Last Judgment, Hans Memling, 1467 – 1471

One of the earliest works of the Flemish master, Hans Memling. One side, of little interest, shows the souls of the righteous calmly queuing up to Heaven’s gate. The right panel depicts monstrous demonic figures shoveling the Damned into Hell’s brackish pits.

Clear, deep coloration creates a rich contrast between the two opposed realms of the dead. This piece is an excellent example of the emerging trend especially in Flemish works of exquisite textural details in oil work.

Traveling to the Land of Faustus

This coming January, we are planning a trip to Frankfurt and touring the surrounding area of Hessia. Apart from visiting family there, there is a very exciting prospect waiting for me as it is the birthplace of the mythology of Dr. Faustus. As you can obviously tell, the legend of Faustus has inspired me since I was a boy. It is a name I have taken unto myself. It will be a time for special inquiry in situ and I will hopefully find some time to contemplate the themes of Faustus in his own country. How did this myth shape the history of that place? What is the current fingerprint of the legend on the people who live there? Where do the stories overlap with real history? These will be some of the questions I present myself, with the help of 500 years of scholarship on Faustus to work from. It is an exciting time, more to come!

Faustus summons the spirits. c. 1840. Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein

Reward Of My Labors

I have a lot of personal projects going at all times. These are usually very complex, technical hobbies. My projects can last months or even years, depending on the state of my focus or creativity.

Without revealing too too much, I am just writing here to celebrate, to commemorate, a great personal triumph in the field of chemistry. I have performed a procedure that has resulted in a great Mystery. A precious, beautiful substance of great price. This week, I feel like the alchemist who has finally transmuted his base substance into gold. I have extracted, dissolved and purified and bottled a Wonder.

Pictured: Science (mixed with a bit of magic)!

I’ve been studying chemistry for a number of years now and (second to astronomy) it is the most mind-expanding practice I have discovered. It makes me feel like a god, but it’s more like an intelligent ape playing with the building blocks of the Universe.

From start to finish, it is a practice of mindfulness and forethought. Every step taken is deliberate and intentional. It is as much an art as a science. Watching reactants interact with each other, transferring energy, moving towards equilibrium, changing state, color and temperature, all at my own direction.

So, after years of toil both in the classroom and the lab, it is such a high feeling of reward to see something of my own crystalize before my eyes.

Lunar Eclipse, 05.15.2022

Astrophotos by Yours Truly.

My yard was partly obstructed by trees and powerlines, so had to take these from the roof. Struggled a bit during totality with exposures and star trailing because I couldn’t get my motorized mount up to the roof. I used my smaller telescope instead, which both limited exposure times and reduced the contrast. Still I’ve always wanted to make an eclipse composite so here it is. Every time I work on astrophotography I learn something new, usually from mistakes. The lesson this time around was plan ahead, and work sober.

Herbal Riot

A Scrapbook of Sin

Unearthly Delights

A Scrapbook of Sin

The Occult Gallery

A Scrapbook of Sin

Mirrors at Home..

A Scrapbook of Sin

Memento Mori

A Scrapbook of Sin

π–¦Ή

A Scrapbook of Sin

Death & Mysticism

A Scrapbook of Sin

A Scrapbook of Sin

BLACK GOAT

A Scrapbook of Sin