Entries Tagged as: astrology

Dive Deep – Talking to the Animals in Your Art

May 29th, 2009, Comments (14)


I wanted to be sure to talk about animals in art during the month of Nature for the Creative Every Day Challenge and this painting I've just finished provided a perfect opportunity.

I've had certain animals pop up in my life during different times. Sometimes, I'll actually see them everywhere (as I did with crows for a time) and other times I'll dream about them, draw them in my sketchbook, or see their images all over the place. If they start showing up in my art, that usually grabs my attention. I may just enjoy their presence in my art or I may do a little research on what they've meant as symbols in other cultures. Reading about the symbolism of animals can be a fascinating way to dive deeper into explorations about what these creatures may mean in your life.

I just finished up this underwater painting called, Dive Deep, which I'm really loving. The image came to me intuitively, but as I painted it grew and changed. A whale appeared, as did an octopus. Even though only the whale's tail is showing, I imagine this woman is swimming with the whale.

Today, as I snapped a couple pictures of the painting, I felt a strong urge to look up whales in the book Animal Speak. I got all teary with the synchronicity of the first line summary of what whales represent: "Creation, Power of Song, Awakening Inner Depths." This touched me in ways I can't quite explain, but I can say that the piece about the power of song is resonating so strongly with me as we move into the month of Sound for the Creative Every Day Challenge. There's something here for me around the power of your voice, communication, giving voice to your soul. 

In Animal Speak, Ted Andrews writes about whales, " By drawing upon your own creative instincts, you can sing forth your own song."

This reminds me that even though you can get all sorts of fun, juicy information from books and other sources, when it comes to looking at animals that show up in your creations, it can be just as, if not more juicy to look at what these symbols mean for you. You could do some dialoguing in a journal and ask your animal symbols something like, "Whale, what are you here to teach me? What is it you want me to know? What do you represent in my life?" Write freely without judging and see what comes up. Alternatively, you could simply explore their meaning by allowing these animals to enter into your art and express themselves in that way.

The octopus in this piece came as a surprise to me. I later read that the octopus is related to the image of a spiral (I'm so drawn to spirals) and is also connected with the moon and astrological sign of Cancer (which I am.)

I love the way synchronicities pop up when I allow images to come from my intuition. It's a beautiful thing. Essentially, this image is about diving deep into the dark places. It's nice to have some animal guides to help me along.

Are there any animals showing up in your life or artwork right now? Do they have meaning for you? If you asked them what they're here to teach you, what would they answer?

p.s. I was recently interviewed for Chris Guillebeau and Zoe Westhof's ebook, The Unconventional Guide to Art and Money which explores how artists are making a living online. Check it out for yourself right here!

p.p.s Listening and Underwater Tea Party are now available in the shop!

Moon Walk

November 28th, 2008, Comments (15)


I painted this today after a nice, long nap. We spent the night at my mom's and I didn't sleep well, so when we got home I was so pooped that changed into jammies and went straight to bed. Heh. When I woke up, I went straight to my studio and painted this. I started by putting down some directly on the paper and then responding to it, bit by bit. And this is what came out, a girl taking the moon for a walk. I'm calling it "Moon Walk." And it's about 9"x12". Last night before I went to bed, I drew loads of ideas I had for art involving the moon. This one above wasn't one of the ideas, but I see a theme coming on! As a Cancer, I am a moon girl after all.

I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a lovely holiday and aren't feeling too stuffed!


May 30th, 2007, Comments (27)

I'm knee deep in website land, but oh so close to having it up and running. Wee! It's exciting! I'm happy with the way it's all coming together. The last couple days I've been working obessively, feeling the energy to be gung ho about it. I need to take advantage of the energy bursts when they come. I'm not one of those people who are always on fire...everyone knows someone like this, maybe you are someone like this, the person who can't sit still, who is always being productive, getting things done, amazing others with all they do. My last boss was like this and I was always so impressed with all she did. I'm a bit more ocean-like, I come in waves of intense storms with long lulls in between of slower, softer waves. Neither way is bad or good. I'm learning that you just have to accept your strengths and weaknesses and make them both work for you. Learning to do this, comes with age and experience I think and I'm getting to know myself better every year.

Saturday night I was on the low end of the spectrum. I felt tired and sluggish, like my body was full of mud. In the afternoon I tried to take a nap, but it wasn't happening, I was just laying there. In the evening, I realized I was itching to be creative, but I didn't have a lot of energy. I didn't really want to get all my art supplies out and set up. So, I opted to make it as cozy and comfy as I could, as easy and relaxed as possible. No need for anything extravagant. I pulled some magazines, my sketchbook, some pencils and colored pencils into bed with me. I propped up a bunch of pillows so I could lean back into them. I looked through a file of magazine images I'd torn recently for a little fun project I'm working on and then opened my sketchbook and drew for pure pleasure, imaginary spaces. When I tired of that, I started to doodle and along came a figure. She wore a scarf around her head, her hair blew back, she was on a cliff by the ocean holding a lantern. Ahh. I felt so much better. I was still tired and went to bed early that night, but after getting out this figure, I felt a million times more connected, I understood a little better where I was at, and although I can't really put into words why or how she expressed to me what she did, it's enough to just feel it. Before I went to bed that night, I read a bit in  The Book of Awakening and I laughed because it was so appropriate. It read:

Look with your sad eyes on things new to you that will give you something to do with your sadness. Your sadness is the paint. You must find the canvas.

Last night, after a full day and evening of working away at the website, mixed in with a vet appointment for Emma (whose paw is all better. yay!), I was itching to bring my woman with the lantern to life. It was pretty late at this point, probably around 10, but I started gathering supplies, figuring I could just start it. I wasn't sure how I was going to bring her to life, but I wanted to allow my intuition to guide me. So, I started collecting images from my various supplies, old books, photocopies, scraps of paper, an old Christmas card, someone's hand lettering on tracing paper, a bag from a music store, etc...I pulled an unused canvas and began to lay out the images on the canvas in a way that felt right and then started gluing them down. I showed the fiansor how I did a transfer of a photocopy of an old photo onto a piece of sheet music. He liked the transfer , but not the smell of the chartpak marker I used. The fiansor went to bed , but I stayed up. I put on an audio book took out my paint brushes and started to get the figure in. She began to develop slowly. Once I saw her face, I got all excited. I kept going, taking occasional breaks to look at the painting from across the room. The sky turned out much different than I was expecting, but I was really loving it all. I felt like I had to keep going until it was done and I worked into the wee hours of the night. It was fun and I'm pleased with the results. I included the transfer because of some inspiration from Inspire Me Thursday from last week and I'm glad I did. It adds an interesting element to her dress. As I collected images, I noticed I was collecting a lot of woman's faces. I think they are her history, her unseen supporters.


I'm calling her "The Lighthouse" and she's 12"x16" with collage and acrylic on canvas. I still need to paint her sides.

Right before I went to bed last night, I got my horoscope from Rob Brezsny in my email. It also seemed wildly appropriate:

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In her CD *Spiritual Madness: The Necessity of
Meeting God in Darkness,* Caroline Myss tells us that wading through
messy darkness is an essential part of our search for meaning. She
doesn't recommend that we avoid chaos at all costs, or even just accept
it with resignation. Rather, we should welcome it as a gift that can teach
us crucial secrets about how to become ourselves. I agree with Myss.
That's why I advise you not to resent the confusion before you. And don't
just mindlessly clean it up as fast as you can, either. Instead, dive into it.
Celebrate it. Allow it to change you into a riper, wiser, more beautiful soul.

Synchronicity abounds. :-) Have a beautiful day!