Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet

"Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet," 
by Portia St Luke, 
Pen and Ink on tinted paper highlighted with white, 
December, 2011.

These figures are inspired by the traditional Yuletide figures of Holland, Sinterklaas, or "Saint Klaus," and Zwarte Piet, or "Black Pete," the chimney sweep that has become a cherished part of the holidays in Holland. Many progressive Americans have inferred the legend of Zwarte Piet has racist overtones. When asked, however, the majority of Dutch people seemed to find this notion absurd. By the same logic, would the American Santa with his elves be "sizeist"? Stop complaining, children. The Austrian version of the Christmas Saint doesn't arrive with a cherished icon nearly as friendly. If you're too naughty, maybe next year I'll draw the Krampus...

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