June 16, 2011

Painting destruction

I's been a while and it's been a long hard battle that could not be won. For almost a year the destruction of my tower left me in a dark and gloomy place. Only now have I reclaimed the strenght to finish my tower and all it has come to represent. I will be glad to finish it and leave it's darkness behind me.

March 19, 2009

My Tower is struck

My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer metastasis. I feel sad and depressed, but most of all frustrated at my inability to avert this tragedy. I want to destroy something, air my fustration and anger with fate. So I started painting on my Tower. And while I paint its destruction, I desperately hope my mother will live through this to touch the Star.

July 14, 2008

A queen in progress

This is the current state of my queen of cups. An introvert woman surrounded by water. Like the pot-mother I showed below, she wil have water streaming from her breasts into the cup in front of her.
The Queen of Cups is a woman in love who dares to enter the deepest and most emotional realms of her personality. A gentle and tranquil woman, who absorbs emotional energies around her to reflect them back and share them generously, unstinting in her readiness to nurture

March 12, 2008

The female vessel

The picture shows the Phoenician goddess Astarte as pot mother. She is hollow and when filled pours the liquid from her breasts into the vase in her lap. A perfect and ancient example of the queen of cups' archetype, created ages before the tarot was thought out and female nipples became taboo.
The woman is the vessel that carries life. With the invention of pottery in the neolithic, pots and vases became symbols of storage and as such represented the female and her womb. The queen of cups represents this life carrying aspect of the female energies and I feel I should picture her like her prehistoric counterpart; As a vessel, carrying and pouring.

August 14, 2007

Creeping in the dark

Several paintings are awaiting completion and I've just started with a new one as well again. It represents the minotaurus in his underground labyrinth. I'm not sure what to think of him; Though in this image I've portrayed him as a dark monster, the bull-cult from crete, which inspired the myth, did not worship such a demon from the netherworld. One day I will devote a painting to the worship of the bull that lies at the birth of religion, for now this is just a fun image to create and it represents myself as I wander around in the labyrinth of choices. I am looking for a direction in my artwork that represents me personally, that radiates a hint of the unique but with every painting I feel more lost. The answer is somewhere in my artwork, but at the moment I just can not see it.

July 23, 2007

I'm not here

I just took a canvas and started painting. What came out was me, and my fear to face reality and to start a new fase in life. I've graduated as a vet, something I've wanted since I was a very little girl. But now I feel there is more I want, more aspects of myself that I want to explore. Instead of focussing on finding a job as a veterinarian, I applied for a new study in ancient history.

March 23, 2007

One last leap of faith?

The Star and the Devil alternate on my easel. Between them lies the liberating destruction of the Tower, and what a tower it must be to counteract the dark demon and free the golden beauty of hope. One day I will need to pour that image out of me and I fear the power that will be unleashed in me then.
The Star is almost finished. There are minor things that need tweaking and I still need to solve the issue of digitising metallic paint. There is one major addition I am contemplating. I intended to have water drip from her hair back into the see, to emphasize that the lady is the vessel of hope herself. But I fear I will ruin the image in the process as I have no idea how to pull it off convincingly. What to do...

March 19, 2007

Godless nature

As my devil slowly emerges from the snake pile, it strikes me that painting tarot is one of my personal demons. It demands me totally and it keeps me from working on less creative and spiritual tasks. Painting and creating seem simple mundane needs that life is filled with, but they also serve a higher purpose. Creating has put me in touch with my spiritual side again without the need to toss aside the freedom of atheism. There is no god, only nature. And nature has evolved into creative minds like mine, capable of expressing personal themes and myths without the need to believe that they exist outside the human consciousness.

February 22, 2007

Creative Struggle

It's been a while now since I've added the last streaks on the star. It's not just because of the graveyard shifts I have been working, I am stuck. Stuck with this image but also stuck on a direction for my artwork. I feel I need to develop more, I just do not know in which direction. I drift between impressionist, realism and some hints of the abstract, but haven't found a way to balance and blend those styles into strong artwork. I've started doubting if I am an artist, if my work is good enough, if it has potential at all. So, for the first in a long time, I decided to do a reading.
I broke out my trusted old friend the Haindl to see if it would still speak to me after all this time. I was surprised to see that it did. It spoke to me on a deep, spiritual and abstract level. Only clearing away the fog so I could see better what I allready knew.
I've learned a long time ago that tarot can give you advise, but never the easy route that you desire. I struggle (5 of wands) too much at the moment because I want desperately to balance (Justice) and temper (Alchemy) my styles while they are still developing. I need to stop analysing (4 of swords), stop trying and start following nothing but my intuition (Fool) . I know where I want to end up with my style (ace of swords), but the journey cannot be forced.

February 5, 2007

The painting in the drawing

The real work on the star has begun. It is one thing to come up with an image to capture a concept, an other to transform a drawing into a painting. I still think as a drawer and not as a painter, in lines and composition rather than strokes of color. To find the painting that is hidden in the drawing is a painful process of various degrees of ugliness. I just have to keep painting, layer after layer until I finally see it; the hidden painting. There is beauty hidden in the image somewhere and I need to dig deep to uncover it. Like the beauty of the Star that can only be truly appreciated after the horror of the Tower.

February 2, 2007

Renewal of the Star

To make up my mind about which card to paint next, I started sketching. And the image that came out most clear was that of the new star. I found it hard to relate to my previous star, to loose myself in the image. And I was always disappointed at how the night sky turned out. There is nothing there to look up to in awe.
Inspired by the starlike aureole of hair in the Ad Astra image and the woman washing her hair on Haindl's star card, I will create a new image of renewal. A beautifull woman emerges from the dark and cold water, throwing her hair back and looking up at the twinkling stars. After having been submerged in darkness, the sight of beauty is a sign of hope, the sight of sparkling stars a sign that the darkest hours are past.

February 1, 2007

Enter or Emerge

Having barely finished the queen of swords I am eager to redo my previous version of the star in a style more in tune with my other cards. There is a lot that I am pleased about in that old image, but also some that I regret. As much as I would hate to redo cards instead of expanding the deck, I do think in some cases it will serve the deck best if I do. With the new image for the star I hope to better capture the feeling of renewal, of emerging from the night sea to finally take a deep breath of fresh air.
The star is not the only watery image that I'm thinking of painting next. Before you can emerge from the waters of the soul, you must enter them. Entering the water is signified by the page of cups. With her innocence she barely touches the surface of the water, unaware of what lies hidden in the depths.
So which will be next? The innocent entering of the waters of the soul, or the matured emerging form the night sea?

January 23, 2007

To paint tarot

Sometimes I wonder if other tarot artists also spend hours, days and weeks working on a single image. It usually takes me months to contemplate on the meaning and concept of a card, but the actual painting consumes lots of time and energy as well. Had I opted for an other medium it might not have been so time consuming, but oils give me the abillity to feel the strokes, gently touch the image and caress the persons in it. Most streaks of paint are created unconciously, but still they enforce the strong connection between myself and the image. Painting achetypes is a very personal and confronting experience. I get to lock eyes with the images that spring from my soul.
As I paint more I can see my style changing, the artwork matures slowly as I do. I thought at the beginning of this project that I allready had a personal style. Now I am starting to think that style was more a lack of experience. When I compare older work to what I create at the moment it is like comparing early stages of a painting with the end result. Somethings that I loved are lost and something new has appeared. If my style keeps changing with experience, this deck will never be truely coherent and I will continue to feel the urge to start over. Tarot seems to be an endless source of inspiration, and one that does not easily release its grip on those that have tasted its riches.