Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Enchantment

March has just flown by and I feel as if I have been under a strange Enchantment for most part of it.

I was talking to a friend last night about the difference between what I term 'results driven works of art' and those that are 'process pieces'. You know, the difference between a piece you've been working on that is all about the final result and that really is it (the destination being the main focus)...  and a creative work that somehow ends up taking you on an inner (and outer) journey of discovery as you go through a distinct process during your time together, the time you end up spending with it where you somehow magically become midwife to both it and to new aspects of yourself.

Well this painting has been all about the latter one for me. Something got activated during the creation of this painting and I found myself tumbling down the rabbit hole so to speak.

I have always loved folklore, myths, legends and fairytales...the setting of the scene, the elements within, the characters who appear on the way to teach, help or challenge.  So I guess I really should have seen it coming when I found myself painting a magical windswept Thorn tree by moonlight, atop a hollow hill that holds buried treasure within, with two moongazy Hares curiously witnessing the arrival of a herd of otherworldly Deer.
                        
Watercolor & Mixed Media on paper 16" x 12"

                                         
Right from the start of this painting, it appeared I was on some kind of strange archaeological dig deep down into my very psyche. Long-forgotten memories and emotions returned completely unbidden, flooding to the surface, totally unexpected and taking me completely by surprise. I found myself *dreaming awake* while I painted, shifting through old treasures I had hidden and forgotten all about - things I had buried under my own magic hill in my inner world.

You just never know what you might call up or unleash when you begin a new painting, and what hidden gifts you may find as you take the journey (of process) within.  It felt good to finally complete this one, like I have healed and laid something to rest. I wonder what revelations and gifts it may bestow on other viewers who take the time to gaze within this magic mirror of mine.
I often find the masked up image has a unique charm of its own,  easily as fascinating and compelling as the final painting.

Note: Originally I was inspired by one of the luminous sacred paintings by artist Meg Falconer from Caitlín & John Matthews' book "King Arthur's Raid on the Underworld; The Oldest Grail Quest" (Gothic Image Publications 2008) …Then it seemed to take on a life all its own… with the deer herd from the primal cave paintings at Los Caballos in Spain, the helmet is my representation of the Sutton Hoo helmet found at the Anglo-Saxon Royal burial site near Woodbridge in Suffolk, England.

Cat xo

12 comments:

  1. I love your painting. It has such strong archetypal symbolism.

    At the end of last year I just stopped the results driven art & started the year off painting. No plans, just showing up & painting everyday. It's been a revelation.

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    1. That's wonderful Tracy! It's a very different place to come from isn't it? ....And can take you into some incredible places.

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  2. This is very cool! I love the shadows in the moonlight.

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    1. Thanks so much Lynda! I love shadows...they are endlessly fascinating to me. C x

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  3. What a great experience! I love the rabbits. Love that you are sharing your work now. Thanks!

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    1. Bless you Lori! Thanks for stopping by here! : )

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  4. Love this, Cat! But you know, I am a moongazer myself! The tree is may fave....looks like a dancing woman.

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    1. Ah Rachél, you are a woman after my own heart... I'm a moongazy girl too. Yes the tree could be an enchanted woman with a witchy nose and her arms thrown over her head in the dance. My man and I went on a bit of a road trip one gorgeous Summer day a few years back, down into Cornwall so I could photograph the wizened and twisted Hawthorn trees in the Hedgerows, some are bent to almost horizontal from the hard salt-soaked winds coming up off the Atlantic. They really are completely magical, and a perfect example of the old adage; 'In nature what doesn't bend (and adapt) gets broken'. C x

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  5. You really captured the magic and mood of a starry and moonlit night. This is a painting that one could spend a lot of time contemplating and exploring. So much mystery here.

    Excellent shadows and color. I hope to see prints of this available in the future.

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    1. Larry, I really value your feedback. Thank you so much for always being an incredibly encouraging, supportive friend and peer on the painting path! You are so appreciated. C x

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  6. This piece, and the effect it had on you, are both amazing!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I so appreciate it.