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-
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