Thursday, November 19, 2015

Goddess Abstraction: Persephone and changes in my process


My Feminine Divine canvas became part of an impromptu a Samhain altar.

When I began this Goddess Abstraction project I envisioned listening to two talks on Goddesses each month and doing two paintings and a reflective blog post for each one.  As is common with my plan making process I didn’t account for how long art work can take me.  I need time to sit with paintings in between the times when I work on them to get real clarity on what I want my next choices to be.  Unfortunately trying to make my art process fit into two week chunks was creating more distress than productivity.

Finding balance between life, buisness and making art is a difficult act.  I try to use my times of anxiety about being able to complete my assigned task as an alarm that tells me I have to rethink my priorities.  Making art needs to be fun for me to be working at my best.  Im fortunate in that my marketing schedule is self-imposed and thus I can change it as I need to to figure out how I can be most productive.  I don’t want to constantly feel like I am failing at a painting project I genuinely enjoy.

So I decided to change my approach to blogging about this series.  Instead of having two monthly posts of finished paintings Im just going to write one post a month as a reflection about where I am in my process of creating Goddess Abstractions.  I enjoy this approach more because it reminds me that part of the reason I wanted to start this series was as a way to challenge myself to expand my knowledge of Goddess mythology and explore the way I use color as an expressive force.  So its not as much about the finished work as it is about what going into making them.


Persephone, acrylic on raw canvas, in process, 2015


Right now I am in the middle of a painting of Persephone, greek goddess of the underworld.  It seems fitting for me to be facing this type of challenge to how I use my energy as her presence is a reminder to be aware of my intentions and to keep stress from dragging me down.  In the original version of her myth she was drawn down to the underworld to act as a source of comfort for the dead and would descend to the underworld by her own choice for half of the year.  During this time her mother, Ceres, would mourn and withdraw and cause the winter to come.  Persephone returns in the spring and, they say, her mother celebrates through the blossoming of each flower. (A lovely retelling of her myth can be found here)

The background color are meant to give a sense of descent to the piece and create a resonance with her orange skin so that it seems to glow off the canvas.  The yellow of her dress resonates her confidence which grounds into the dark brown flare of her skirt.  The spirals on her belly remind of the cyclical nature of the seasons.

As she is queen of the underworld I want to add some skulls either on her dress or in a pile at her feet.  I'm still deciding...and glad to have given myself the space to find the right options for this piece.

The Goddess Tele-summit talk I listened to was with Marguerite Rigoglioso, founder of the Seven Sisters Mystery School and author of the books Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece and Virgin Mother Goddesses of Antiquity.  If you are interested in more details about Persephone and the world that worshiped her I cannot recommend better reads that her writing.

Art is a journey into the self and out again.  Persephone is a powerful partner to have join me in my travels.

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