The Visionary Art of Paul B. Rucker

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.

Orisha Artist Reception & Drum Performance

We could tell you all about this wonderful new show, Through the mind of Onayemi Ogunkoye, As Above So Below, currently hanging on the north wall in our upstairs art gallery, but we’ll just extend the invitation for you to come and hear Onayemi Ogunkoye in person on Saturday, May 15th at 7 p.m. when he will present his work and give a drum demonstration. The event is free, but space is limited, so come early to get a seat. Refreshments will be available.

In His Own Words – the Artist and the Orisha

Onayemi

Onayemi Drumming

My name is Onayemi, given to me by Orisha through my Iyalosha Oyabi Wangara. Onayemi means the profession of Artist suits me.

I have been commissioned by Orisha to do this body of Orisha Art that continues to grow. These images don’t come from me they come through me. When I begin to work on a piece, I summon the Spirit of the Orisha that I am working on. That Orisha directs me in the production of the piece.

The words that are offered  here are brief explanations of the Orisha presented in the show.

To celebrate the show Through the mind of Onayemi Ogunkoye, As Above So Below, I will present and discuss Orisha along with a drum demonstration (free).

Through the Mind of Onayemi - As Above, So Below

Elegba

Elegba /Esu is the messenger to Olodumare (God) and to all Orisha. All Ceremonies begin and end with acknowledging and knowing him he holds the keys to open the doors to our wants and needs he is the owner of the crossroads of life. We invoke his assistance with life changing decisions. He doesn’t like to be ignored and can be perceived as a trickster if provoked However he will help guide and protect us from danger He Ogun and Ochosi are very close and worked together as the warriors Elegba opens the path, Ogun clears the path,  Ochoosi shows us the most direct path to good character and our wants and needs his colors are red and black his numbers is three and his day is Monday Mojuba Elegba.

Ogun

Ogun is the spirit of iorn and technology with out him every thing comes to a hault.  He is one of the warriors with Elegba and Ochosi.  He is the one that clears the path for us.  His symbols are rail road tracks and macheties and any thing made of metal.   He is the patron of warior professions as well as surgeons his colors are green and black and his number is three.  His day is Wednesday and honored with Elegba and Ochosi on Monday.  Mojuba Ogun

Ochosi

Ochosi is the spirit of the Hunter/Tracker. He has both female and male aspects. He is one of the three warriors along with Elegba and Ogun. Elegba opens the door and road Ogun clears the path and Ochosi shows us the most direct path to alignment with our destiny and growth into good character which produces growth and development of our soul.  Ochosi can see at ground level with one eye and from above with the other, at the same time. This also means that he sees our spiritual path and can direct us in the physical realm.  Ochosi is the owner of  left hand magic. He is the provider of food for his immediate family and his extended family. He is the patron saint of hunters and fisherman and those seeking justice. He is the Divine Hunter Tracker and Fisherman. His symbol is crossbow and arrow.  Ochosi colors are green black,and  red coral his number is three.

Obatala

Obatala is the Father of the human family and Orisha.  Oldumare commissioned Obatala t0 fashion us from the Earth and Olodumare breathed life into us. We invoked him to help us keep a cool head and think clearly. He is the owner of the white cloth and purity he manifests as an old man who sits a top a mountain. His color is white with a little purple his number is eight, which symbolizes eternity. His day is Sunday.  Mojaba Obatala!

Yemoja

Yemoja is the primordial Mother she watches over us all especially the children. She is represented by the Ocean and has a male energy which is Olokun. She represents fertility and is the symbol for the females entering their rites of Passage. Her number is seven she is the mother of Shango and is the wife of Obatala. Her day is Saturday and her colors are Crystal and Blue. Mojuba Yemoja

Oshun

Oshun is the ambassador of beauty passion sweetness and prosperity and Love. She is who we call on to bare children and protect unborn children. She is the seductress who reminds us of our desires. Oshun is represented by rivers and lakes. She loves honey & money. Some of her favorite things are peacocks pumpkins and gold coins. Oshun’s color is yellow her number is five and her day of the week is Friday. Mojuba Oshun

Shango

Shango is the great king he is beloved by all Orisha worshipers. He is lord of the drum and dance. He is represented by fire and lightning, he is thunder. When Justice is to be served we turn to Shango.  His symbol is represented by a double headed axe. Shango’s colors are red and white his day is Thursday. Mojuba

Oya

Oya is the whirl wind.  She shares lightining with Shango. She is the guardian of the cemetery  gates. She is a warriors and fights alongside Shango in battle.  She can change into a water Buffalo and then back into a woman. Oya has nine colors. Her number is nine and her day is Tuesday.  Mojuba Oya.