I think the events of this week have me more than a little discombobulated and disheartened. I just hope every one remembers to love and speak their truth with compassion rather than fall victim to fear or hate and other polarizations.
Just been honing my artist statement. Writing about the sources of my artwork reminds me of my years of making ceramic plaques and sculpture. I want to make some more, maybe in the spring… Once I get my kilns going again.
Life does go on. We meanwhile need to learn to access spirit and learn to work together while nurturing the Earth and respecting our differences.
So I didn’t get in as much painting today as I would have liked. Nevertheless, “The Fool” is coming along. I felt inspired late tonight!
I was actually feeling kind of depressed since I was convinced I had ruined the painting the other day. But I decided to let my imagination go and not worry about it since what was there to lose?? In actuality this attitude freed me. I think I was getting too tight about it.
I decided too to not worry any more about all the symbology. There is more than enough there without getting so carried away. So I simplified some of it and just let the artist in me take over.
It is a much more complicated piece in a narrow area than I am used to dealing with. The zig zags plus brightening the Fools clothing saved it, IMHO! That plus making the fish and mer/sky woman both more dramatic and in the shadows plus defining and highlighting the Fool’s face.
More to do but am hoping to have it all done sometime Monday at the latest!
Whether or not I choose to keep the carpet in front will be the next challenge.
Other question is, is this Visionary Surreal Art? I would guess it really is. With quite a bit of magic methinks. The gods and goddesses seem to be inspiring me despite my daily struggles…
After a discussion with my good friend (the Tarot expert and astrologer) Christine Payne Towler, I am starting to think the description of my artwork is still not fully delineated. Originally I called my artwork Ancient/Modern, rather than Goddess/Surreal. Now I am starting to think I really need to come up with new terminology altogether.
Perhaps Magical Visionary Surrealism, or simply Visionary Surreal is more fitting?? For me the world is alive, not just humans after all. And the art I do is alive with magic.
I love the work of the Magical Realists, but to be honest, my artwork is not realistic even in part although it does refer to the known world. It is overall instead based on my own internal vision.
Much like the ancients, I use pattern and expression based on dreams or dream states and psychological/emotional observation that tells stories that might be more true than my conscious mind could otherwise come up with.
The Australian Aborigines say that the Dreamtime is more real than everyday reality, and I believe it–even though of course I do try to fit my life as well as I can into the Modern World. Long ago however I came to realize it was honestly pretty impossible for me to fit in. I came to see my differences as my strength rather than my weakness.
In common parlance I am simply too sensitive. But I have never let that stop me. I have an extra quiver that I never let society take away from me, in great part due to my exposure to ancient beliefs and practices as well as ancient art. The fact my parents worked as archaeologist/ethnologists when I was young, and stayed interested in the field throughout their lives, helped me realize other realities and ways of looking at the world were and are very possible. This extra quiver has given me advantages that have helped me personally heal from what might otherwise been devastating bodily and emotional hurdles. To be truthful, some of these conditions I will live with my entire life, but nevertheless they do not stop me from living a full life given my ability to use the magic of art to help heal me as well as the more everyday arts of herbs, diet, exercise, meditation and various avenues of emotional healing.
It is my wish that what I am doing with my art becomes a kind of doorway for the viewer to begin looking at the world as part of them, rather than as a dead alienated planet. It is my belief that I am using ancient knowledge that used to be commonplace and now needs to not be forgotten. IMHO, Visionary Surreal Art and things like it are needed to help inspire us to begin the necessary paradigm shift to heal ourselves and the planet in these difficult times.
Of course this is a conversation. Likely I am not completely done with it. But offer it as ruminations on a subject that I believe needs to be aired. Plus of course it helps me figure out what it is my art might really be delineated as…
Worked really late on this next stage of The Fool. Its different than my usual work though there are definite elements I am more familiar with like the stretched leg and the fish, and even the carpet if I keep it. Am loving the imaginative stretch!
I got rid of the huge sun since it was too busy and took away from the impact of the Fool. Its still there, but not overpowering everything else. Color always changes everything, IMHO. I have to be and am willing to simplify as compared to a line drawing.
I am definitely relating with the Fool given all my late hours recently… I plan to get started earlier this evening in hopes I can get this done in a day or two.
I made some more progress with the Fool tarot card last night. I put in a lot of the background. I decided at the last minute to put in the red earth to balance the meaning as well as the pix. The idea is several planes of reality mixing with each other.
I worked on my tarot card (“The Fool”) late last night after the debates. Somehow this card seems very appropriate at this time of crazy politics from both sides, IMHO!
I had to enlarge the width of the painting a tiny bit so it will make the right size card when reduced down. Thankfully I could since its on watercolor paper…and I just use blue painters tape to hold the paper down.
I decided to go ahead and use acrylic paint. I have found that acrylic is much more durable than watercolor or gouache. For instance, I have a wonderful painting of the almost mythic Wild Ox that got ruined due to my studio being too damp, and that was in San Jose, CA!! (Yes sometime I need to make another one…).
Plus if I need to go in and change things, with acrylics I can do so without sweating it. I have found the acrylics stay cleaner and are easier to frame too.
So as you can see, last night I decided to work on the faces etc. first. And in a few, I will be working on it again. Maybe work on the Sun and background before the rest.. We will see! I let my subconscious guide me in these matters. Its always fun to see where it takes me!
I finally went and did it and now I think there is no turning back! The other day I decided to go ahead and begin drawing and painting my own tarot deck. Christine Payne Towler suggested it might be a good idea since my work is “so iconic.”
The truth is after feeling a bit daunted by the prospect, by plunging ahead I have just discovered I am loving it. With this project I can combine my love of astrology and tarot with my passion for making visual art.
So tonight I really went at it. I definitely am combining symbols from astrology and the tarot as well as other sources, including symbols I like using in my work. I have decided to throw out objective reality and combine realities to create a feeling of the inner and outer planes of existence–which of course really befits the Fool.
Meanwhile I am looking at Christine’s beautiful and definitive new in depth book on the tarot (TAROT OF THE HOLY LIGHT) as well as her new deck with her husband, Michael Dowers as guides.
I am very inspired! So thank you Christine and Michael, as well as the heavens for helping me take this step!! Since yes making 72 cards is quite a project. But now I see how I can do it, using watercolor paper and pen and ink with a pencil drawing first–and just let my imagination go.
I’ll be adding in color as I go of course. I will likely start with water color… I may end up with gouache or acrylic, but we will see.
I have to say my artwork is not overly sentimental despite my having chosen the title Goddess/Surreal to describe it. I often critique relationships and feelings for example. My sense of humor often shows up, as well as a desire for elegance yes while exaggerating the reach and size of our joints and limbs. Often there is something amiss that one has to think on. Its not altogether obvious but its there. Why isn’t she or he happy?? I feel like I am directly connected with the Dreamtime. My explorations of relationships and body language often tie in with the environment. All of the above makes my work fit with title “Goddess Art.”
My artwork also combines with Surrealism given its sinuous exaggerations and mythic/symbolic imagery and Inner Vision connected with the unknown. I very much believe in Carl Jung’s idea of the Collective Unconscious for instance–and its effect shows in my work.
My work has been influenced by my early exposure to the art of Basque, Celtic and non European peoples while also being married to our contemporary culture and the surrealists of old.
So this all makes it kind of hip and kind of earthy and kind of ethereal combining Heaven and Earth. Is that right? For me its just what I do, although I also try to develop and challenge myself, and thus push the envelope.
I hope you enjoy! And think about buying (or showing) some of my pieces. Shortly I will be connecting this website with my sales page on Fine Art America. You can also contact me directly at email@example.com if you are interested in buying some of my pieces — or showing them in your gallery!
I just got my new art biz cards in the mail. I am jazzed! I used this image on it which I call “The Mermaid’s Dilemma” by Bea Garth. I finally completed it late last year. Its based on a coastal Native American myth here in the Northwest. The mermaid princess has fallen in love with a landlubber. As a result the weather changes; it stops raining. Trees are falling and people are beginning to die. Even the ocean water is at an all time low! The whales try to beckon the princess, come home! She needs to return to the sea to be with her own people, but its breaking her heart…
I definitely think of this piece as being related to current day ecological issues.
This piece shows the great ability of gouache on paper to capture subtleties of color and feeling.
If you are interested in buying (or showing) this or other artworks of mine, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I finally finished the pen and ink I shared with you all a few days ago. Its now transformed
with color and a few other additions–though to do it justice I really should do a version of it as a painting on canvas. We had a picnic at the beach last week during sundown, thus the colors and the theme…
I decided to let my natural surrealistic tendencies to come in with more force by adding the Earth Sprite reaching towards the Tree’s all knowing Eye. I almost called this piece “Connected” since that is the energy I was trying to express, how we are connected to the Earth and the Universal Spirit around us.
And yes its mixed media (ink and watercolor pencil and colored pencil) on watercolor paper.
I have been musing about what style it is I exactly have–and have been thinking I should call it: Ancient/Modern/Surreal Art. Or is that just too clumsy?? Perhaps I should just call it Magical Realism?? I need to think on it. My work has never fit into any kind of box, which on the positive side makes it unique. But for purposes of the Internet, I need to find a way to classify what I do to get those who might be interested in my work to have any easy path to my site. So my dilemma dear readers, lol!
Certainly I have been influenced by ancient art from an early age. I was exposed to Native American art here in the Pacific Northwest as well as ancient and indigenous art from around the world as a child. My parents worked as anthropologists when I was very young. In addition I was very much influenced by my great Aunt Lottie’s amazing artwork and rugs she brought back from the Philippines.
I have also been influenced by the early moderns–Picasso, Modigliani, Gaugain, Matisse, Cassat and Kahlo amongst many others.
Further I very much interested in imagery inspired by Carl Jung’s notion of the Collective Unconscious as well as New Age metaphysics such as astrology and the tarot. I tend to focus on feelings expressed in the body language between people and our necessary connection with the Earth and its creatures–including the mythic dimension.
No matter what, I have been going through a major shift, just having moved back to the Pacific Northwest–so I am now setting up my new art studio. I want to continue painting and drawing on canvas and paper. But now, in addition, finally also get back to ceramic sculpture and wall plaques.
My good friend and tarot scholar Christine Payne Towler has also been encouraging me to begin a project of creating a new tarot deck–since, as she says, my work is iconic in nature. I am itching to begin!
Being here by the Columbia Gorge is for me like coming home with its beautiful vistas, abundant trees and wildlife and friendly people. This truly is where my heart is!