Wednesday, March 31, 2010

THE HIEROPHANT/ a visionary painting made from earth pigments, a symbolist work incorporating elements from Tarot

                                                   The Hierophant
                                                   by Eric Whollem
                                                   earth paints in vinyl emulsion on panel
                                                   Collection of the artist.
                                                     Copyright by the artist.

A Visionary Image of the Hierophant

After a trip to the ocean in Santa Cruz, California,
in 1976, I painted this work depicting the triple-
crowned Hierophant.

The dark thistle represents malignancies in my own
being. The dove represents healing and release.

Utilziing paints made from nature had a strong healing
influence on me. My early works were often filled with
the usual tortured emotions of youth. This is an example
of homeopathic alchemical medicine: the transmutation
of the base into the sublime.

The blue pigment at the Hierophant's mouth was taken
from a lump of copper ore. The bright yellow is from
ore I found at Mt. Shasta, California. Some of the dull
ochre colors in the painting are also from Shasta, but
are made from volcanic pumice.

Paul Foster Case's book on Tarot was the source of
inspiration for me back in the 1970's. The Hierophant
is one of the Major Arcanum.

Abstract art, alchemy, Mt. Shasta, visionary art
Figurative abstraction.



  1. Never mock at Eris
    Lest Eris mock with you
    Hers is a brave dispassion
    You haven't got a clue

    hoLY cHaOS

    share and enjoy

    Emerging Visions visionary art 'zine #17 ~ HOly ChAoS

  2. Eris is the ancient Greek Goddess of discord.
    As such she relates to the malignancy of youthful
    disharmony mentioned in the post above. is a very interesting webzine worth viewing by those of us
    involved in poetry.


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