We’ve all heard of the old saying “the calm before the storm“, the anticipation of, well, the manure hitting the proverbial fan. It can be a time of great excitement or anxiety, whichever way you choose to perceive it.
The thing is (actually two things): firstly, anxiety is pretty much the same energy as excitement. Try alchemizing your nerves to excited anticipation next time the opportunity presents itself. And secondly, ‘storms’ help us to grow.
Here are three beautiful quotes to embody this concept:
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ― Vivian Greene
“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
I’ve been having fun with some still life drawing.
I gathered a bunch of flowers and foliage from my garden for my dining table centerpiece and, one day whilst taking in the beauty of the flowers, decided to draw them. You can see my vase of delights to your right.
I really love vintage-style botanical pattern in design so I tried my hand at creating one of my own with these lavender and poppy illustration I had done.
Are White Lavenders a Thing?
I’ve had many people ask me if there really is such a thing as a white lavender. I’ve got to be honest, I would’ve been disbelieving too if it wasn’t for a few years ago when I saw my first white lavender bush in someone’s garden on one of my morning walks.
I had to have one!
For the naysayers out there, let me introduce you to my gorgeous white lavender bush (you can see my regular purple lavender bush next to it for a colour comparison) in my little Karoo garden in South Africa…
Isn’t it magnificent?
Below is a close up snap:
And yes, they smell as good as they look!
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever seen or own white lavender? I’d be interested to know. Please also include where you come from.
Back to the Illustration…
So without further ado, here is my botanical illustration featuring the white lavender and poppy combo:
I really had fun creating this botanical pattern and it’s even more rewarding when you start designing various products and get to play with background colours – I especially like the teal background.
Below are a few of my products with this pattern, if you would like to visit my store and see all the available goodies, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
I’d love to hear which product stands out for you – let me know in the comment box below 🙂
Thanks for reading!
I’ve got a new Mandala Colouring Book for you! Click on the pic below:
I’m absolutely delighted to finally be able to show you around Barrydale, where I live, and why it is such an inspiration to my work. This short little 3 minute reveal will give you a great idea of the area that inspired my new print collection. You can now put a (terra)face to the art and get to compare the landscape to the creations.
Just cllick on the picture below to view the video 😉 Please feel free to comment, I’d love to hear what you think of this remote South African slice of heaven.
I haven’t painted for a while as I’ve been concentrating more on my graphic design work. But a couple of weeks ago I felt the creative bug bite me in the derrier, I just had to get my hands dirty.
I recently watched My Octopus Teacher (I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet). It was filmed just around the corner from where I grew up. The spectacular cinematography got me all inspired. So without much ado, let me show you the photographic process of my double painting duo, “Tentacle Soiree“:
I had a really great time experimenting with the different metals and foils I used in these pieces. The finished paintings are below and available to purchase – just click on the picture below or HERE.
Thanks for coming with me on this octopuses garden journey!
I’ve been really getting into drawing on my tablet recently. It’s great fun and a good way to be productive away from the confines of an office, studio or sitting behind a computer. I get creative sitting out in the garden or while I’m hanging ten with a cup of tea.
But is it cheating?
The Artist Debates
A lot of people in the artistic community feel that digital painting/drawing is basically cheating.
Well, yes and no.
I don’t think anything can replace the energy, vibrancy and feel of original art painted with real, genuine paint! But I do, as an acrylic and mixed media artist, feel a certain freedom on the tablet.
For one, there’s no mess. No mixing of paint or scrambling to find that sharpener for your blunt 3B pencil. I absolutely love that perk! But I also like the zoom and extensive texture features. You can experiment and really take details to new dizzying heights.
In saying that, I will never stop physically painting. I sometimes like the grotty side of it and getting to smeer paint onto canvas with my bare hands and play with metals and different materials.
However, digital painting is a great tool and can get you to explore and discover new techniques and avenues without expense or time constraints.
The Water Nymph
This is my latest digital artwork, all drawn by hand, called, “The Water Nymph“(right).
Pop in at my online shop to see, “The Water Nymph“, on lots of cool and beguiling products – click HERE. I have listed a few of the product designs below too. Let me know what you think 😉
Good to Know
Did you know that RedBubble is a print on demand shop where products are made one at a time reducing over-production? They are carbon neutral, have safe working conditions and a small footprint. There are 70+ high-quality products that are made in the most responsible ways possible. Plus you are supporting a global community of artists.
Most of you may know, I live in South Africa where, of course, wildlife is abundant. Especially a particular type of mischievous (as well as dangerous) primate called a baboon.
You may even recall an incident I had many years back which involved me, a tub of butter and an alpha male baboon. You can recap on who won that particular battle here: The Baboon and the Butter — Part 1 .
I moved away from Welcome Glen in Cape Town, where baboons terrorized the locals, to start my sustainable living adventure here in Barrydale. Barrydale didn’t have the baboon problems of where I’d come from. Or so I thought.
Yes, I was insanely wrong about that.
Although we had a peaceful first four years, things started to change rapidly once I started a successful fruit and veg garden.
I got hit hard by a solid week of visitations by troops of baboons in December 2019, and the truth hit hard too.
I had beautiful crops of almost ripe onions (which take around 6 months to grow), potatoes, apricots, apples, almonds, peppers and Swiss chard. They didn’t stand a chance. The baboons ravaged my crops in minutes. I was devastated after putting in so much hard work, as you can well imagine.
To add insult to injury, they don’t even eat chard or peppers but they pulled it all out and left it on the ground. Pfft.
Problem vs Solution
Needless to say I was livid and despondent. I don’t wish any animal harm, so I would never hurt them but I couldnt see a way out of this gigantic problem. Someone suggested I give up my dream of an edible garden. No way, Jose. I’m probably a sucker for punishment but I can’t do that either.
After an excessive period of feeling incredibly sorry for myself, I decided to try and find a way to alchemize this situation. Here’s what I came up with:
Baboons aren’t all bad. Yes, they’re smelly, destructive and deadly dangerous with massive fangs and no fear for women (known fact look it up. Utterly sexist little maruading bastards). However, they are very amusing amidst the mayhem. I’ve had many a giggle watching them frolick in their troops, play daredevil on the R62 with oncoming traffic and torment the tourists by grabbing their freshly acquired snacks in an ambush.
Their babies are incredibly cuuuuuuute. Ag vooitog (Afrikaans for ‘Oh bless’ or something like that).
I can’t think of a third plus but let’s just say the world wouldn’t be the same without a bumbling band of baboons!
After my above conclusions I decided to:
Concentrate on growing things they don’t eat like herbs, green spinach, beans, chili’s, peas, lettuce, etc. They seem to prefer root vegetables. They also didn’t touch my grenadillas or my gooseberries, which I found strange but somewhat comforting.
Make myself laugh rather than cry. After reminiscing on all the funny moments they have provided, I came up with ‘ZenBoon’.
The Zenboon Revelation
I’ve decided to put pen to paper, brush to canvas, digipen to screen and I’m drawing my cheeky little friends in an attempt to shed a more humorous light on the whole ordeal. The idea of a Zen baboon is ludicrous and certainly dichotomous (A word that irrelevantly rhymes with hipopotamous). However, these monkeys have gained mastery over mischief. Aka ZenBoon is born, my way of alchemizing my low-lying mood.
So, my lesson in all this is don’t let it (insert your problem here 😉) get you down, let it get you thinking ANEW. You always have a choice.
Here are two designs I have already come up with below, I hope you like them ☺🐒 These crazy fella’s are available on all sorts of products from posters to shower curtains (see below). You can see the full shop scope here and here.
If you are in the Barrydale area between the 13th-16th December 2019 and you want to pop in and have a cuppa while perusing some art, please contact me on whatsapp – 084 245 0821 or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewing is by appointment only.
There is a lot going on over this weekend in the picturesque and arty town of Barrydale, so bring your walking shoes and camera! Programs are available at the Magpie Art Collective, 27 Van Riebeeck Road, Barrydale.
See the posters below for the wild and exciting BAM events:
Some of my available art you will see in my studio include:
See you there!
And if you won’t be able to make it in the flesh, you can view my portfolio at Saatchi Art. If you’re in South Africa, please visit Bid or Buy for prices in rands.
I run the craft class in my local youth upliftment center (it’s called ‘Net vir Pret‘ which is Afrikaans for ‘Just for Fun‘). We mainly use recycled material (aka household trash) for our projects.
I’ve had so much interest with people visiting the class that I decided to share what we do with the world. I get a kick out of these classes and what’s possible to make out of waste, I hope it inspires you to do the same and it’s a great project to do with the kids during school vacations.
There’s nothing more important, in my mind, than a child who is encouraged to use their imagination and creative expression. And to couple that with using rubbish to produce fun and quirky creations, well, that’s just a bonus!
Don’t forget to pin it!
So, in today’s blog, we made robots. Here’s what you’ll need:
A glue gun.
Cans (we used beer/soda cans for the arms and legs and tuna cans for the feet and head).
Acrylic craft paint and brushes. You have to use acrylic paint or spray-paint for it to stick to the bottle and to last. OPTIONAL: use an acrylic varnish for sealing and protecting once you’ve finished painting.
Bottle caps, plastic spoons, etc (for accessories, eyes, ears, etc). The sky and your imagination are the limit here!
To begin, take your glue gun and make the structure of the body by gluing the arms, legs, feet, head and any other accessories you want to use.
It’s as simple as that and your kids are going to love it!
It has always been a dream of mine to paint BIG. Although I have painted a few large scale paintings during the course of my career, I am now sold on the experience of painting big.
It’s really going to be my prime focus now as it was such an enjoyable (albeit daunting) project.
This painting was all about fantasy, magic, mystery and letting the imagination run riot.
Without further ado, here is the photo process of making ‘Woodland Stream Gathering’:
This was the start of the first layer.
The background trees now make an appearance — layer 1 of 3 layers of trees.
The second and third layer of trees is established. Now it’s time for detailed branches!
It’s hard work and my arm felt like lead weight.
Then came the stags (one is hiding behind the tree) — can you see it?
Now comes the details in the background and foreground (flowers and grass)
And lastly, the figures of the man, woman and child need to be brought out…
Here I am with the painting to show the size:
These were the photo’s I took during the painting process. Please see below for the finished ‘professional’ shots for more details 🙂 As you will see, the colour varies quite a bit according to time of day. In the photo’s below, the colour is more true to the original.
“Woodland Stream Gathering” by Cherie Roe Dirksen Acrylic on Canvas 120cm x 90cm
Deep in the heart of the forest,
an interconnected trinity is anchored
as mother, father and child.
Reminding us of our connection to nature
and to each other.
The roots reach out underground,
forming an unbreakable lattice.
The branches reach upward,
towards the heavens
touching the sky and the moon itself.
The watering stream is where life is drawn,
from stag to dragonfly.
dipping in and out of the life-giving vein.
Ever flowing, moving and alive with vitality.
Poppies dance in the moonlight,
and hint at the fragile beauty
of the mysteries the natural realm emits.
Cloaked yet waiting for willing eyes to see.
I haven’t done a ‘fly on the wall’ blog for ages, so I thought I’d show you the creative process behind my pastel poppy artwork called, ‘Orange Poppies on Blue’. Yeah, I know…really original title. Named so because:
the poppies are orange and,
it’s been done on blue Canson pastel paper.
Where do I come up with these tantalizing, cryptic names?! lol…
It’s really interesting to see how the flower literally blooms on the paper, so without further blurb, here are the start-to-finish photo’s of my creative process.
The first step is always about planning and mapping it out…
Outline of the poppies in pencil.
Start filling in the gold swirly spiral patterns.
Very laborious work…
Now it’s time to get to work on the poppies…
Adding details… (clearly I had to do something at 6:30? But what was it…)
Maybe I had to finish it by 6:30?
And, finally, the artwork is done!
This piece was recently featured in the grand opening exhibition of Heart Space Studio. The original is part of my private collection but I do have lovely, high quality prints for you. Please click on the picture below to take you to the framed prints (beneath is a link to canvas prints and photographic prints if that’s more your thing).
‘The Fall and The Return’ by Cherie Roe Dirksen Acrylic on Boxed Canvas 762mm x 255mm x 40mm $415 (incl. international courier)
*UPDATE: The original painting has now been sold*
What’s it About?
This painting is from the perspective of the person coming out of the woods onto the path. It’s a pause for observation or perhaps even hesitation.
Who is coming out of the woods and where are they heading?
Are they coming home?
Are they entering a new phase of their journey?
Are they visiting someone?
There is an eerie feeling as one wonders what their intentions are and a sense of hope as the village in the distance looks promising and the birds are also looking out onto the village, giving it a sense of serenity.
The title was formed from a combination of suggestions from friends. I put the artwork out onto my facebook page and asked my peeps to see what title they came up with.
I eventually settled on a combination of 2 suggested titles — one was about ‘fall’ (being a very autumnal landscape) and one was about ‘the return’ (as in the prodigal son), which I liked very much. So, the title has an ambiguous meaning which I thought was fitting.
I tried a new style which merged my landscape (in the background) with an overlay of my tree silhouettes in the foreground — giving it a sense of greater depth.
The background received a yellow ‘wash’ of paint to make it appear a little blurred and the trees were executed in a sharp manner (I used permanent ink for the smaller branches) to render the forest more in focus.
It’s been a while since I did an art blog and it’s been an even longer while since I did one of my pastel poppy drawings (it’s actually been years! I’ve been mostly painting in acrylic these days).
I missed using pastels so I decided to do a BIG poppy artwork and photograph the process so you can glimpse it taking shape.
Here are the photo’s (it took me close to 2 months to finish — I certainly took my time! lol):
Stage 1: It begins…flowers are laid out first, then I fill in the background pattern
Stage 2: More poppies are added to the mix
Stage 3: The background is completed and detail has been added to the poppies. I was working outdoors for more light (you can see the famous R62 in the background 😉
Stage 4: It’s finished (and so am I! lol…)
For all you art enthusiasts who simply must have the original — you’re in luck! It’s still available through Saatchi — click HERE or click on picture below (you’ll also find excellent quality prints at Saatchi to suit your pocket and needs).
For those on a tighter budget — no worries — you can get high quality prints (or perhaps you fancy a cushion cover or iPhone skin?) by clicking HERE. An extra large photographic print is under $46!!! There are lots of print options available as well as products and clothing with this design on — there’s nothing more fabulous than wearing the art you love! ❤
Title: “Panspermia” Artist: Cherie Roe Dirksen Size: 800mm x 800mm x 44mm Medium: Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas
‘Panspermia’ is made up of two Greek words — ‘pan’ (meaning ‘all’) and ‘spermia’ (meaning ‘seed’).
Panspermia is a hypothesis that suggests that life exists throughout the universe and can be distributed via comets, meteorites, asteroids, etc. It is a theory that even Stephen Hawking subscribed to in a presentation about space in 2009, and a concept that the late archaeologist, Zecharia Sitchin, wrote about in his Earth Chronicles (where he documented his findings about extraterrestrial intervention here on Earth whilst translating the Sumerian tablets).
When I began work on this painting I had absolutely no preconceived idea of what it was I was going to paint. I started out trying a new marbling technique I’d seen on a YouTube video that I thought looked pretty cool. When I’d finished doing this effect on the canvas I began to see ‘things’ in there.
My job then was to extract and give shape and form to what I was seeing. Some things were recognizable and quite common (for instance, the lions face, fish, eyes, a yummy looking chocolate rabbit) but then other interesting forms started to emerge that I couldn’t explain.
The work I did in the top left hand corner came right at the end. As I stepped back from the picture, I got the feeling that this piece was trying to transcend the space/time realm. Then I got the idea to insert the clockwork/gears/mechanisms as if they were falling apart or unraveling as the artwork takes you into the ‘timeless’ realm or what I refer to as the ‘Void of All Possibility’ (as Indian spiritual author, Deepak Chopra, has touched on in his body of works).
The origins of life are strong in the subject matter and one can pick out vague assimilations of sperm, male and female genitalia as well as eggs or ovum. In this quantum soup, you get the feeling that all ideas are stewing — like the potential of a fertile womb.
I love the philosophical works of author and scientist, Gregg Braden, who touches on the Divine Matrix (matrix meaning ‘womb’ in Latin) in his books as being the field of energy that underlies all physical existence. Some of these ideas that are stewing in the painting may come to physical fruition and some may not. Maybe some are the things that nightmares are made of and others are possibility of life that will be seeded elsewhere — in realms beyond our dimension or solar system.
The spirals in my art are always symbolic of the energy that surrounds and permeates our very existence (spirals, patterns and the use of gold and metallic colours are what draws me to the work of Klimt; Van Gogh and his pure energy in motion brush strokes has also added to my fascination with spirals and energy in art). In the top left hand corner, I see glowing, spirit-like beings escaping time and melding back in to the void.
I used bits of mirror in the artwork to entice the viewer to see the piece as a reflection of their own, potentially fragmented soul — what do your eyes see?
In all, I like to express this piece as something that will tell a different story to every individual observer. Hopefully, it will be something that — when revisited — will keep on giving new insights and multi-faceted information.
Let me know what you think of the painting — what thoughts, emotions, feeling does it evoke?
I started the Rock Art Series back in July of 2012. I thought it’d take me no longer than a year to complete.
How wrong I was!
I am still busy with the 10 paintings I set out to create. You can read the WHOLE enticing, dramatic and emotionally provocative story HERE.
I was going to wait until I painted the last one (Queen) before I released all the originals for sale.
What changed my mind?
I’ve been getting SO many requests for the prices of the originals of these pieces that I just decided to bite the bullet and set them free into the wild unknown.
I’ve grown very attached to many of them as they are dotted all over my house — from flanking my bed to gracing my hubby’s music studio. It’s time for me to detach and let someone else enjoy the depths of these works, in the flesh.
So without further ado…here they are all laid out for you to see what they’d look like in a room and to scale (click on pic’s to take you to the gallery where you can check out the prices/make an offer/buy a print at SaatchiOnline):
I am still effectively busy trying to complete this series.
The next painting I announced was going to be David Bowie. I was devastated to hear of his passing earlier this month and it feels strange now to carry on with my plans knowing he is no longer with us. But, who knows, perhaps he’ll make an appearance in spirit like my Jeff Buckley painting. 🙂
Fresh, Fun and Funky with a bit of Ferrero Rocher!
I’ve been dabbling with a new style. I’m still using my gold spiral patterned backgrounds but the subject matter has changed slightly.
Although I’m still (and will probably never give up) painting my poppies onto these backgrounds, I’m experimenting with contemporary form. It’s given me a nice new platform to launch some issues and topics close to my heart.
And besides the light-hearted messages in the pictures, I am having oodles of fun with this and I hope you will too when you see them!
The colours are fabulously bright and are meant to pop out and smack you in the face and I have used a lot of mixed media (including some Ferrero Rocher wrappers in the ‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ painting amongst others — which, by the way, Ferrero Rocher themselves commented on. See below the painting for their feedback on the concept).
Inspirations, Valentines Celebrations and Getting on the Telly
Before I show you these freshly produced works of art, I want to encourage you to click on the pictures (below) and read the inspiration behind the pieces. You will also have the option to buy the original for those of you wanting to invest in art.
I was absolutely thrilled to hear from a dear friend of mine (who has her finger slightly more on the pulse than I do) that 4 of my paintings were featured on SABC’s Morning Live on Saturday the 14th February!
What a nice Valentines Day surprise that was!
So without further ado, here they are (I have written, below the respective paintings, which were featured on TV).
‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ (Cherie Roe Dirksen) — Featured on SABC’s Morning Live
Response from Ferrero Rocher about the painting above:
“Thank you for sharing this beautiful creation with us!
It’s great to see how Ferrero Rocher encourages your fantasy.
Many compliments. Regards —Ferrero Rocher Team“
‘The Pride’ (Cherie Roe Dirksen)
‘The Melting Pot’ (Cherie Roe Dirksen). Featured on SABC’s Morning Live
‘Playing with my Heart’ (Cherie Roe Dirksen)
Look Where Else You Can See Them!
To spice things up further — these designs are now part of a funky new range of accessories. You can start strutting your stuff in the new leggings range, sleep under art, sip your tea from a painting or simply let my art hold your shopping.
Above is a collage of paraphernalia from this range including: Clothing, tote bags, scatter cushions, duvet covers, travel mugs, greeting cards, stickers, laptop and iPhone/iPad skins.
There is also the option of having these paintings as prints, posters, canvas prints, framed prints and even metal prints too. Just click on the pictures below and select the products from the drop down menu at RedBubble.
Want to View the Originals?
‘Sweet Like Chocolate’ can be seen at the Barrydale Karoo Hotel.
‘The Pride’ and ‘Playing with my Heart’ are both on show at Kunstehuijs Art Gallery, Swellendam.
The other 2 paintings that were featured on telly were:
‘Rhino’s — Spiral of Life’ (Cherie Roe Dirksen). Currently on show at the Barrydale Karoo Hotel.
‘Do You Get It?’ (Cherie Roe Dirksen). Private collection.
Prints, Pillows, Mugs and Duvet Covers now available – simply click on this picture to take you to the store.
It feels great to finally be settled enough in my new home to be able to dedicate time to painting again.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls” — Pablo Picasso
Spring is well underway here in South Africa and the flowers, especially poppies, are all out in full bloom — so I have been feeling extremely inspired by my surroundings.
This is the latest painting to come off the easel (right) and the start to finish photographic process below (the original painting is currently hanging in the Barrydale Karoo Hotel— a very funky, arty place!):
Stage 1 – outlining the poppies
Stage 2 – painting the background black
Stage 3 – adding the spiral background
Stage 4 – the spiral background is complete
Stage 5 – the first layers of colour are added to the poppies
Stage 6 – the second layer of paint and finer detail is added
Stage 7 – the poppies are complete and now just the gold stamens need to be added…
Finally – the finished painting! Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas (24″ x 36″)
I am pleased to announce that this design is now available on single, queen and king sized duvet covers. It is also available as prints, mugs, travel mugs, laptop and phone skins, bags and scatter cushions (3 different sizes to choose from).
Click on the links below (you can select sizes in the upper right-hand drop-down box):
Thanks for looking!
Find out why I paint what I paint in my new Art Portfolio book (now available at all leading bookstores worldwide):
Yup, you read right. In an initiative to keep my site alive (and to raise $120 for my annual site fee) I have come up with an offer you can’t miss out on!
What You ALWAYS Need
Everyone needs greeting cards — how many birthdays, celebrations and occasions do you have coming up? I bet at least a couple in the foreseeable future.
So, for just $1 (easily purchased through PayPal with instant delivery) I am offering you 4 custom designed greeting cards (blank for you to fill in your own message) in a ready-to-print template (PDF).
All you’ve got to do each time you need a card is pop some paper in your printer and hit the print button!
Never Ending Supply
You can reuse these templates over and over again. And, yes, all I ask is for $1 to go towards my yearly renewal fee for the site so I can keep on offering my free downloads and weekly blogs.
Want yours now? Great…just click the button below:
You will be redirected after checkout to my site where you’ll get a download link, if you don’t receive the link to your cards after you’ve completed the checkout, please e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll personally see to it that you get them.
Here is the painting — please let me know (in the comment box below) what thoughts/emotions/feedback comes up for you:
Affordable prints and greeting cards available – click on picture
Original For Sale
I have decided to make some of my originals available for sale on this blog. Something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time now. Thanks to Paypal, I am now able to do this easily — so for anyone who wants to be the owner of this painting, just click on the button below the specs to purchase (please note that this is strictly first come first serve).
The painting specs are as follows:
Medium: Acrylic and Mixed Media (glass paint, liner, ink and oil pastel) on Canvas Board (unframed)
Catch up on last weeks Rock Art Series Painting no. 6 reveal HERE.
Now you’ve seen the painting, how did I get to the title and what led me to paint the very odd scene depicting pond-scum, moon goddesses, a phoenix and a serpent — just to name a few?!
Battling the Chaos
Chaoskampf is German for the struggle against chaos — demiurge means ‘god’.
What in the blazes is this painting about?
Come stumble down the rabbit-hole with me on this, the most outlandish rock art adventure yet!
The Emotions Whilst Painting
‘Chaoskampf Demiurge’ by Cherie Roe Dirksen — Rock Art Painting no. 6 (Templeton)
Now, if you’ve just joined this Rock Art journey, let me fill you in on it a bit: I paint to the music of the selected artist (in this case, Templeton) and paint whatever comes to me in the process (a kind of meditative, ‘mindless’ painting).
I jotted down, on the side of the canvas stretcher, the emotions being stirred whilst I put paint and various bits of other matter to canvas. It went something like this:
Life by Design
Life by Desire
Sea of Emotion
A lot of these emotions seem dichotomous. Thing is, I think this painting is essentially about dichotomy and the duality of life — especially the ‘light’ and the ‘dark’. This seems to represent the power struggle of two opposing sides.
Breaking it Down and Dipping into Legend
So, we have a bevy of beautiful, wistful goddesses bathing in moonlight on the upper left hand side of the painting — a very poignant display of femininity.
We have a pond (no, it’s not a ‘cosmic’ scene as such — I checked in with spirit right at the end and was told this upper part of the painting is water. I therefore did a blue glass paint wash over it, so in the flesh, it looks more fluid) — the water is imbued with binary code (like in the Matrix), infinity symbols (8) and what looks like giant eyeballs.
The ‘eyeballs’ feel to me like clusters of cells — the start of life — especially as the serpent of chaos seems to be electrifying it into existence. Alternatively, the serpent could be giving ‘shock treatment’ to the organism, inducing a perpetual state of amnesia to its true state of divinity. Hmmm…
In the bottom right-hand corner we have half of what looks like a vortex/void with balls of light/essence of life-forms/spirit being shot out of its center.
Finally, we have a great ruddy phoenix in the middle! What a surprise that was for me…this painting looks like a lethal cocktail! Feathers everywhere!
The Rise of the Phoenix
The Phoenix is a mythological creature that lives a long time and is reborn from its own ashes in a cyclical death and rebirth loop.
It is considered ‘the Royal bird’ and is also associated with the sun (in Egypt the bird god, Bennu is linked with being a phoenix). You can read more about the phoenix HERE.
Could the position of this bird in the painting be humankinds hope? The ability of the pure gold nature of the human spirit rising up to reclaim its sovereignty and put order to chaos?
A Jewish Extraction
I found this excerpt from a site called monstropedia.org — rather interestingly, it states:
“In Jewish legend, the phoenix’s name is Milcham. According to tradition, after Eve ate the forbidden fruit, she became jealous of the immortality and purity of the other creatures in the garden. Eventually, she persuaded all the animals except the phoenix to share in her fallen state by eating from the forbidden tree. God rewarded the phoenix by setting him up in a walled city where he could live in great peace for 1000 years. At the end of every 1000-year period, the bird is consumed by fire and reborn from an egg found in its ashes. One variation of this Jewish legend states that at the end of each 1000-year period, the phoenix’s body becomes small and featherless like a baby’s and then he grows up all over again. In any case, the Angel of Death may never touch him.”
The Meaning and Beginning…
So, I think this picture is about our rise against chaos.
The human spirit must be victorious over our ‘invisible’ oppressors and all the illusions they have woven into the fabric of our matrix.
We are standing on the precipice — we must start to own our lives, take responsibility, realize our own divinity and power and take flight. *Squawk!*
Stick it to the man, people! We control our destinies and we are sovereign over our existence. We create our lives, hell, we created the multiverses!!! Get with the program and claim your divine rights! Pull yourself out of the ashes and rise — make your stand.
Honouring the Legend
I give much thanks to the awesome musical and cosmic talents of Templeton — without which I would not have been able to probe into the depths of these mysterious legends.
I have often spoken to him about where he gets his musical inspiration from and he tells me that most of it is channeled. He explained ‘it’s like getting downloads from the universe in the packages and forms of songs — melodies and lyrics’.