Archive for the ‘mythic quest’ Category

who's the wolf

Another Daily Art challenge make. I am revisiting Red; I’m not alone, lots of people are seeing Red these days. There has to be a reason she is surfacing to consciousness right now. I’m not speaking for anybody else, but I feel two contrasting and contradictory energies at work currently. The illusion of black/white vs. ambiguity.  The middle road seems very narrow these days. Mulder is back with his “question everything” philosophy. I like that; my feeling these days is that the questions are more worthwhile than the answers.

I started with the Rives BFK® printmaking paper and dropped some water randomly onto the surface. I put some black Dr. Martin’s® Bombay ink into the plain water drops and let it spread. I blew it around with just my breath and let it wander, then set it aside to dry.

I wanted to use tube watercolors today, so I picked up an ultramarine tube and kneaded it gently to mix the pigment up. These tubes are old so I go easy, but today not easy enough. I was daydreaming and looked down to find ultramarine watercolor all over my fingers. Luckily I had torn up a bunch of lunch sacks yesterday so I wiped my hands all over those pages, and everything else that wasn’t nailed down. Then I took a big brush and swiped water all over the paper to move the paint. I don’t want to think about how that will turn out when it dries, but can you say “CRINKLE?”

Well, watercolors dropped way down the list. That’s how easily I am deterred from stuff. I thought I might try ink. I have a mess of Higgins inks and I like them very much but I never have drawn with ink. I bought them for the purpose of making blot papers for my Interactive Intuitive Readings™ but they didn’t end up working as well as the Bombay ink. Higgins® Dye-based Drawing Inks are much less expensive and highly pigmented. The back of the package says they can be used like liquid watercolors.

I really like the way these inks move, and I would definitely equate them to watercolor nature. **Be advised, I have no watercolor or inking skills. I am purely at a “coloring book” level. If you want to investigate the qualities of either medium, consult someone else with a far greater proficiency.**

The black ink blot was dry so I started looking at it, spinning it around to see if anything presented itself. Here’s how I work with blots and expressive art. Take a couple of breaths, close eyes, open eyes, soften eyes, turn the paper. Pause. Turn paper, pause. Do this all the way around. Subconsciously you likely already ruled one orientation out. Keep going. Don’t get scared. There will be a point when you feel panic and think, “I don’t see anything!” That’s good and natural because this is a trust issue. Expressive art is about developing trust in your creativity and your instincts. Just breath again and keep going.

I went around several times. There was one other orientation that was intriguing and likely would have been deeper expression for me, but I do keep in mind my time limitation. I am sticking to my one hour religiously and sometimes that means sacrificing an idea or technique. That’s ok, there are always other opportunities. Two of the other images were already no go’s. Like it or not, this was the one remaining. Suddenly (and I mean that, like a bolt of lightning) the wolf appeared, really well defined. The major work back into the wolf shape was adding teeth and ears (he had a nub of ear originally). At this point, all I had was white paper, black blot and the red teeth and eye.  As I was thinking and feeling what was left, I saw a curvy line that suggested Red’s Hood and Cape. You’ve got to be kidding me! So I colored that white space in with red. The image needed unity so I brushed on the dark blue for sky and green for ground. The other black blot is the silhouette of tree branch(es). I did see a snake head hanging down in mid-image so I outlined it lightly. It’s just a side note, but now we have three characters in our story.

So the image was nearly finished. There were the two white spots inside the wolf’s body, that is where the text could be. Text had to be short and handwritten. I got a toothpick and dipped it into the ink and scrawled it out.

I considered captioning it “Red’s Shadow.” That’s a black and white energy. I’m telling you the story. “Who’s the Wolf” is the ambiguous energy. Who is the wolf? Who is the innocent? Who is the onlooker? Who’s zoomin’ Who?

There was also the option to leave the space empty.  The highest expression is to let you ask your own questions or the freedom to not ask any and move along. As the maker I am forcing you to do it my way.

 

 

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thedragonknightsteed

I already spent most of the day blogging at Mythos so I’m going to reprint a page from my process journal about this piece:

December 1 & 2:

Nikki (Nikki St. Laurent) made the Dragon’s Eye pendant and I had a torch fired hoop that worked color-wise. I tried various combinations and went down that path for quite a while. Finally I had an arrangement that used a spectacularly colored designer leather scrap I swore I could never find a use for. (Note: it looked like dragon scales). I LOVED the leather with the finish on the dragon eye, so reptilian and mythic. By Day 1 end I had a workable design that just needed minor assembly and a closure.

Day 2 I was still good with the piece and pleased with the component meld, but the closure stumped me. It was too heavy for a leather lace. Ball chain was out. I tried every silver chain I had and none worked so I thought of going to the store. The more I thought about going to the store for chain and a clasp, the more I thought about Make Do. I noticed a buckle part on my table…beautifully etched and in the shape of a shield. I removed the torched hoop and decided to form horsehair to create a loop on the bottom of the shield.  I really did not want to leave off that leather, but then I thought about the courage of the Knight. Courage, “la couer”, the heart. Also, the heart of the Steed and the red of scapulars. It occurred to me to make it a “badge of the Quest” scapular so I decided on deep red thread and seam binding to help form the horsehair. I knotted the hair at the bottom, sewed it in place, leaving ends to appear from behind the shield. I ran horsehair through the buckle hole, knotted it and ultimately hung the dragon’s eye off it at the top. I attached a tiny heart-shaped lock with a tiny brass safety pin.

The Knight is on the Quest, the Dragon guards the treasure the Knight seeks. The mythic story. But what of The Steed that carries the knight for many days over arduous land. Certainly he represents the energy needed to carry the Knight to the final destination. The loyalty and stamina. This is my tribute to the Steed.