Friday, June 24, 2011

The Ever changing Persephone

I showed a sketch of my "Persephone's Folly" on my Facebook fan page a couple of days ago. I started painting on her yesterday, and noticed she changed a lot. That often happens when I start painting on them, their faces change and morph on me. I was a little sad at first because there was something in the face of the sketch that I really liked. But now I am realizing there is no way to control Persephone, she is a force that can never be defined or fully understood.
Sketch with some background color added:

Beginnings of skin tone added, she changed already:

Where she is now:

Luckily I don't have to write a novel here telling you all about Persephone. We all know her story, and yet none of us really knows if she ate all those pomegrante seeds on purpose or if she was a victim (I don't think she was a victim).
One thing I am trying to bring through in this painting is the tree of life. In a lot of old paintings a snake is wrapped around a tree to signify it as the tree of life. I have a snake wrapped around Persephone and vegetation in her hair along with the look of her hair to hint to her being the tree. She represents the Underworld, the subconscious, the tree of life that connects to both the Underworld and the Upperworld.
She is also holding the fruit like a tree bearing fruit. I am also paying homage to one of my favorite painters and my favorite Persephone painting. Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "Proserpine":

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Demeter and bees

I finally finished Demeter this week.

I lost my inspiration to work on her about three-fourths of the way through. I have been struck with that a lot lately...lack of inspiration. In fact I have been feeling very disenchanted about everything of late. I have been way too focused on the physical. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in being validated and we translate validation into how much money we are making. Like many artists, it's often feast or famine around here and mostly leaning towards the famine. It is very easy to fall into the "what's the use" thought pattern, and when you do it is very hard to find inspiration.

So that's where I was a little over a week ago. I was walking around in my backyard barefoot playing with my daughter when I stepped on a honeybee. He stung me twice on the right foot and it hurt like all get out. I got most of the stinger out, but I guess missed a small part of it. A couple of days later my foot swelled up. That little bee sting caused me a lot of trouble.

After I realized I still had some stinger left and got it out, it suddenly dawned on me that that little bee might have been sent to wake me up. I was led right to an article on the internet about the magicalness of bees. Rudolf Steiner believed that bees were sent to Earth from Venus. Venus holds the energy of the heart chakra for our solar system. Bees form their honeycomb in the patterns of hexagrams which are connected to the heiros gamos or Star of David; also a symbol for the heart chakra.

Bees are all about love and bliss. They are our example of unity consciousness and what working together for the higher good can do....produce the sweetest of life's nectar. The biggest message that came through to me was that for a bee "THEIR WORK IS THEIR BLISS".  Every time they gather nectar from a flower they are in complete ecstasy.  Wow, that is what I have been missing focusing too much on my validation.  I paint because it is blissful.  I paint because I love to paint and to create.  My focus should never be about if the paintings will sell, but about how much ecstasy I will receive from each brushstroke.

Also as I was reading about bees I came across the fact that Demeter's priestesses were called bees. Wow....very serendipitous! So I finished Demeter and included a little honeybee on her shoulder. She is dreaming of a better world, a more love centered world. She is the consciousness of the Queen Bee and she is asking for some worker bees to help create this world she is dreaming of. But the honeybees are disappearing and the world seems to be losing hope...too many of us are thinking "What's the use..."
It's time to wake up and follow our bliss.

I feel magical again, and the world is reflecting that to me. One of my magical friends Julia Inglis posted a blog about bees the other day and I noticed it last night. I wrote her to share how wonderful I thought it was that we were synchronized. She wrote a lovely blog about the Winter Solstice (she is in Australia) that has a lot to do with what I just shared. I think there is a big message to many of us to just follow our bliss right now.

I am gestating a Persephone right now. She is going to bring me a lot of bliss....

Friday, June 3, 2011

Demeter's Dream, new WIP

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but my creative spark always seems to get extinguished. I guess all I feel like doing is hanging out at the pool with the kids and drinking a beer on the patio. Ahhhh summertime :)

I finished the Cosmic Clown, but was still not completely satisfied with her. I need to take a good photo of her, but just haven't yet. I think I forced her when I just was not in the mood to paint. So I took a couple of weeks off. Then a commission came in, and I needed to get back into the swing of things. I hate to start a commission when I am in a creative slump or it ends up being forced too. This coming commission is one where I really need to connect in a heartfelt way so I decided to try a new piece to warm me up. I think it worked, I am feeling the spark light up again.

So I thought I would show you more of the whole progression of this one. She is one of those pieces that I changed a lot as I went along. Here is what I have done so far on her:

I still have a lot of details to work out on her, but I will probably start that commission now. Got to do it while I am on a creative roll :). These days I seem to need to grab it while it lasts. The kids have their last day of school today, so things are going to be different around here for awhile. Trying to paint with them around can be interesting at best with them chanting "I'm bored, there's nothing to do" in the background. I end up painting a lot into the wee hours of the night during the summer, which is okay since I don't have to get up at 6 a.m. to get them to school.

When I do finally get "Demeter's Dream" done I will write a little more about her for you. Until then, happy summer (or winter if you are in Australia).
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