March 31, 2013
La Tour's Mary Magdalene with a Night Light ~
In my life drawing class I am really getting to understand and be able to draw the human body. I have usually avoided drawing people and faces because most of the time I try I have awful results or I become really frustrated. The instructor is also teaching about value and shading. Beings that I have taken several drawing classes, I am already comfortable with my shading skills. Our mid-term assignment was to choose an image in the chiaroscuro style and do a study of values by replicating the image.
Chiaroscuro, which is the use of extreme dark and light, started and was used quite a bit during the times when much of the art was religious in some way. Not all, but a lot of it. I was somewhat limited with the material that the Master's have left us. I wanted something simple and something that I could relate to.
I found Georges de la Tour's painting titled 'Mary Magdalene with a Night Light'.
If one did not know the title, one would have to look close to see the religious connection. It is a white cross sitting flat on the edge of the table. Other than that, the image could be viewed in as many ways as there are craters on the moon.
Here is my replication, at the beginning when I had the outline and started on the left side, and then the finished product.
February 28, 2013
The following story is what comes from using tarot to create characters and direct their experiences. Each page is derived from a pull of three cards.
Tarot of the Cat PeopleOur adventure begins with a great warrior, Otharic and his army. Otharic is a keen commander who has seen and survived many battles.
Today he is on his way home with his men. The battle fought was the one to win the war and it was a tough one. Even though his army won, they suffered many losses.
With the war over, Otharic and his men are worn down and would not stand much of a chance if they had to fight again. As they travel the long road home. They take their time. Yes, they are eager to see their families-- they just do not have the energy to move at a quick pace.
Along the way they come to a small village. All is quiet: there are no people.
The army stops and murmuring can be heard among the men. There is a stillness to the air that makes them all very nervous. Otharic holds up his arm to silence his men.
Off in the distance is the sound of splashing water. All bodies turn towards the direction of the sound. Otharic dismounts his horse and walks in that direction and makes his way through the rows of homes and shops. He comes to the village center and in the middle of a stone circle is a fountain. In the fountain is a statue of a naked woman with long hair blowing in some mystical wind, and her arms reach for the sky as she faces the sun. From around her feet water shoots upwards to her knees and cascades down her legs and into the pool that surrounds her.
Otharic looks around again for signs of life. The stillness lingers, no signs of people, there are no fish in the pond, no wildlife or livestock poking about the empty edifices.
Otharic dips his hand into the water. The tempurature is cool and feels refreshing. He cups both hands together and scoops some of the water to his lips and takes a drink. The taste is sweet, but not like honey and he can feel the water move through his body. With a deep breath, he suddenly feels like a new man.
Otharic whistles for his men and they quickly find him at the fountain,
"Take just one drink. It is not certain if this water is pure. We shall camp here tonight and if all is well, we shall fill our vessels in the morning and be on our way."
His men comply and go about setting up camp while they take turns getting a sip of the fountain’s sweet water.
That night as the men sit around the fire, Otharic inquires about how everyone is feeling. It was a risk to drink for something in the water could be what became of the people. The water could be tainted in some way with disease or with magic. The consensus of his men express feelings of great energy. 'As if I had slept for a week' one soldier said.
It may all be good now, but the unknown is always lurking around the corner.
The night grows late and Otharic makes his way to a bed found in one of the homes. Finding sleep with all the new found energy is difficult for him, but sleep comes and so does the dreaming.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE
January 21, 2013
This is a three card simple snapshot type spread that I developed and while it has many names, here is is known as the Feminine Divine
Deck used: Tarot of the Cat People
I shuffle the cards and focus my self for the reading. I cut the deck and pull three card and place them in their positions face up. Cards pulled are:
Self; Soul & Spirit ~ VII The Chariot
Negative Influences ~ 3 of Wands
Positive Influences ~ 7 of Pentacles
My thoughts as I put the cards in their places and look at them all:
Chariot ~ How wonderful, great card, much strength; I wonder about Cancer and Capricorn energies that are within or around you.
3 of Wands ~ Hmmm….some conflict with a feminine energy
7 of Pentacles ~ again, feelings like that of the Chariot, rewards and securities, a good harvest
I absorb the images of the cards and how they are expressing the position they are in.
This is a wonderful throw! It’s full of good things. I do not see any major ‘drama’ going on in your life. Everything is going along rather smoothly as well as securely. Over all, what ever it is that you are doing ~ mentally, emotionally, physically & spiritually~ is working for you. You are on the right path!
You have two things, be it person or project, that are the main influences in you life. The cards do not tell me who or what, but you would know what these things are and they are what keep you going.
Of course all paths have their bumps and pot-holes, the cards suggest that your bump is some sort of internal conflict, perhaps centered on spirituality. I see a contradiction of sorts. It’s in your thoughts and emotions and this troubles you. You are unsure what to ‘believe’ or where to put your faith. This might be from what you where taught as a child. I feel that there is a maternal-like figure with whom you do not want to disappoint. You admire and respect her deeply and this love and honor you have for her is part of this confusion. Your heart and spirit wants to believe what it feels is right, but in doing so, you will be abandoning the beliefs taught to you as a child, and that could be painful for this female. But you are on the right path, and you have paved it so you can trust in yourself. The direction that you are going is one that shall grand you many rewards. You are a success story, for you take obstacles as a challenge and do not doubt your abilities. It is this attitude that makes overcoming life's difficulties easier for you, more so that it is for most people. In fact it is this quality within that is admired by many. You are always seen by others in a light of triumph.
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