Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thoughts on Ritual Tool Crafting

It's time for me to set up a wand crafting station in my new art studio space, so I'm a bit jazzed up with energy. I'd recently moved and things are just now getting settled into a peaceful state of some sort of organization. I've held off crafting wands and rattles until the main metaphysical power zones within my living space were established. Having peace and clarity is vital when crafting ritual tools. The time of year is a perfect building point for me to jump from too, as I always have a rather easy time with positive creative energy when moving towards Samhain (Halloween); I'll need creative inspiration to fit another work station into my live-in studio, but I'm confident things will flow well.

I've been having an urge to work with the natural materials required for crafting ritual tools. I've already gone through my packed projects that aren't finished yet, not only to verify they survived the move but also to rekindle the connection to the metaphysical energy of the projects.

Inner guidance told me to wait a little longer though, when I was tempted to start carving on a stick. I thought it was near time to work wands and that suspicion was confirmed recently when I felt what I refer to as a "calling". I felt pulled to a something and so began to look into the matter until I found that I was being called to stones. I've been very fortunate to come upon a large variety of quartz crystal points in which I feel an energy connection! I'm very excited to work with them and discover the paths they will take from my home. I'm positive now that somewhere in the bunch is the perfect stone to top off that stick I'd wanted to carve on until guidance put a stop to my hand. Getting the stones also confirms that it's definitely the right time to create a space for making wands and other ritual tools in my new home. I'm glad because it involves many art, craft, and ritual activities that I enjoy very much! I look forward to showing you all some finished projects very soon. Be sure to check for new releases!

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Celtic Goddess Epona

The goddess Epona is particularly a goddess of fertility, but is well known as a loving protector of horses, donkeys, and other animals. She is also a goddess of sleep, dreams, hope, ambition, and is helpful in manifesting dreams into reality. Epona is known as a good protector when venturing on a new path in life and indeed the leader of the human soul in the after-life ride. Although originally a Celtic goddess, she was accepted by the Romans and eventually incorporated into the Imperial cult by being invoked on behalf of the Emperor, as Epona Augusta or Epona Regina.

Celtic Goddess Epona Mini Statue Sculpture
I've recently finished making this miniature statue of Epona, depicted sitting side-saddle on a horse. It's an original design based upon an authentic ancient relic, sized at a wee 1 5/8" tall. It's sculpted in Paperclay® modeling material, which is a great product that dries very hard. I glazed it with a wash of thinned acrylic paint and sealed it with several layers of durable clear varathane varnish. The colors are the natural cream beige of the clay and brown umber.

 It's a one of a kind. Check store links for availability.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Drawing on Change

I had interesting studio time yesterday. I discovered Digitally Imported, which is a site that offers continuous play music -- radio stations without the annoying commercial breaks. There are several ambient stations so I chose a "trippy" Psy Chill then moved to the studio area. An atmosphere was created and it allowed me several hours of uninterrupted focus. I did a drawing exercise where I tried to create a scene from memory and then later allowed for some free flow drawing. The second exercise ended up being a quite detailed combination of two scenes from memory, rather than random free flow drawing. I found it interesting that the pose and scene are similar to paintings I've done in the past, and the figure has a combination of my features with those of someone I know well. This seems very similar to something we do in dreams -- making combination characters. I can't say it holds any particular meaning as a symbol, but is likely the effect of simply being familiar with the forms and values of the imagery.

Another point I found interesting was the style of drawing I'd chosen. I'd reverted to a rendering style I used years ago, in my first full studio. I enjoy the return of drawing in this manner and hope my hand will carry it through to painting as well. Back then I had a greater freedom of space than ever before and everything in life was just about perfect. I was eating up everything art with unstoppable enthusiasm. The atmosphere was charged for creativity and relaxed enough for deep focus. Of course that eventually changed, and the shift was dramatic. That a style of line from back then should come through in my drawing shows that internally I'm feeling much better about my personal environment and healing is reaching a deeper level. I'm very happy that I can say I had moments I'd consider as nearly perfect bliss, but recovery from an extended bought of non-bliss has been a rugged challenge!

Above is a corner of my first full studio, crammed full of projects for the photo.
Life affects an artists art, and it was bound to show through changes of line and style. Though I was already aware of that fact, it didn't stop me from getting frustrated. There's a nasty cycle that goes a little like this...
Something traumatic and depressing happens in life. The artist wants to feel better so seeks comfort from the act of creating art. But because this thing that happened caused the artist as a person to change, the art results change; maybe there's a difference in line, brush stroke, something just doesn't seems to work right. Guess what? That's depressing, and that sense of being bummed out builds upon what was already there, intensifying the depression. During such times it's not uncommon for artists to render with a more tightly reserved type of line than with a relaxed confidence. This can make the person feel as if they don't know how to do it anymore. Some may even think they've "lost the touch" and give up art altogether. The painter Milton Avery said that such persons were never really artists in the first place and they probably made the right decision to stop waisting time. A true artist pushes through those down times, the dark times when creativity or skill seems to fail and the individual is plunged into near struggle rather than finding release in art work. When life relaxes the art work will follow. This is simply a cyle of growth, and it happens in ALL of the arts.
This isn't to say I'm not pleased with any of the work I've produced lately; I don't devalue any of my efforts or triumphs. I felt a familiar comfort while drawing yesterday that had felt lost to me, entering nearly a trance like state of being. Expression through art had become like a religion, offering transcendental numinous experiences; feeling a connection to the Divine. It was like I'd lost faith and it now had returned. I'm trying not to be overwhelmed by this sensation or get caught up in an emotional high; afterall it's not quite that monumental really. There's no flip of the switch, but it's rather more like a spiralling dial. I find myself back at the same spot but on a different level. Only time will show what effective changes -- good or bad -- have taken place. One thing is for sure -- I enjoyed drawing -- and I'm going to go reach for that experience again right now! ;)

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wrapped In Red Painting Progress

I started this canvas painting of a woman wrapped in red fabric near the end of Summer and have been casually working it along. It's not a portrait, in fact there's no real reference image being used, and there's really no hidden symbolism involved; it's a fictitious scene of decorative art simply for the pleasure of painting. I'd like it to have a sensual feel of feminine energy - a boudoir - without being overtly sexual.

"Wrapped In Red"

The images above show a very early stage, taken in day light, and also the results of my painting session this evening. It's an exercise, as each painting is in truth an exercise of one sort or another. Without a live model, or reference photos, it's been difficult to remember to be mindful of light sources and reflections, but I'm confident it will come around in the end. The most important factor for myself is that I was able to really relax while painting and allow the image to grow without too much worry of what's "correct". It's clear to see that a long necklace of pearls has been added, as well as definition to the eyes. The painting hanging on the wall within the room is a representation of my "The Ragnar Waits", which is an oil painting of a boat dock. Peacock feathers stand out on the background dresser, adding an air of romance, yet always to myself a symbol of the mystic female; the eye of the Goddess. There's much more to be done, but I'm happy with the progress I've made thus far.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.