mating call. This gazelle was exempt from the hunt for it had already seen all the tricks of man.
Rated among the most important archeological site of the Maya culture, Chichen Itza covers an area of approximately six square miles where hundreds of buildings once stood in what is now the Yucatan in Mexico.
Here, the flow of watercolor reveals a grand and vibrant day during the Classic period of the Maya in the sacred city of Chichen Itza, which was first populated by the Maya between 500 and 900 A.D. Chichen Itza was abandoned around 900; the reason is not clear as to why. The city was resettled 100 years later and subsequently invaded by Toltecs from the North.
There are numerous reliefs of both Mayan gods including Chac and the Toltec gods including Quetzacoatl. For some still mysterious reason the city was once again abandoned around 1300.
watercolor on paper; 18" x 24"
Spectacle in Mesoamerica
mixed media on mat paper; 24" x 32" (detail)
Confession of a Priest
pastel on paper; 18" x 24"
There is no doubt that there is a human collective consciousness. The energy of the past is swirling about us in the present. Can you see it? Can you feel it? It exists on the sub-atomic level—the invisible matrix that creates the material world. It is transcendental knowledge. The wisdom, mystery, and history of the ages are available to anyone willing to receive.
One overcast Los Angeles afternoon, I had driven down from my Hollywood Hills home to the Insomnia Cafe on Beverly Boulevard. It was handy as an art supply store was across the street from the cafe. After ordering a cappuccino, I sat down on one of the plush living room type chairs. I took out my color pencils and bristol board pad and began.
As the shapes and forms began appearing, I knew some thing ancient, Peruvian, Andean, some thing Mayan—not the Chavin or Nasca Civilizations— but Mayan was coming through.
After the Spanish conquered the Aztecs of Mexico some time after 1519, the Conquistadors invaded the Yucatan, home of the Maya. The Spanish policy was to kill all the Mayan priests and burn all the Mayan books, which they proclaimed the devils work. The knowledge of the priests and what was in the lost books (a few of their books on bark did survive) of the Maya was an invaluable loss to humanitys collective experience.
In that moment, I knew what had once been Maya, what had once been in their books and their philosophy, permeated the air around me. I was the conduit for some spirit of the Maya, eager to be reborn on this existential plane.
The Mayan civilization was the height of pre-Columbian culture. While they made significant discoveries in science, including astronomy, the use of the zero in mathematics, and the calendar we use today, they were also warlike.
The Maya would raid their neighbors for land, slaves, and for unfortunate captives—some were subjected to a double sacrifice: the victims heart was torn out and offered to the sun and the head cut off so the blood could be poured out onto the earth. The Maya believed in an afterlife. But did their victims?
As with all great civilizations, the Maya displayed the range of human potential—from superb art, pageantry, intellectual evolution, to superstition and barbaric practices in an attempt to appease nature.
What secrets did the holy man of the Maya keep in that dark place within his soul? If found out, how would the masses, the believers of his dogma react? She had come to him for help. Her wiles were powerful.
She grew close to his pumping heart. And now the priest knows that the gods will not rest.
Only blood will cleanse. Blood, the Maya's most exquisite gift, more valuable than diamonds, more precious than jade.
color pencil on paper; 11" x 14"
ink, color pencil on paper; 5-1/2" x 7-1/2"
watercolor on paper; 18" x 24"
acryclic on canvas; 16" x 20"
Take a few seconds to consider a moment in time.
Our present calendar, which was developed over 5.000 years ago by the Mayan astronomers, ends in the year 2012. Some believe this year marks the end of one dimension, and the beginning of a new era.
The Mayan priests could predict and interpret, with great accuracy, movements of the heavenly bodies, which led to an accurate calendar.
Knowing when to plant and when to harvest gave the priests control and power over the population.
Still, the secrets of the Maya remain a mystery to this day.
Today, instead of priests, we have the media.
Take that moment to reflect. In 5,000 years, our culture may be as puzzling to a future civilization as the Mayan culture is to us.
A marriage made in Maya heaven.
They were young, in love, and the hormones of romance were stronger than tradition.
Their families hated one another. The had been promised in marriage to mates they had not yet met.
They could not bear being separated. They would run away. But to where? The empire was vast. Disobedience could mean harsh punishment, even death.
Thats it. They would somehow feign death and then no one would look for them. The tale continues.
Each culture seems to have archetypal tales of love that was doomed from the start. Shakespeare would pen the tragedy as Romeo and Juliet. The story would surface again in modern times. Now the lovers were cast against an urban landscape as Westside Story to a new audience.
Is it a gift or not to see into the future?
That depends on who might have this ability.
The Mayan priests were adept at mathematics and predicting celestial phenomenon.
Still, the priests with all their rituals and calculations could not begin to fathom the depth of that inner universe called the human spirit, which wants to be born free of dogma.
If one truly had the gift of foresight, that person would tell no one.
The culture of the indigenous people of the Americas to the south were doomed the moment their lands were “discovered” by the Europeans.
When the Spanish conquered Mesoamerica, it was under the banner of God and Country. Greed was not included on that banner declaration. It is presumed Jesus would not have sanctioned such carnage.
Certainly and sadly, native Americans were not pacifists and did horrific and brutal acts to their own kind.
Still, the Spanish did their best to make Catholics of the indigenous peoples, especially the elite, kill off opposition, and leave the masses to work—it seems “heathens” without weapons who could be taxed were preferable to dead ones.
Let us learn from our collective hubris; it is the only path toward evolution.