David Bowie: Painting no. 9 of My ‘Rock(ing) Art’ Series — When Synchronicity Reveals Ludicrous Revelations


The Long and Winding Road

First off — I am pleased to announce that my Rock(ing) Art Series is about to come to full fruition as I am almost done with painting no. 10 (Queen)! I have already booked the exhibition space at the Karoo Art Hotel for 23rd December 2016 (5pm ’til late).

We’re going to have a rocking party afterwards, with myself and Templeton performing one song, from each artist featured in this collection, live! So, if you happen to be in the area — do come and join the festivities and see these paintings in the flesh.

You can view the whole ‘Rocking Art’ process HERE. For those of you who don’t know, my Rocking Art Series — in a nutshell — is about subliminally painting to music (individual artists/bands) to see what emerges from sound to vision and emotion.

Back to Bowie

Being the absolute mampara that I am, I unfortunately deleted most of my process photo’s from my smartphone before uploading them to my computer. So, the result is I have only got photo’s of the last stages of the painting…sorry.

I will be diving into the emotions and key phrases that came up whilst painting this at the end of the photographic process below. Need I say, this one was very strange and opened the doors to many a question.

Here are the photo’s (some close ups included):




And…ta-daa…the final product (as hung against my freshly painted green lounge wall):


Quite a lot to process in this artwork, isn’t there?  Here are some close ups of the finished painting:



Full view:


Click on picture above to take you to print sales. The original will only be available on opening night of the exhibition at the end of the year. If you wish to reserve the original, please inbox me for price and information (cheriedirksen@yahoo.com).

Now for the emotions behind the art/music:

Having a Bowie Movement

The painting’s name is Unhinging Society — pretty apt for the late great Mr. Jones.

The keywords that came up while I was painting were:

  • Anarchy — definitely no playing by the rules!
  • Disjointed (Bowie? Surely not! 😉 )
  • Wyrd (read more about being Wyrd HERE — indeed a Bowie trait)
  • White Blood (?) not red…I got a very vivid indication that I must use NO red whatsoever in this painting. Strange, no?
  • Mantis (I shit you not) — perhaps why the green hue was a very big theme throughout.

Riveting Revelations: Where’s Wally?

Can you spot Wally? He is in this picture 😉

A while ago, we got a visitor — a praying mantis — that made its home on our bathroom windowsill. We named him Wally because he was such an evasive character! He would literally play hide and seek with us.

Every morning we’d come into the bathroom for morning ablutions and say, ‘where’s Wally?’

One day, when I was getting vexed because I couldn’t find him, he jumped into the basin from the blinds where he was hiding as if to say, ‘Ta-daa! Got you!’.

Bear with me…this does have relevance to my painting.

I made the sign (in the pic to your right) because a nature-loving friend of mine used my bathroom one day and I saw him carrying something out my front door cupped between his hands. When I asked him nervously what he had there, he showed me and it was Wally!

He thought he had strayed into the house and that I might kill it for fear of creepy crawlies. I had to explain to him that Wally was kind of my dearly beloved pet.

Time to Say Goodbye

Needless to say, I loved Wally.

He disappeared one day and I was heart broken. He used to go out of the window occasionally but he always returned.

Two weeks later he crawled back up our bath plug. I knew it was him as he had a distinctive mark on his back. He looked worse for wear and I held him in my hand. He managed to slowly lift his head and look up at me…and then he died.

I promise you, this is 100% true — I couldn’t make this stuff up.

This happened about 6 months prior to me beginning this painting.

To My Insectoidal Prophetic Surprise

This Bowie painting is crawling with mantis-like creatures. Yeah, I know some of you will say it was Wally subconsciously ‘praying’ (he he, couldn’t resist!) on my mind but maybe Wally was a prelude portend to this painting?

He came to stir up some cosmic knowledge.

Maybe the Universe (or at least, Mother Nature via my garden) brought me Wally for a bigger picture (pun most definitely intended) of what was to transpire — after all, stranger things have happened.

Wally was an omen.

Loving the Alien?

These mantis beings issued out of the painting by themselves — I just helped define the shapes I saw.

It is also interesting to note that in South Africa we have a race of people called the Khoikhoi/Khoisan/San/Hottentot (the originators of Rock Art albeit in a different form 😉 ). These people have worshiped the praying mantis for centuries as a shape-shifting god named Cagn/Kaggen/Kaang. Read more HERE.

Maybe there’s a little something ‘alien’ to all of this? Read more about the alleged Mantis Extraterrestrial Race HERE. What I loved about looking up this information is that it states in this article that this particular alien race’s main focus is ‘weaving color and sound to create and enliven the light web of the universe’. I promise, I only looked up this information after the painting was complete.

The article also states that star seeds of the mantis race born prior to the 90’s had a hard adjustment period in life (very Bowie-esque).

They felt that if anyone really knew what they are like, they would run, so they hid their inner truth in some way.  It has been a difficult task for their angels and other guides to get them to open up and share what they came to share.  Once they do open up, their intensity, art, and ability to know what needs to be done to create the perfect environment is uncanny.  They are usually artistic in some way.  They are writers, musicians, poets, designers of space and events.  They have a knack for bringing pieces of a puzzle together and making it sing.  Their gifts lie in bringing energy, aesthetic appeal, and vitality to whatever they do. They are here to use these gifts to infuse higher frequencies into hearts and environments through form, sound and color.

 —extract from the article

Perhaps David Bowie truly a space oddity — the man who fell to Earth. He certainly wrote a lot about aliens.

“The Mantis beings are masters with vibrations of sound and color. They use this mastery to heal and create.  They are artists of universal light. They dance through frequencies and alter their surroundings as they do so.”

“Sensitive to sound, color, and vibrational nuances, luminous, spiritual, healers, graceful, fluid, artistic, penetrating, influential.”

 —extracts from the article

Maybe I’m grasping at straws here and the appearance of the mantis in the painting are just remnants of my short love affair with Wally…but imagine if there was more to it?

I also got a great sense (from the painting) of bucking authority (showing the bird!), the freedom of unreservedly expressing yourself no matter how strange, going against the norm and of trying to inject abnormal into society just to bring about a bit of normality (if that makes sense?).

Thanks for coming on the journey with me!

Disclaimer: I’m allowed to be loony — I’m an artist!

Dedication: To my dearly departed Wally and the main inspiration of my youth, David Bowie (Jones).

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David Bowie Header

We lost a musical genius at the beginning of 2016.

Read related article: ‘The Best There Is’: World Mourns Artistic Maverick David Bowie (Plus Video Tribute)

Loving the Alien

My earliest memory of the legendary David Robert Jones was when my mother bought a record of his and I saw the cover (I think it was ‘Space Oddity’). I was 9 years old and fell madly in love with this androgynous, mysterious, beautiful, outrageous looking creature.

He was the poetic and rebellious inspiration I needed in my teens and I never outgrew his innovative and ground-breaking style of music. He inspired me to write, to be a musician and to be insanely weird…and proud of it.

Under Pressure

I have been practicing madly this week for a David Bowie tribute concert that I have agreed to do (I play the bass guitar) next Saturday in Cape Town. Within a couple of weeks of the show being announced it was sold out — a real testament to the popularity of this British musical icon even in the Southern most tip of Africa!

I had the privilege of seeing him live in action at Wembley Stadium, London, when he was on his ‘Reality’ tour. He was well into his 60’s at the time but his performance was monumental — an evening I shall never forget.

Rehearsing for this gig has given me a new-found respect for Mr. Bowie as his songs are some of the most complicated and difficult I’ve ever attempted. But what speaks to the soul must be pursued.

So, having Bowie on my mind — I’d like to share some zany quotes from the Thin White Duke:

  1. “I’m in awe of the universe, but I don’t necessarily believe there’s an intelligence or agent behind it. I do have a passion for the visual in religious rituals, though, even though they may be completely empty and bereft of substance. The incense is powerful and provocative, whether Buddhist or Catholic.”
  2. “I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, ‘F*ck that. I want to be a superhuman.”
  3. “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
  4. “On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.”
  5. “Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.”
  6. “Speak in extremes, it’ll save you time. ”
  7. “I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.”
  8. “I’m a real self-educated kind of guy. I read voraciously. Every book I ever bought, I have. I can’t throw it away. It’s physically impossible to leave my hand! Some of them are in warehouses. I’ve got a library that I keep the ones I really really like. I look around my library some nights and I do these terrible things to myself–I count up the books and think, how long I might have to live and think, ‘F#ck, I can’t read two-thirds of these books.’ It overwhelms me with sadness.”
  9. When asked what the quality you most like in a man? “The ability to return books.”
  10. “You can neither win nor lose if you don’t run the race.”

Okay, no. 8 and 9 aren’t exactly THAT spiritual but I liked them anyway. Anyone with a fetish for reading and books would understand the hair-pulling anxiety of lending books.

I love no. 7 because we should all strive to please ourselves and stop trying to placate those around us forsaking our own needs and creativity. That should not be taken as a selfish thing but a self love thing. When you’re happy, you’re going to exude joy and that will affect all of those in your sphere.

Thank you, David Bowie, for all the inspiration and boundary pushing!

Original article written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for that fabulous site, Conscious Life News! Click here to be transported.
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10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

Coming Out of a Black Hole and Having Revelations

Yeah, the global energy of late has been intense.  Making us all bunker down for some quiet time, and if not, forcing you to cease and desist.

Have you been lacking inspiration, creativity or get up and go?  Well, I have.

Hatshepsut TempleThese last few weeks since I returned from Egypt have been damn right frustrating.  I’ve lost my pluck, mojo and anything else you want to call it.

I’ve picked up the paintbrushes and seem to be trying to repeat old patterns in creativity that just don’t work for me anymore.

“It could be realism, abstract, impressionism, crapism or bullshitism…who knows?  We’ll just have to wait and see.”

But this weekend I had a revelation…

Who The Hell Am I?

Yes, that old humdinger.  What can I truly offer the world that is unique and not only that,  stay completely in alignment with who I am?

Not easy and a question I am not alone in having to come up with an answer to — this seems to be the common thread or million dollar question among most people this year, if not this lifetime!

I Am…

I sat down to have some quiet time to reflect and saw a storyboard of everything I have done since I left school.  I know that I am intrinsically an artist, musician and a writer and I have tried to merge the 3 in this website but something still hasn’t clicked into place. In a nutshell, it went like this:The Bends

Above (Photo of our band The Bends taken in 2001)

Cherie playing BassThe Younger Years — Left school and played bass in 2 rock bands.  Last band (The Bends — you guessed it, we were all Radiohead fans…yeah yeah) recorded 2 albums and got some radio play.  After the music scene cooled off and my weariness set in I up and left for the UK.  Photo (right) — in Paris Studio recording our 2nd album.

Travel Bug — In the UK I started painting again.  Got back home, 3 years later, and started painting full-time.

Crossing Abbey Road London

Above — In the UK, at the famous ‘Abbey Road’ crossing, London

Profile PictureDivine Revelations and Ants in my Pants — Started feeling ‘pushed’ to write my book ‘Divine You’ in 2010 and did so, focusing all my energy and attention into getting it published and promoting and blogging, etc.

Footnote — Here I am, having come full circle with all 3 of my major interests but I feel like I need to break free from the confines of every single one of them.  I need to fuse them into a trinity of talents that will truly showcase the uniqueness of my being.

New Realizations:

I am a rock chick, a philosopher, a creative, a free spirit, a wanderer, a listener, an adventurer, a seeker, a trailblazer…so what am I trailblazing?

” I am more than the ceiling limit I have built over my head.”

I feel like at the moment I am trying to conform to the standards of any other self-empowerment writer (who just happens to paint and compose on the side).  No, this is not working for me.  I am more than the ceiling limit I have built over my head.

Major Refurbishing

I am going to be blowing through the ceiling.

My first adventure, that incorporates all 3 of my pursuits, will be to do a series of 10 paintings to my favourite bands or musicians from the dawn of my time here on Earth.

Musical Mural A little background:  I love to turn on the stereo in the morning and blast out my favourite music much to my husbands annoyance.  It just happens to usually be quite loud and obnoxious music for this time of the morning.  However the upside is that this ensures that the car gets washed, or that the lawn is mown (husband seeking refuge outside of the domain).

“I want to be activated into action first thing in the morning — and this plus a cup of coffee seems to do the trick.”

There is nothing like a bit of Airbag by Radiohead to get the blood flowing after a long nights sleep or head-banging your way to the bathroom to get cleaned up to Hysteria by Muse.  Who can’t be put into a good mood when you are listening to Queen’s I Want to Break Free?  Or even better, David Bowie belting out ‘Drive in Saturday’?

Yes, I know, I am a bit odd.  This is probably not the best morning music soiree (I am told this is strictly night-time music) but I simply can’t wait for night-time to arrive, I want to be activated into action first thing in the morning — and this plus a cup of coffee seems to do the trick.

So Where is This Heading?  Get On With It, Girl!

Okay, okay…I love rock.  Yes, oh yes.  So I have selected 10 bands to do 10 painting to.  I want to see what comes out whilst listening to their music.  I hope this experiment will be a visual feast and have no preconceived ideas of how any of it will turn out.  All I can guarantee is that I am going to have fun in the process and do whatever comes to me in the moment that I set aside to paint.

It could be realism, abstract, impressionism, crapism or bullshitism…who knows?  We’ll just have to wait and see.

I will be blogging (obviously) about each artwork and the process (so watch out for Tuesdays art blog).  And will reveal the top 10 bands/musicians that have been the greatest influence in my life in next Tuesdays blog.

So in the words of the famous Monty Python…”and now for something completely different”.  Bring it on!


Note to self:  Need to add new word invented in this blog to Wikipedia — ‘crapism’.  Needs no definition either, self-explanatory. Bullshitism seems to be a valid word because my spell check didn’t pick it up.

Share Your Insights:

What are you struggling with?

Do you have yourself all sussed out or are you still in flux about who you really are?

Do you think it is important to align yourself with your core essence or do you think that is just a bunch of crap?

Are You a Celebrity Hypocrite?

This is a touchy subject but one that I would like to ‘vent’ about.

We live in a society that is celebrity mad.  A celebrity dies and there are endless Facebook comments and twitter feeds sending out condolences.  I do not mind this in the least if it were not so fake.

Some people use it to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ of whats ‘trending’ on social networks, some people do it because they are genuinely shocked that a celebrity can actually die (Are they really mere mortals?!?) and some were genuine fans and are sad at the passing.

The latter is most understandable as I would also feel a great loss if, say for instance, David Bowie had to pass.  I have loved his music since I was a child and I would be a little sad.

Roll out the Merchandise

And doesn’t it make you sick, when days after their passing, all the commemorative merchandise starts hitting the stores!  This is a society gone mad.  I know only too well how the art industry works in a similar vein.  Die and you are an instant millionare…bizarre!

“We ‘loved’ this person.  Really?  Then why were you not tweeting about them every day…”

However, most of these celebrities were never talked about when they were alive, with exception to when they were in their ‘hay day’.  They slip out of the limelight and into obscurity and when the die…well, only then is there an outcry!  Oh my.  We ‘loved’ this person.  Really?  Then why were you not tweeting about them every day or at least once a year?

Do you really feel a loss or are you being swept up in the media ‘hype’?  Has this really changed your life?

The Sad Reality

Now what I really want to get to is this.  Statistically, 150 000 people die every day.


There are people dying every day in the uprisings in countries like Syria and various conflicts all over the world — men, women and children alike.  We don’t see much memorial tributes on our feed to this problem, do we?

  • What makes us so numb to our brothers and sisters all over the world that lose their lives daily, some needlessly?  
  • Why are we only ‘called into action’ when a celebrity dies?  
  • Do we feel we know this person?  
  • Is it shocking because we think they are untouchable or somehow, immortal?  
  • Is it that too many people die daily and they are mere statistics to us?

It is sad.

Well Wishing for the World

I believe that all the well wishes that go out to celebrity families are wonderful because the collective sorrow, or group consciousness, will be very strong and these families and loved ones, of the person who has passed, will no doubt feel the love and compassion on a grand scale.

“I wish we could have a death of this distorted thing called ‘celebrity’ — can you imagine a world without it? “

I only wish that we could practice this for every soul on the planet, not only the ones who appear on TV or in the tabloids.  You may not know them by name or face but when you feel the need to dish out condolences, try to remember all the people out their grieving and try to also bless them with your love and compassion.

I wish we could have a death of this distorted thing called ‘celebrity’ — can you imagine a world without it?  If we could just appreciate actors, musicians, etc for what they do and not what their status is?  I’m sure most of the celebrities would love it — having the freedom to live their lives without being bombarded by paparazzi.

Can you imagine a world where Justin Bieber can go to his local cinema with a bunch of friends and perhaps just be a normal teenager who likes to sing?  Or Lady Gaga can get a cup of coffee at Starbucks without wearing shades?  Oh well, maybe one day.

Food for thought, isn’t it?  Please feel free to share your views on this.  How many of you would prefer a celebrity-free world?

Photo credit:   Red Carpet by Salvatore Vuono