Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nurturing Life Purpose

Madonna and Child
It's taken me a few months to pick up my paintbrushes again, but finally I was able to do that this weekend. Several months ago I had done an ink drawing of a dream I had upon my retirement from Penn State.

The Commitment
In the dream I was making the decision to devote myself more strongly to my artist's muse, which would mean spending way more hours drawing, painting, beading, and writing. I had some concerns about how my sweet husband would feel as this activity makes me sort of unavailable for regular downtime on weekends and in the evenings, though he's always welcome to sit with the pups on the wonderful leather couch in my studio, by the fire, with the TV, except that I'm picky about sound while I'm working and usually prefer music. It's a good thing he loves music too.

The Area of Neglect
So in the dream, the location where we found ourselves was just outside the doorway of a dining room. I've enjoyed studying dream analysis (my copyright on Betty Bethards' book is 1983, same book as in the link, excellent basic symbology) for years and have developed a very understandable "language" between my real-world Self and my higher Self and guides and angels, who communicate with me through my dreams.

A dining room, (place of nourishment) is full of information about what you are or are not focusing on, and it's been clear that though I have been focusing on artwork all my life, it has always taken a back seat, so it hasn't gotten the attention it so desires, as shown in the illustration. The poor table and chairs of this dining room had cobwebs on them and were in disarray, and there is little evidence that though everything that is needed to flourish is provided (the five elements of air, earth, water, fire, and spirit) they are feeling neglected.

The Elements
There is plenty of AIR outside the open window, and EARTH is represented by the plant, which is wilting from neglect. There is a pitcher of WATER, but it's facing away from the plant, as it hasn't been used for its nourishment. And on the table (see The Area of Neglect photo) there is a candle and matches to light it, but it also has not received much attention, as it is askew in its holder.

SPIRIT is represented by the woman and the man in the illustration, and the love they have for the child, who represents the birth, or "toddlerhood" of the art itself. In the dream, I understood that the child (representing the area of focus, my artwork) was more than just an idea or dream because of its age - it was a toddler (part of my reality but still unrefined, still young) who needed care and commitment in order to grow into its potential.

So in the dream I asked my sweet husband if he was willing to stand by me while I made the commitment to focus on my artwork, (i.e., Will you help me raise this child?) and he said YES - yay. (If you've ever lived with an artist you know that you have to be the kind of person who can amuse themselves without needing constant attention, though when we surface the passion is worth the wait : ) And when I woke up I asked my real-world husband if he was willing to commit to this endeavor of mine and he said "Yes, of course! I want you to do what makes you happy."

The whole image - Nurturing Life Purpose
So here's the whole image at the moment of commitment - yes, the dining room will be set right, and the plant will be watered, and the candle will be lit, and the spirits-being-human will take action to bring dreams to reality. The rose at the bottom right-hand of the picture represents growth that results from this action. And behind it all is LOVE!

Zentangling on the borders 
I love Zentangling, so I spent a little time spicing up the border of this image with some fun patterns. AIR, EARTH, WATER, FIRE, and SPIRIT are represented in the Tangled borders.

More Zentangled borders
More Zentangled borders

Feathers in the borders = AIR, pathway stripes = EARTH, spirals = WATER, stars = FIRE, and the combinations of black (the void from which all creation springs) and white (the combination of all colors) = SPIRIT.

Fun huh?

Dreams do come true!
So now you can read my little painting without even looking at the words. Dreams can tell us so much, and lead to some hours of real-world fun!

I used quill pen and india ink for the drawing, and Winsor & Newton watercolors on Arches Aquarelle 140 lb hot-pressed paper for the color.

This little painting wasn't done for the commercial market - I like to do pictures that mean something to me, and I like to just play sometimes. Am already set up to paint my next one - the little sprite riding her dragon, flying over the world and right next to the moon. Stay tuned...meanwhile, sweet dreams!


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