Friday, April 17, 2009

new website + astroportraits

I finally managed to upload the new website. it's all working properly. and it's working fine on Internet Explorer, in spite of I was fearing, although I still recommend Firefox for viewing. the link for the Portuguese version still doesn't take anywhere, but it's just a matter of time.

working on a portrait:

I love to make portraits, I'm fascinated by the human figure. the ones I make I call Astroportraits, since they are based on your astrological profile. that's how it works: before brainstorming your portrait I raise the chart and identify the archetypes and symbolical elements involved, like colors, animals and others. I also ask for a little help from the Tarot. most of times my intuition plays a major role, but I think absolutely necessary that the person takes part in the process. I want the portrait be a kind of encouragement for her/his to develop other characteristics she/he'd like, so I encourage creative visualization and a look inward, as a little push toward the self-awareness process.

when I was testing the technique I made my baby's and mine portraits. now I use the portraits as samples. they were entirely made in colored pencils, media I'm not using anymore for being too time-consuming. now I use a mix of watercolor, colored pencil and graphite.

Ariel and the Lion
Ariel and the Lion
Colored pencils on Bristol board,
8.5 x 12

this is my self-astroportrait. I'm a Gemini with Leo rising and Moon in Scorpio, and a Water/Air type. it was not that easy to create my own portrait, since I identify with so many symbols and elements that I found better to let intuition go in my favor. I lived a phase of intense changes (moving to another country, marriage and pregnancy, all at once) that made me dive into myself and seek for my own strength, something I don't remember having done so strongly before. I remember having done a rough sketch of a scorpion and a lion, which I consider my two inner powers, stuck the sketch on the wall and looked at it every time I needed encouragement. I needed to get reminded that I had that strength, that it was inside me as part of what I was. things are certainly smoother now, but I wanted that my portrait was a kind of constant reminder of that power I had discovered within myself. then I drew the lion, my rising sign, close to me, as a constant companion (and I realized that my name, that literally means "lion of God", in Hebrew, was not given to me by chance.) this lion arises from the water, from the big ocean of feelings that characterizes all water types. Although one may think that water people are fragile due to their emotional, sensitive nature, they may be considered extremely strong exactly due to this attunement – they know like nobody how to deal with such world. my Air quality is represented by the color yellow and by the butterflies – also representatives of my sun sign, Gemini. butterflies go vivaciously from one place to another just like Gemini does. they are also flying animals, symbols of freedom, one of my strongest characteristics. another reason for picking the butterfly is because it’s one of my favorite animal totems, present in several of my pieces. butterflies are the symbol of rebirth and transformation and this is why it makes them so special to my eyes. rebirth and transformation are also keywords of my Moon sign – Scorpio. another element I created to represent this sign in my portrait was the lotus flower, due to its relation to situations of reconstruction after long struggles or even total loss – the lotus blooms from the mud. it is also a symbol of spirituality, something that is an important part of my daily life and that helps me keep going in spite of any obstacle.

Portrait of Isobel and Unicorn

Portrait of Isobel and Unicorn,
Colored pencil on Bristol board,
12 x 8.5

Isobel is my baby daughter, a triple Sagittarius (Sun, Moon and Rising Sign), with a predominance in Fire and Water. when I made her portrait, she had just completed one year old. I wanted that her portrait had a surreal, magical quality, what I achieved using strong colors and abstract elements. my idea was to portray her as a little elf, as a fun thing. a unicorn was chosen to keep her company: a “lighter” symbol for Sagittarius, more appropriate for a child’s portrait than the traditional centaur. an open field with trees which leaves remind red flaming hearts compounds the background - Isobel is all heart, a spirit full of passion and intensity. a river runs trough the field – the water quality of her personality. differently from the mysterious ocean water of my own portrait, peaceful Isobel’s water nurtures and refreshes, representing the caring side of her personality. on the other side of the background we see a deep sky, symbol of the desire for expansion and unlimited freedom of Sagittarius. two hummingbirds, symbols of optimism – another trait of this sign – come out of the deep blue. on her hair, a crown of lotuses, flower I like to use to represent the sign of Scorpio. although Isobel is not a Scorpio herself, she’s got a formidable stellium (an alignment of planets) in this sign, what gives her a lot of Scorpio characteristics.

if you are interested in commissioning your own portrait, drop me a line ( or visit my store.


...Of the Sea said...

Your work is fantastic! I love the meaning behind your self portrait and the artwork is amazing!
I stumbled across your blog when I clicked on Eva Luna. That book is great.

Keep up the great, great work. I'm surely coming back to see what else you can conjure up:).

painterofblue said...

I love your new website! It's beautiful and easy to use. I also found out you're on twitter : )

Beautiful drawings as always!

Ariel. said...

..Of the Sea, thank you so very much for stopping by and make of my blog one of your favorites. I'm very grateful for your words. yes, Eva Luna is a great book, a lovely story framed in poetry. I'm a big fan of Allende's works!

Sybil dear, thank you again... I'm following you on Twitter as well!! by the way, your interview is mind blowing!

Pearl said...

Oh, Allende's absolutely great! The first book of hers I read was The City of the Beasts. I'm telling you, the way she explains everything is so mind-blowing! I can almost taste the atmosphere when I read her books. She's so complex and her words express so much, much like you and your artwork:).


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