On Art: “Amulet” Oil Painting

This is an oil painting on MDF (medium-density fibreboard) rather than canvas. With several coats of gesso (a gluey-white paint mixture), it provides a very fine, smooth surface over which paint glides quite easily, which in this case made it easier for me to achieve the ribbon-like and underwater effects. It measures 102 x 35 cm.

Though I didn’t set out to do it, now that this is finished, it reminds me of the Nazar or “evil eye” amulet one often finds in Turkey or Greece. These amulets are believed to reflect the ill-intentions of others, protecting the person or household from which the eye looks out, seeing all. Though they can be found in different colors, I’ve always loved that deep cobalt shade of blue one traditionally expects.

One can scarcely tell for certain whether this charm is being pushed up from the bottom of the ocean floor by some force or wave, or whether it is floating to the bottom where it will lay buried in sand for all eternity. Either way, I hope that it may serve the same purpose as the Nazar, warding off evil and acting as a lucky charm wherever it hangs.

On Art: “K’uychi” Oil Painting

My latest abstract is titled K’uychi which is Quechuan for rainbow. Quechuan was the language of the Incan civilization (and before that, of the Chincha peoples of the area of Lima) and it is still spoken today in areas of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. I was fortunate to spend time in Peru several years ago, a land of so much color, so rich in Spirit, that it still inspires me.

The double rainbow is an auspicious symbol in many cultures. Here, I’ve created the effect of a double rainbow using a palette knife technique over a gentle wash of background colors.

There are Hopi and Navajo prophecies concerning the rainbow, as well as legends in Buddhist and Hindu mythologies. There is a promise held in these stories, links to the divine. Some of them tell of a family of beings who will live in peace with one another and in balance with all things. I hope this painting helps to channel the energy of that vision until it becomes reality.

On Art: “Elements of Dreams” Oil Painting

I was surprised recently to discover my favorite symbolist was on exhibit at the Bordeaux Galerie des Beaux Arts. They had some of Redon Odilon’s landscapes, which were lovely and unique enough, but some of his more “spiritual” works as well that I could have stared at for hours.

He seemed to always have a unique eye for color and light. I do wonder what it was that happened to him at some point in his painting career though; it’s clear he had some kind of awakening, to have been able to diverge so completely from the mundane.

He is quoted as having said, “My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.”

Odilon and Klimt both inspired by latest work titled Elements of Dreams shown below.To view more of the beautiful works of Redon Odilon, please visit: http://www.odilon-redon.org/biography.html

And if you’re in the Bordeaux area, he’ll be on exhibit through March.

 

On Art: “Canoe” Oil Painting

Late last year, in meditation, an unfamiliar word came to me. It sounded something like wakatewa. I had no idea what the word meant, at the time.

Intrigued, a quick Google search later revealed that the word is Maori and means ” war canoe“, spelled waka taua but spoken exactly as I’d heard it. It is an important word for the Maori who consider the waka taua to be sacred.

Once I knew what it meant, I fell in love with the symbol and started looking for signs of it in my daily life. It still came as a surprise, though, when one appeared in my latest painting which came about after coming across a quote from the late Carrie Fisher:

Take your broken heart and turn it into art.”

I took it as a challenge and decided to reach into the depth of my own history and feelings around a broken heart and turn it into something beautiful.

This expressionist piece is what resulted. I did not set out to paint a canoe or a solitary figure even. I choose my palette based on feeling and added paint to the canvas with nothing but emotion guiding me. I was so excited when I saw what was developing.

So, here it is. A broken heart made into art. I call it…surprise…Canoe.

I investigated the dream symbol meaning of “canoe” recently and discovered the following quote:

“Canoes require a lot of strength to maneuver, so in dreams they often show us something about our ability to handle our emotions. Because canoes are man-made, dreams that involve a canoe also show our ability to handle emotions which are inflicted by other people.”

From http://www.auntyflo.com/dream-dictionary/canoes

So perhaps in turning my broken heart into a canoe, I was declaring my inner strength to be with that emotion and to sail into calmer waters. It’s a comforting thought.