Archive for November 16th, 2018

It’s a busy morning. Unfortunately, the busy part comes in clearing the 12+ inches of snow from my driveway that feel overnight. Thankfully, I did a preemptive plow last night on our quarter mile drive or my poor garden tractor would have been overmatched this morning. Oddly enough I came in this morning and stopped in front of a print that hangs on a studio wall. I hadn’t really looked at it closely for a while and it struck a chord this morning. I wrote about it back in 2010 and thought it might be good to run that post again. Hey, I have snow to move.


This etching hangs on my studio wall, near my painting table. It’s titled The Devil and the Messenger and it’s from Grant Silverstein, an artist from rural northern Pennsylvania, not far from where I live. He is self-taught and has worked for many years now in intaglio etching, which is engraving the image on a copper plate with a sharp needle.

I’ve always liked the look and feel of etchings and have great admiration for those who can translate their vision through this medium. I don’t know if I would have the patience. Grant has his own look and feel, often dealing in the allegorical. Whenever I come across his work I have to stop and look with great pleasure.

My eye often drifts up to this piece and fills me with a lot of different questions and feelings, outside of the satisfaction of the viewing the composition itself. I am curious as to what the messenger is carrying and to who is he taking it. Is the Devil is taking the message or replacing it as the messenger sleeps. Is the messenger merely sleeping normally or is it the result of the Devil’s work?

I see it as a reminder that one is always vulnerable in some way, that there is always the possibility of some Devil tinkering with you while you least suspect it. A little vigilance is required. I don’t mean that to sound paranoid. What I mean to say is that it’s best to view strangers you encounter in a dark wood a bit warily, particularly if they just happen to have horns.

And to be careful where you sleep.

To see more of the etchings of Grant Silverstein click here to go to his website.

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