A while back a good friend in the United States asked me to create a painting of Kali, the Goddess of death, time, and doomsday. Just after this request, I visited a market and came across a small mask which, to me, embodied the essence of Kali. I had to paint in the red tongue which is the symbol of Kali but, once I’d got this central figure sorted, the rest flowed very easily. I really enjoyed creating this painting.
Kali is a fearsome figure, associated with violence but she also embodies feminine energy, creativity and fertility. I’d forgotten about this painting and came across it yesterday so thought I’d post the different images I created from the original artwork. These are reproduced with the permission of the painting’s owner.
I bought a really lovely crystal necklace with a druzy pendant recently, although I’m not quite sure what the crystals are. They don’t feel like rose quartz, too cool, and I’m guessing they’re pink chalcedony. The necklace has a matching pair of earrings and I’ve just altered them – originally they had one pink crystal bead and three very small pink beads, but they were so small I kept losing them. So I added in a couple of bigger beads and now they’re much easier to find!
I also altered a pair of larimar earrings I seldom wear. They were on a triangular frame but never felt quite right. Then a couple of nights ago I had the idea of simply hanging them on a chain and they feel quite different, far more resonant with my own energies.
I also have two Larimar pendants which will go well with the earrings – one’s an oval and the other a heart. A friend here in North Cyprus has a lovely crystal jewellery stall at the local market, and gets a lot of different stones from Turkey where they are really quite cheap, and that’s where she found the two Larimar pendants I now caretake. I love Larimar, it’s a really soft, loving stone. I often think of chrysocolla as Aphridote’s power stone, while Larimar is her stone of love and nurturing. Aphrodite, by the way, is said to have emerged from the sea at the southern end of Cyprus where I live.
Here’s an acrylic painting I created of Aphrodite – it started taking shape when we lived in Victoria, Ausralia, then grew clearer when we lived on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Australia, and took final shape here in Cyprus after we’d moved here. Aphrodite was certainly calling me!
This is a digital version of an acrylic painting I created back in Australia, before moving to North Cyprus, of Baubo, a lesser known and rather mysterious goddess who appears in the story of Demeter searching for her daughter, Persephone, after Hades – god of the Underworld – had kidnapped the young woman.
According to the myth, after searching the Earth and finding no sign of Persephone, Demeter retreated to a cave to mourn, while the Earth died around her due to her lack of love and care.
Baubo appeared to the grieving Demeter and brought her back to life with laughter – according to legend, Baubo flashed her boobs and vulva at Demeter and caused her to start laughing and return to the world of the living.
So, as with your Inner Queen, let out your Inner Baubo. Be:
ignore the strictures
about what women are supposed to say, be and do.
Stay out of that square box and
have enormous fun as the round peg
kicking her heels, turning somersaults and
laughing her head off along the road less travelled!
Well, I have made it through the Earth Every Day in November challenge and managed to post every day which I’m very pleased about so I’m patting myself on the back!
I wanted to wind up on something positive, given the state of affairs in the world today, so here is Earth Mama: I took a photo of a statue I have of an earth-goddess type configuration, tizzied it up in BeFunky, then superimposed it over a photo I took this evening of the sun shining on clouds over the Turkish coastline.
It offers the hope of sun, light and courage to stay positive, embrace optimism and know that there are so many good people in the world who far outweigh the negative lightweights.
We, the purveyors of happiness, goodness and love, will prevail!
I played with an earlier, acrylic painting I created back in Australia of Baubo, goddess of laughter, raucous merriment and kicking up your heels. The original painting was bright orange and I really enjoyed playing silly with it. This is the re-worked version – Cosmic Mother, amazing the difference colours make!
This image is of a hearth and chimney in an abandoned cottage. The original – in black and white – is on the Flickr album of Ann B (the Queen of Frogs) who has kindly given me permission to use her photos of the Smokies, in the United States.
I called this image “The Hearth of Warmth and Welcome” to honour the qualities embodied in the Goddess Hestia – the keeper of the fire burning at the heart of a household. Hestia makes places holy when she is present offering illumination, warmth and heat for food.
To me this image represents the opening of our hearts and the holding of our hands forward to welcome the many thousands upon thousands of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war, persecution, conflict and starvation. The circles represent past, present and future, and even more the circles of welcome and friendship which we can build up with other human beings who need comfort, love and shelter in their times of deepest need.
It’s funny where life takes you in the creative field. I’ve been looking back at the art I’ve posted onto artist sales outlets and can see a clear stages in what I’ve created.
When I lived in Boonah, in Queensland, from 1994-2002, I focused on mandalas and working with art pencils on black cardboard. I created quite a few bespoke mandalas, including this one on the right, Crystal Butterfly, then got fed up because it was like working on a treadmill and my work looked less than inspired and wooden.
I didn’t do any art when we lived in the UK from 2002-4. Then, when we returned to Australia in 2004, from then on in the various places we lived, I worked mainly with acrylics, pastels and crystals, and natural pieces of nature such as bark, rocks and crystals.
I went through a soul retrieval process at Pingelly in the wheatbelt of Western Australia and that seemed to spark off what I called shamanic visionary art, for want of a better description, because I’m not a shaman by any means. These two pieces, Spider Woman and my drum with spider totem, were created in Pingelly.
To be a shaman is a calling. It demands huge sacrifices and re-shaping and rebirth of an individual (although after some of my experiences I feel I’ve walked through fire and emerged a completely different person!). I also happen to think that many in western societies have an idealised version of shamanic work and expropriate what they feel is relevant without realising the real power of shamans. I particularly felt this after reading, firstly, a book by Patrice Malidoma Some, Ritual: Power, Healing & Community, which gives an account of shamanic practices in his African community; and secondly, after reading an account of the disappearance of an Aboriginal lawman and Elder in Bidyadanga, Australia, which involved the mystery of the spirit world and, really, unseen energies which most of us Westerners can only guess at. Here’s a link to the article on this subject, well worth reading:
Returning to art after that detour into shamanism, in Woodenbong, which is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, and also on the caldera of an ancient, huge, extinct (thankfully!) volcano, I painted goddess images, including the following:
And then in Traralgon, Victoria, and Bowraville, New South Wales, I seemed to focus on vision boards and full moon art:
When I moved to Cyprus in February last year, nothing much happened art-wise until our shipment was cleared from Istanbul after a long delay in customs. I fiddled with various bits and pieces of art, but really didn’t feel enthused about anything. Then one day, when I was working on photos with Photoshop, I came across a nifty little gadget called “liquefy” where you can drag colours around on a photo and rework it completely. And suddenly I was off and running with digital art. I work only with the photos I’ve taken of my art, scenery here and in Australia, and rocks, stones and crystals in my collection.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve not really had much time for art created on a computer and digitally. It didn’t seem like real art. Until I started working with digital art myself. And I love it. It was boosted by taking heaps of photos of exploding fireworks when the Merit Hotel, on the coast very near to us, held two fireworks displays right in front of our apartment. We had a box seat for free, the displays were brilliant and I had a great time snapping away and then working with the images of fireworks and light in the dark sky afterwards.
I feel like I’m getting out in something visual all the colours and patterns floating around in my head, and it suits me at this time in my life. Although my fibromyalgia has alleviated somewhat due to homeopathy, I can’t work so easily with canvas and paint now due to various health challenges. But working with digital art opens up new vistas in creativity and I feel a lot better because I don’t feel as limited as I did previously. I posted some examples of digital art a few blogs ago, but here are some of my favourites that I’ve created over the past few months.
And as that old British saying goes: “Onwards and upwards, teacups”. I’m slowly finding my way through Photoshop and Corel but I feel pretty good, now that my creativity is off and running in new directions.