The Visionary Art of Paul B. Rucker

Share this:
Take a journey through physical self, levels of consciousness, and into transcendent realms.

Inspired by myth, diety and personal revelation, Paul paints vivid colors and light-lines to evoke the dancing energy surrounding both traditional and new mythic figures. His original art is featured at the Eye of Horus, both on our gallery wall, as well as throughout the store.

We also carry some of these images and several of his other works as limited edition prints, all in runs of less than 500.  Prints start at only $15 for limited edition, archival quality prints of 24 of Paul’s paintings, both in the store and in the Art of Paul Rucker section of our online shop.  Each is signed and numbered by the artist and come with a certificate of authenticity.

Interview with Paul Rucker

We sat down with Paul to talk about his work and inspiration. We ended up with five short videos which explore the nature and understanding of life and the divine. Click here to go to the YouTube playlist.

In Part One of the interview, below,  Paul talks about his early experiences and how archetypal beings, gods, goddesses became the driving force behind his art. We also discuss his current work with body painting, ritual theater and sacred drama. Art, as he strives to create is Mythopoeic work, and artists reshape the Mythical Matrix.  We also explore the vibrancy of  Paganism.

In the second half of the interview, below, Paul explores the creation and meaning of two of his works. The first is his image of Melek Ta’us.  The second is image of Oshun.  We talk about how he doesn’t just set out to depict a pantheon, rather he connects with and answers the call to paint a divinity, and finally, Paul reflects on nature’s wisdom.

In His Own Words

Androgyne

Androgyne

As a small child I shared my visions by making pictures. That act of magic still sustains me.

When still very young I dreamed of a White Stag that took me to a moonlit grove, wild and rambling, filled with Gods’ names. Not the “Names of God” but the names of the Gods and Goddesses of the world. To stand anywhere in that holy place was to feel each Divine personality completely. All were there, every divinity the human world had ever known, and the Stag of the Moon leading me on and on… even then I knew my task was to bring that magic back to this world, somehow, through making images.

I think of myself as part of the Tribe of Dream… the people who bring heightened reality into the world through art and other acts of creative sorcery. View a video of Paul as he discusses the mythic symbolism of The Androgyne.

The Art & Appearances

I paint in acrylic and occasionally in other water-based media and in oils. I draw in pen, pencil, and mixed media. Other experiences involve creating theatrical backdrops, murals, collage, sign painting, mask-making in clay and paper-mache, silk painting, costuming, and elaborate face and body paintings.  In 1997 my art was featured in a mixed-media collaboration by the performance group Body Prayers at the Merrymeet festival. In 2006, 2007, and 2009, my “Blue Man” persona extended the boundaries at the Faerieworlds Festival in Oregon.

My images have been featured on and in magazines such as Green Egg, Hecate’s Loom, Mezlim, Psychedelic Illuminations, Tapestry Journal, and Reclaiming Quarterly.  In recent years my exposure has grown to include Spellcraft, Witch Eye, Faerie Nation Magazine, and the Green Egg Omelette anthology. I’ve provided work for card games, logos, T-shirts, brochures, and CD album covers: Ancestor Energy and Mojo Roots: “Prakriti’s Kiss.”

Paul Talks about his Influences

In the beginning, of course, were the dreams and visions I had no words to express, which led me to make pictures. Very early influences include the lush and amazing illustration in childrens’ books of the late 60s and early 70s– such as the work of Leo and Diane Dillon, who illustrated many of the most fantastical of the stories included in the Silver Burdett Reading series. Saturation in literature came fast and deep. To this day I think of myself as a “writerly” painter, because my art always alludes in some way to story and myth.

I never cared for mere realism, since one could see that anywhere, and far too much of it besides. In reading faery tales, I never identified with the hero or his/her sidekick the way I was “supposed” to– it was their faerie guardian or angelic helper or radiant friend/enemy from the Otherworld that held me fast.

Later on I delved into my parents’ collection of the Time-Life series of “Great Masters of Art”: my fascination with mythological images and scenes, paralleled what I was learning about Greco-Roman, and later Egyptian, Norse and Indian mythologies. I learned about who, or at least of what nature, the supernal personalities I saw in my dreams and sidelong visions were.

In college I began to make an active effort to expand my inner sensibility by studying and incorporating artistic/spiritual styles from many different cultures, most notably Asian art: Moghul images, Tibetan Thangkas, and so forth. Exposure to psychedelics and “entheogens” obviously left a mark as well. But after graduation I continued to work to expand the boundaries of my inner eye: gathering books for instance of artists just beyond my range such as Frida Kahlo and Gauguin, so that I could taste where their work and style was coming from.

Gremlin Fugue by Paul B. Rucker

Gremlin Fugue

One of my most important epiphanies came from a book on Aboriginal art: the frontispiece showed nothing but a dark and wrinkled hand, presumably the artist’s, lightly touching an Aboriginal painting done in undulating dots. I suddenly got it: these were energy paintings! Ever after I searched for more primal and trans-cultural ways to relate to these styles: Huichol, shamanic arts. The more I learned the more I realized how to learn; that the arts I had the most affinity for and that could teach me something, came from the same current of relating to the world in its invisible, energetic, and more than ego-based aspect: the universe was not a stage for the ego, and the world not simply its tool and plunder, but an infinite diversion of living beings, a “great story.”

Perhaps the ongoing journey between the two hemispheres of my own brain in absorbing Images and Music and Stories, then studying philosophy and discourse relating to expeditions “behind the veil” of ordinary reality, has shaped my approach to my themes and subjects. View a video of Paul discussing his meld of music and art – Gremlin Fugue. I find the greatest meaning in my art as a marriage of content as consciousness (understanding) and content as transmission from the nonrational and often surprising Undermind. I see my work as ongoing dispatches from a miraculous theater of myth and meaning, out there, in the Otherworld.

Paul B. Rucker originals showing at Eye of Horus

Eye of Horus also has two of his Pen and Ink originals available: Mother Goddess and To Dance for Iblis.  Prices for the original paintings start at $900 and the Black and White originals are $350.

%d bloggers like this: