Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I have pushed the start button for my new project, The Aquarian Eye, which idea has been developed in conjunction with my friend Julia, a collage artist from UK. the project intends to give exposure to visionary/sacred artists through interviews and publishing articles exploring art and spirituality. more ideas are popping out. we're starting with a blog and Twitter, soon expanding to Facebook. I'm excited to pick the artist that is going to open our features! if you are a visionary artist or have something valuable to share in the fields of spirituality or alternative living, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Mixed Media (Watercolor, gouache, graphite and colored pencil) on board,
9 x 12
Model: Adhara Batul
Illustration for a brief moment in the Tennyson's poem "The Lady of Shalott".
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Waterlily was a nice surprise to me since I got to believe I was not able to work in soft colors anymore. I've been pursuing a dreamier, cleaner and suave style for a while and it suddenly came to life with this work. again, I got to achieve exactly what I wanted just by working with no sense of compromise or preoccupation with quality or symbolic purpose. I suspect I'm getting closer to something very exciting right now... :)h
another thing it's been difficult to control is the complexity of certain subjects I plan to work on. they end up too detailed and because of those I run away from my stylistic aspirations. so I have to learn how to express exactly what I want using few but powerful elements. exactly due to this complexity that doesn't please me anymore I had to set my recent piece Our Lady of the Angels-Gone aside. I think it needs more study, and the colors for some reason don't seem right.
let's keep on experimenting then...
Monday, August 17, 2009
I'd love to thank to lovely Ruthie for featuring my work at her stunning A Fairytale of Inspiration. I feel honored! her blog is very inspiring indeed, filled with beautiful things. Ruthie also runs 5 Precious Things, another eye candy.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
about two weeks ago I began to feel a strong wish of working in a piece about abortion. I got to make a nouveau-style illustration some time ago, but nothing close to this work I started to develop early last week and decided to call Our Lady of the Angels-Gone.
writing this post was very difficult, since many questions came to my mind, questions that lead to another to another to another... the ones who know me know that I am totally pro life, and it saddens me to know that this term today is associated to conservative and retrograde people. however, due to my spiritualist way of seeing life, it couldn't be any different. without the limitations of materialism, your vision of things become kind of multidimensional. but that's my own vision, and I don't intend to push it toward others as the only truth. while science do not come to a conclusion about when human life starts, it will be hard to know the truth about things. even being so sensitive to this question, which makes rise in me a blend of compassion, revolt and sadness, I have concluded that it's very difficult to approach such a delicate and contradictory subject. I then decided to make the work as a kind of "visual prayer", not only for the spirits that have been interrupted in their reincarnation process but also for the mothers that for one or other reason were forced to interrupt that process - which never occurs without any pain of some sort.
as it always happens, the artwork takes control and I simply let myself to go with the flow. at first I had imagined a kind of enlightened entity, like a saint, who would take care of the little spirits and of the mothers in suffering. something like compassion personified. it didn't work. the face that came up didn't sound very soft, but even a little severe. she covers herself carelessly in a kind of dark cloth, through which we see her golden heart. I thought that it was so important to show her heart... because there's no better judge for this type of question than love. another thing that came to me and sounded interesting was her hair... that appeared like huge roots of an old tree, or like tentacles, or still like serpents... running down two masked figures that seem to beg for shelter under the saint, or goddess, clothes.
there's a myth that represents the opposite pole from the caring and donating Great Mother: the Terrible Mother. this myth symbolizes the domain of the instincts and of the unconscious powers that have not been controlled by Ego. the Terrible Mother doesn't nurture or protect; she is the denier of the feminine in its positive pole, castrating, repressing and even killing her children. she is represented in different cultures as dark and destructive goddesses, like the hindu goddess Kali, balinese Rangda, or the gorgons. the stepmothers and witches of the fairytales are also related to this aspect of the Goddess. all of these goddesses are identified with reptiles, spiders or snakes (it's funny how my figure reminded me of Medusa...) anyway, I ended up finding in her great identification with this myth and I'm still in doubt about her soothing character. maybe she should entirely reflect the negative aspect of the feminine. (notice that in the world of myths as well as in nature there's no manichean conotation, nothing like positive = good and negative = bad. and that my attempt to discuss this matter in this post by no means intend to be accusatory, as if the Terrible Mother was the "bad girl" and the Creator Mother was the good one. both are aspects of the Great Mother and contain in themselves aspects of the psyche that are present in every woman.)
the relation of abortion with the Terrible Mother myth is quite intriguing. I believe that reflections on this archetype might turn possible bringing to light a little of the psyche of the women that for one or another reason deny themselves the development of the creative facet of the feminine (notice that this position does not relate to the therapeutic abortion, but the one that occurs for the mother's free will, for a series of reasons.) I really respect the position of the women that don't wish to have children, that don't feel connected to motherhood (although I don't think that that's enough to justify abortion), but I think that the vision of many feminists about abortion and female freedom, about having control of our own bodies and sexual behavior is very dangerous. in one of my favorite books, Jung and Tarot - an Archetypal Journey, by Sallie Nichols, she speaks about something that, to me, is very revealing. in the chapter about the Empress, she explains that the destructive aspect of the Goddess becomes apparent every time that woman neglects her true realm, which is the one of relationship and love. her strength can then turn toward the desire for power, taking them to lose touch with the female creativity. thus, The Empress, to whom her kingdom was denied for too long, comes to the surface with infernal fury. "It's understandable", she says - and pardon me for the rough translation, since my book is in Portuguese, "that in the search for her true essence, woman appears under several aspects."
for the ones who don't know Tarot, the Empress is the arcane that represents the complete woman, emancipated and fulfilled, conscious of her creativity and a "governor for love". the one who has all the goddesses balanced inside herself. my hope is to see someday woman coming to this condition of fulfillment... although I know that it does not depend entirely on her. there's a whole system that favors the flourish of the Terrible Mother, stopping the Woman-Empress from taking control of her creative role.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
work in progress in mixed media - watercolor, gouache, pencil and colored pencil.
something seemed wrong in my last experiments (Waving my Heart and The Fallen One) , and I was struggling to find out what it was. then today, working on this study, I realized that it was turning out different and more vivid than the other ones. since I am now working building the figures on a finished abstract background, all I had to do was to lighten up the figures so they would pop out more easily. I applied a layer of white watercolor on the unfinished drawing, so the strokes and colors of the background would show without "suffocate" the drawing. also the highlights were done using a white watercolor pencil. the effect is ghostly and soft. yummy.