The Room of One’s Own @ St Elmo Colorado

Essay edited by Peter J. Wezyk

The Room on One’s Own with alcohol inks and oils on Yupo

A Voyage on the Waves of Rococo

This series explores desperate imagination, journeys created out of my passion for travel. Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began drawing and painting composites of memories of previously visited places. But my yearnings kept bringing me back to a focal point, worlds filled with art of the Rococo. An invitation to travel is at the heart of the Rococo style; its ornate curves, constant ebb and flow, and asymmetrical patterns reveal the excitement of novelty that comes with exploration. 

Three years ago, I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, a glorious church in Bavaria, constructed with Rococo architecture and devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. These saints are patrons of ailments, having originated during the time of the Black Death when every light of hope was growing more faint. I could imagine a pilgrimage to the basilica; I could see the weary travelers, dirty and almost hopeless, against the grim backgrounds of their past. Once they crossed that boundary however, the Rococo clashed with their form; the seductive pink and turquoise, the rich gold and ebony white organic stucco style was in complete contrast to the pilgrims, despite them representing the same. On the surface it was juxtaposition, but any deeper it was closeness. Scratching the gilded walls of the church would only reveal the material beneath.

Opposite to this literal sickness, I began to see a connection to a societal illness I had been exploring up until then, the Gold Fever. It is a history rich with greed, sadness, fame, drama, and unbelievable fortunes that would be quick to topple. As Oscar Wilde once said, “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between“. 

Wilde visited the US in the late 19th century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco, he stopped to give a lecture in 1882 at one of the richest silver mining towns in the States, Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera House but had also stopped by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as I did in the summer of 2019. The saloon itself was a representation of change, the old victorian interior highlighted both by LED lights and by modern travelers; it was almost suspended in time. I could feel thousands before me, sitting as I was, tired from their own journeys and finding this place of rest.

The trip took me to the picturesque ghost town of St. Elmo, just about in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering about how the prospectors ever got to these places, or why their obsessions possessed them to look for gold in the middle of a harsh country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St. Elmo wasn’t named for the St. Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up an avalanche of pictures combining gold, sickness, abandonment, and strangeness. I could see the blues of the Colorado sky and the emerald shades of spruce trees as if they were on Tiepolo’s pallette.

I saw St. Elmo in St. Elmo.

I saw St. Elmo’s windlass at the mines and wells.

I saw St. Elmo’s confession booths in the old outhouses.

I saw St. Elmo, patron of sailors, as the pandemic sprawled across the country, restricting travel to all. 

I look at the abandoned homes of St. Elmo and I see their glorious past in a glimpse of Victorian furniture and extravagant decoration. I dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrims, migrants, and seekers.

As I stare at the scrolling, ornate walls of fantastic color, reality falls away beneath me and I take my imaginary voyage on the waves of Rococo.

What We See in the Shadows Sometimes at St Elmo, Colorado

What We See in the Shadows Sometimes/ alcohol inks and oils and stuff on Yupo

A Voyage on the Waves of Rococo ; edited by Peter James Wezyk

This series explores desperate imagination, journeys created out of my passion for travel. Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began drawing and painting composites of memories of previously visited places. But my yearnings kept bringing me back to a focal point, worlds filled with art of the Rococo. An invitation to travel is at the heart of the Rococo style; its ornate curves, constant ebb and flow, and asymmetrical patterns reveal the excitement of novelty that comes with exploration. 

Three years ago, I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, a glorious church in Bavaria, constructed with Rococo architecture and devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. These saints are patrons of ailments, having originated during the time of the Black Death when every light of hope was growing more faint. I could imagine a pilgrimage to the basilica; I could see the weary travelers, dirty and almost hopeless, against the grim backgrounds of their past. Once they crossed that boundary however, the Rococo clashed with their form; the seductive pink and turquoise, the rich gold and ebony white organic stucco style was in complete contrast to the pilgrims, despite them representing the same. On the surface it was juxtaposition, but any deeper it was closeness. Scratching the gilded walls of the church would only reveal the material beneath.

Opposite to this literal sickness, I began to see a connection to a societal illness I had been exploring up until then, the Gold Fever. It is a history rich with greed, sadness, fame, drama, and unbelievable fortunes that would be quick to topple. As Oscar Wilde once said, “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between“. 

Wilde visited the US in the late 19th century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco, he stopped to give a lecture in 1882 at one of the richest silver mining towns in the States, Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera House but had also stopped by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as I did in the summer of 2019. The saloon itself was a representation of change, the old victorian interior highlighted both by LED lights and by modern travelers; it was almost suspended in time. I could feel thousands before me, sitting as I was, tired from their own journeys and finding this place of rest.

The trip took me to the picturesque ghost town of St. Elmo, just about in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering about how the prospectors ever got to these places, or why their obsessions possessed them to look for gold in the middle of a harsh country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St. Elmo wasn’t named for the St. Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up an avalanche of pictures combining gold, sickness, abandonment, and strangeness. I could see the blues of the Colorado sky and the emerald shades of spruce trees as if they were on Tiepolo’s pallette.

I saw St. Elmo in St. Elmo.

I saw St. Elmo’s windlass at the mines and wells.

I saw St. Elmo’s confession booths in the old outhouses.

I saw St. Elmo, patron of sailors, as the pandemic sprawled across the country, restricting travel to all. 

I look at the abandoned homes of St. Elmo and I see their glorious past in a glimpse of Victorian furniture and extravagant decoration. I dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrims, migrants, and seekers.

As I stare at the scrolling, ornate walls of fantastic color, reality falls away beneath me and I take my imaginary voyage on the waves of Rococo.

What We See in the Shadows, St Elmo, Colorado ; Ghost Town story and more-essay edited by Peter James Wezyk

Alcohol Inks and Oils on Yupo

A Voyage on the Waves of Rococo

This series explores desperate imagination, journeys created out of my passion for travel. Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began drawing and painting composites of memories of previously visited places. But my yearnings kept bringing me back to a focal point, worlds filled with art of the Rococo. An invitation to travel is at the heart of the Rococo style; its ornate curves, constant ebb and flow, and asymmetrical patterns reveal the excitement of novelty that comes with exploration. 

Three years ago, I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, a glorious church in Bavaria, constructed with Rococo architecture and devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. These saints are patrons of ailments, having originated during the time of the Black Death when every light of hope was growing more faint. I could imagine a pilgrimage to the basilica; I could see the weary travelers, dirty and almost hopeless, against the grim backgrounds of their past. Once they crossed that boundary however, the Rococo clashed with their form; the seductive pink and turquoise, the rich gold and ebony white organic stucco style was in complete contrast to the pilgrims, despite them representing the same. On the surface it was juxtaposition, but any deeper it was closeness. Scratching the gilded walls of the church would only reveal the material beneath.

Opposite to this literal sickness, I began to see a connection to a societal illness I had been exploring up until then, the Gold Fever. It is a history rich with greed, sadness, fame, drama, and unbelievable fortunes that would be quick to topple. As Oscar Wilde once said, “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between“. 

Wilde visited the US in the late 19th century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco, he stopped to give a lecture in 1882 at one of the richest silver mining towns in the States, Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera House but had also stopped by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as I did in the summer of 2019. The saloon itself was a representation of change, the old victorian interior highlighted both by LED lights and by modern travelers; it was almost suspended in time. I could feel thousands before me, sitting as I was, tired from their own journeys and finding this place of rest.

The trip took me to the picturesque ghost town of St. Elmo, just about in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering about how the prospectors ever got to these places, or why their obsessions possessed them to look for gold in the middle of a harsh country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St. Elmo wasn’t named for the St. Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up an avalanche of pictures combining gold, sickness, abandonment, and strangeness. I could see the blues of the Colorado sky and the emerald shades of spruce trees as if they were on Tiepolo’s pallette.

I saw St. Elmo in St. Elmo.

I saw St. Elmo’s windlass at the mines and wells.

I saw St. Elmo’s confession booths in the old outhouses.

I saw St. Elmo, patron of sailors, as the pandemic sprawled across the country, restricting travel to all. 

I look at the abandoned homes of St. Elmo and I see their glorious past in a glimpse of Victorian furniture and extravagant decoration. I dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrims, migrants, and seekers.

As I stare at the scrolling, ornate walls of fantastic color, reality falls away beneath me and I take my imaginary voyage on the waves of Rococo.

The outhouse as the Confession Booth at St Elmo , Colorado. Alcohol Inks and Oils on Yupo. Essay edited by Peter J. Wezyk

A Voyage on the Waves of Rococo

This series explores desperate imagination, journeys created out of my passion for travel. Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began drawing and painting composites of memories of previously visited places. But my yearnings kept bringing me back to a focal point, worlds filled with art of the Rococo. An invitation to travel is at the heart of the Rococo style; its ornate curves, constant ebb and flow, and asymmetrical patterns reveal the excitement of novelty that comes with exploration. 

Three years ago, I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, a glorious church in Bavaria, constructed with Rococo architecture and devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. These saints are patrons of ailments, having originated during the time of the Black Death when every light of hope was growing more faint. I could imagine a pilgrimage to the basilica; I could see the weary travelers, dirty and almost hopeless, against the grim backgrounds of their past. Once they crossed that boundary however, the Rococo clashed with their form; the seductive pink and turquoise, the rich gold and ebony white organic stucco style was in complete contrast to the pilgrims, despite them representing the same. On the surface it was juxtaposition, but any deeper it was closeness. Scratching the gilded walls of the church would only reveal the material beneath.

Opposite to this literal sickness, I began to see a connection to a societal illness I had been exploring up until then, the Gold Fever. It is a history rich with greed, sadness, fame, drama, and unbelievable fortunes that would be quick to topple. As Oscar Wilde once said, “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between“. 

Wilde visited the US in the late 19th century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco, he stopped to give a lecture in 1882 at one of the richest silver mining towns in the States, Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera House but had also stopped by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as I did in the summer of 2019. The saloon itself was a representation of change, the old victorian interior highlighted both by LED lights and by modern travelers; it was almost suspended in time. I could feel thousands before me, sitting as I was, tired from their own journeys and finding this place of rest.

The trip took me to the picturesque ghost town of St. Elmo, just about in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering about how the prospectors ever got to these places, or why their obsessions possessed them to look for gold in the middle of a harsh country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St. Elmo wasn’t named for the St. Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up an avalanche of pictures combining gold, sickness, abandonment, and strangeness. I could see the blues of the Colorado sky and the emerald shades of spruce trees as if they were on Tiepolo’s pallette.

I saw St. Elmo in St. Elmo.

I saw St. Elmo’s windlass at the mines and wells.

I saw St. Elmo’s confession booths in the old outhouses.

I saw St. Elmo, patron of sailors, as the pandemic sprawled across the country, restricting travel to all. 

I look at the abandoned homes of St. Elmo and I see their glorious past in a glimpse of Victorian furniture and extravagant decoration. I dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrims, migrants, and seekers.

As I stare at the scrolling, ornate walls of fantastic color, reality falls away beneath me and I take my imaginary voyage on the waves of Rococo.

St. Elmo’s Fires; St Elmo/Colorado; alcohol inks and oils on Yupo. Essay edited by Peter J. Wezyk

St Elmo’s Fires ; inks on Yupo

Before you read it:

Google

Fourteen Holy Helpers

The Auxiliary Saints

The Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen 

This is too long but I waned you to understand where am I coming from metaphorically speaking

is not you see but what you want to see

Or

Mind travels or Covid Rococo Travels 

Fake travel idk about the title yet 

Transporting Europe 

The St Elmo Fires series explores the inner journeys created out of desperate need of my passion to travel. Stack at home during the Covid 19 pandemic I begun drawing and painting the composites of memories of previously visited places, a very specific ones. Travel was the invitation of the Rococo, an exciting pleasure I happen to enjoy since I can remember. The pilgrimage was such an important creative force in 18 century supported by the literary treasures such Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe. 

3 years ago I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen a glorious architectural structure in Bavaria, a Rococo church devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Growing up in Poland where pilgrims are still popular the idea of walking and praying at the same time in order to reach the holy place resonated  in my mind. The Rococo however was a strange stylistically and aesthetically clash of some kitschy seducing  richly gold, pink, turquoise and ebony white stucco organic forms. For many months I experienced some kind of perplexed need to paint and explore each of the Fourteen Holy Helpers,including some saints from early medieval times, some lost in the historical truthfulness of legendary, weird figures holding unidentified object or symbols of their martyrology, a saint for every occasion. I was familiar with some of them like St Blaze holding 2 candles a patron of the throat (my sickly childhood past), St Hubert a patron of hunters and St Catherine who would mysteriously community with St Joan of Arc. I had enormous fun researching the saint holding his own head, obviously the holy patron of headaches and St Emo (Erazumus) the holy patron of sailers holding a windlass that was a gruesome representation of his painful death as a martyr. The Vierzehnheiligen  Basilica for centuries was a place devoted to prayers against various plagues like Black Death. In my mind the place like that should have been dark and spookie like from the Bergnan’s Seventh Seal movie, goth, dark, and murky. The juxtaposition of the solemn subject matter with an overwhelming of joyful colors and dancing like lines was inspiring to me. And there was a lot of gold there, more than enough. 

Gold and Gold Rash Fever was the subject matter I’ve explored for at least last two years. 

I’ve created dozens of painting and drawings exploring the idea of the America’s ghost towns and the history behind them. The history rich in greed, sadness, quick fames, dramas, and unbelievable fortunes. As Oscar Wild once said: America is the only country that went from the barbarism to the decadence. 

Oscar Wilde visited USA in late 19 century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco he stopped to give a lecture  back in 1882 at the richest silver mining town Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera build and owned by the local magnate Horace Tabor whose life just like Wiled’s end it up pretty sadly. Oscar Wilde would stop by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as so did I in the summer of 2019. Growing up on cowboys and indians movies so called westerns I have a big passion and somewhat sentimental love for the Wild West. The Silver Dollar Saloon emitted everything I love to paint, victorian interior highlighted by the newest cut technology LED lights. 

The Silver Dollar Saloon paintings, I decided, had to be executed with the alcohol inks and gel pencils.

The Colorado trip took me to the picturesque St Elmo’s Ghost Town not far from Leadville but in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the bumpy dusty rhode I couldn’t stop wondering how did the prospectors ever got to those places, how did they look for a gold in the middle of the country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St Elmo wasn’t name for a St Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up the avalanche of pictures combining gold, richness, sickness, abandonment, weirdness, blue of the Colorado sky and Tiepolo’s  palette, emerald shades of spruce trees and lapis lazuli sculptures.

I saw St Elmo in St Elmo

His fires-lightings are blue, a weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a corona discharge from a sharp object in a strong eclectic field in the atmosphere

I saw St Elmo’s windlass at mines and bridges.

I saw St Elmo’s old outhouses as confession booths.

I saw cupids, angels, and puttis, little creatures up in a sky surrounded by the cobalt starry sky and ultramarine cloak of St Mary.

I saw St Elmo as pandemic ruined America day by day since March 12 when I got stuck at home teaching online.

I look at the empty abandoned homes of St Elmo and I see their glorious past in glimpse of victorian furnitures, old paintings depicting St Elmo by Grunewald and Poussin, I dream a dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrim, migrants, seekers.

Like in Rococo I start with reality and end up with fantasy, the imaginary travel of Covid 19 times.

After all in rococo artists painted with their spirits and the best voyaging is done in mind.

When at night I go to sleep

Fourteen angels watch do keep.

Question: did you know?

Guggenheim museum founder got rich on Alaska gold diggings!

Trump’s grandfather made a fortune in saloon selling vodka to prospectors in Yukatan during a gold rash fever 

The Little Match-Girl if St Elmo, Colorado. Essay edited by Peter J. Wezyk

I as the Little Match Girl of St Elmo, Colorado …wondering, lurking, window-picking; painting of summer 2020

A Voyage on the Waves of Rococo

This series explores desperate imagination, journeys created out of my passion for travel. Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began drawing and painting composites of memories of previously visited places. But my yearnings kept bringing me back to a focal point, worlds filled with art of the Rococo. An invitation to travel is at the heart of the Rococo style; its ornate curves, constant ebb and flow, and asymmetrical patterns reveal the excitement of novelty that comes with exploration. 

Three years ago, I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, a glorious church in Bavaria, constructed with Rococo architecture and devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. These saints are patrons of ailments, having originated during the time of the Black Death when every light of hope was growing more faint. I could imagine a pilgrimage to the basilica; I could see the weary travelers, dirty and almost hopeless, against the grim backgrounds of their past. Once they crossed that boundary however, the Rococo clashed with their form; the seductive pink and turquoise, the rich gold and ebony white organic stucco style was in complete contrast to the pilgrims, despite them representing the same. On the surface it was juxtaposition, but any deeper it was closeness. Scratching the gilded walls of the church would only reveal the material beneath.

Opposite to this literal sickness, I began to see a connection to a societal illness I had been exploring up until then, the Gold Fever. It is a history rich with greed, sadness, fame, drama, and unbelievable fortunes that would be quick to topple. As Oscar Wilde once said, “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between“. 

Wilde visited the US in the late 19th century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco, he stopped to give a lecture in 1882 at one of the richest silver mining towns in the States, Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera House but had also stopped by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as I did in the summer of 2019. The saloon itself was a representation of change, the old victorian interior highlighted both by LED lights and by modern travelers; it was almost suspended in time. I could feel thousands before me, sitting as I was, tired from their own journeys and finding this place of rest.

The trip took me to the picturesque ghost town of St. Elmo, just about in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering about how the prospectors ever got to these places, or why their obsessions possessed them to look for gold in the middle of a harsh country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St. Elmo wasn’t named for the St. Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up an avalanche of pictures combining gold, sickness, abandonment, and strangeness. I could see the blues of the Colorado sky and the emerald shades of spruce trees as if they were on Tiepolo’s pallette.

I saw St. Elmo in St. Elmo.

I saw St. Elmo’s windlass at the mines and wells.

I saw St. Elmo’s confession booths in the old outhouses.

I saw St. Elmo, patron of sailors, as the pandemic sprawled across the country, restricting travel to all. 

I look at the abandoned homes of St. Elmo and I see their glorious past in a glimpse of Victorian furniture and extravagant decoration. I dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrims, migrants, and seekers.

As I stare at the scrolling, ornate walls of fantastic color, reality falls away beneath me and I take my imaginary voyage on the waves of Rococo.

Virus Sun at St Elmo; essay edited by Peter J. Wezyk

Painting on Yupo

A Voyage on the Waves of Rococo

This series explores desperate imagination, journeys created out of my passion for travel. Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began drawing and painting composites of memories of previously visited places. But my yearnings kept bringing me back to a focal point, worlds filled with art of the Rococo. An invitation to travel is at the heart of the Rococo style; its ornate curves, constant ebb and flow, and asymmetrical patterns reveal the excitement of novelty that comes with exploration. 

Three years ago, I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, a glorious church in Bavaria, constructed with Rococo architecture and devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. These saints are patrons of ailments, having originated during the time of the Black Death when every light of hope was growing more faint. I could imagine a pilgrimage to the basilica; I could see the weary travelers, dirty and almost hopeless, against the grim backgrounds of their past. Once they crossed that boundary however, the Rococo clashed with their form; the seductive pink and turquoise, the rich gold and ebony white organic stucco style was in complete contrast to the pilgrims, despite them representing the same. On the surface it was juxtaposition, but any deeper it was closeness. Scratching the gilded walls of the church would only reveal the material beneath.

Opposite to this literal sickness, I began to see a connection to a societal illness I had been exploring up until then, the Gold Fever. It is a history rich with greed, sadness, fame, drama, and unbelievable fortunes that would be quick to topple. As Oscar Wilde once said, “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between“. 

Wilde visited the US in the late 19th century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco, he stopped to give a lecture in 1882 at one of the richest silver mining towns in the States, Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera House but had also stopped by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as I did in the summer of 2019. The saloon itself was a representation of change, the old victorian interior highlighted both by LED lights and by modern travelers; it was almost suspended in time. I could feel thousands before me, sitting as I was, tired from their own journeys and finding this place of rest.

The trip took me to the picturesque ghost town of St. Elmo, just about in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering about how the prospectors ever got to these places, or why their obsessions possessed them to look for gold in the middle of a harsh country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St. Elmo wasn’t named for the St. Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up an avalanche of pictures combining gold, sickness, abandonment, and strangeness. I could see the blues of the Colorado sky and the emerald shades of spruce trees as if they were on Tiepolo’s pallette.

I saw St. Elmo in St. Elmo.

I saw St. Elmo’s windlass at the mines and wells.

I saw St. Elmo’s confession booths in the old outhouses.

I saw St. Elmo, patron of sailors, as the pandemic sprawled across the country, restricting travel to all. 

I look at the abandoned homes of St. Elmo and I see their glorious past in a glimpse of Victorian furniture and extravagant decoration. I dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrims, migrants, and seekers.

As I stare at the scrolling, ornate walls of fantastic color, reality falls away beneath me and I take my imaginary voyage on the waves of Rococo.

St Pandemia at St Elmo, CO; painting during Covid19 with alcohol inks, oils, and some frankincense. Text edited by Peter J. Wezyk

St Pandemia visiting St Elmo; Colorado with alcohol inks and oils

A Voyage on the Waves of Rococo

This series explores desperate imagination, journeys created out of my passion for travel. Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began drawing and painting composites of memories of previously visited places. But my yearnings kept bringing me back to a focal point, worlds filled with art of the Rococo. An invitation to travel is at the heart of the Rococo style; its ornate curves, constant ebb and flow, and asymmetrical patterns reveal the excitement of novelty that comes with exploration. 

Three years ago, I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, a glorious church in Bavaria, constructed with Rococo architecture and devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. These saints are patrons of ailments, having originated during the time of the Black Death when every light of hope was growing more faint. I could imagine a pilgrimage to the basilica; I could see the weary travelers, dirty and almost hopeless, against the grim backgrounds of their past. Once they crossed that boundary however, the Rococo clashed with their form; the seductive pink and turquoise, the rich gold and ebony white organic stucco style was in complete contrast to the pilgrims, despite them representing the same. On the surface it was juxtaposition, but any deeper it was closeness. Scratching the gilded walls of the church would only reveal the material beneath.

Opposite to this literal sickness, I began to see a connection to a societal illness I had been exploring up until then, the Gold Fever. It is a history rich with greed, sadness, fame, drama, and unbelievable fortunes that would be quick to topple. As Oscar Wilde once said, “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between“. 

Wilde visited the US in the late 19th century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco, he stopped to give a lecture in 1882 at one of the richest silver mining towns in the States, Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera House but had also stopped by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as I did in the summer of 2019. The saloon itself was a representation of change, the old victorian interior highlighted both by LED lights and by modern travelers; it was almost suspended in time. I could feel thousands before me, sitting as I was, tired from their own journeys and finding this place of rest.

The trip took me to the picturesque ghost town of St. Elmo, just about in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering about how the prospectors ever got to these places, or why their obsessions possessed them to look for gold in the middle of a harsh country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St. Elmo wasn’t named for the St. Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up an avalanche of pictures combining gold, sickness, abandonment, and strangeness. I could see the blues of the Colorado sky and the emerald shades of spruce trees as if they were on Tiepolo’s pallette.

I saw St. Elmo in St. Elmo.

I saw St. Elmo’s windlass at the mines and wells.

I saw St. Elmo’s confession booths in the old outhouses.

I saw St. Elmo, patron of sailors, as the pandemic sprawled across the country, restricting travel to all. 

I look at the abandoned homes of St. Elmo and I see their glorious past in a glimpse of Victorian furniture and extravagant decoration. I dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrims, migrants, and seekers.

As I stare at the scrolling, ornate walls of fantastic color, reality falls away beneath me and I take my imaginary voyage on the waves of Rococo.

St. Elmo, Colorado

St Elmo, Colorado; alcohol inks and oils on Yupo Paper

A Voyage on the Waves of Rococo

This series explores desperate imagination, journeys created out of my passion for travel. Stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I began drawing and painting composites of memories of previously visited places. But my yearnings kept bringing me back to a focal point, worlds filled with art of the Rococo. An invitation to travel is at the heart of the Rococo style; its ornate curves, constant ebb and flow, and asymmetrical patterns reveal the excitement of novelty that comes with exploration. 

Three years ago, I became quite obsessed with pictorial imagery of the Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, a glorious church in Bavaria, constructed with Rococo architecture and devoted to the Fourteen Holy Helpers. These saints are patrons of ailments, having originated during the time of the Black Death when every light of hope was growing more faint. I could imagine a pilgrimage to the basilica; I could see the weary travelers, dirty and almost hopeless, against the grim backgrounds of their past. Once they crossed that boundary however, the Rococo clashed with their form; the seductive pink and turquoise, the rich gold and ebony white organic stucco style was in complete contrast to the pilgrims, despite them representing the same. On the surface it was juxtaposition, but any deeper it was closeness. Scratching the gilded walls of the church would only reveal the material beneath.

Opposite to this literal sickness, I began to see a connection to a societal illness I had been exploring up until then, the Gold Fever. It is a history rich with greed, sadness, fame, drama, and unbelievable fortunes that would be quick to topple. As Oscar Wilde once said, “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between“. 

Wilde visited the US in the late 19th century, traveling from New York City to San Francisco, he stopped to give a lecture in 1882 at one of the richest silver mining towns in the States, Leadville, Colorado. He spoke at the Tabor Opera House but had also stopped by at the Silver Dollar Saloon as I did in the summer of 2019. The saloon itself was a representation of change, the old victorian interior highlighted both by LED lights and by modern travelers; it was almost suspended in time. I could feel thousands before me, sitting as I was, tired from their own journeys and finding this place of rest.

The trip took me to the picturesque ghost town of St. Elmo, just about in the middle of nowhere. Driving there on the dusty road, I couldn’t stop wondering about how the prospectors ever got to these places, or why their obsessions possessed them to look for gold in the middle of a harsh country that wasn’t theirs to begin with. 

St. Elmo wasn’t named for the St. Elmo I knew from the Vierzehnheiligen Basilica, but I didn’t care. The composites of the rich Rococo and austerie Ghost Town opened up an avalanche of pictures combining gold, sickness, abandonment, and strangeness. I could see the blues of the Colorado sky and the emerald shades of spruce trees as if they were on Tiepolo’s pallette.

I saw St. Elmo in St. Elmo.

I saw St. Elmo’s windlass at the mines and wells.

I saw St. Elmo’s confession booths in the old outhouses.

I saw St. Elmo, patron of sailors, as the pandemic sprawled across the country, restricting travel to all. 

I look at the abandoned homes of St. Elmo and I see their glorious past in a glimpse of Victorian furniture and extravagant decoration. I dream of explorers, prospectors, pilgrims, migrants, and seekers.

As I stare at the scrolling, ornate walls of fantastic color, reality falls away beneath me and I take my imaginary voyage on the waves of Rococo.