Friday, October 1, 2010

On Symbolism


A visual artist speaks her own language.  This language is read in symbols.  There are a few that are common, even universal, but an artist's alphabet is crafted out of experience and imagination and is identifiably unique.  Everyone uses symbols, think bumper stickers and jewelry.  The flip flop, for example.  Put it on a tote and I will read you as one who loves vacation, sea breezes, and wearing pastels.  

One of the main purposes of my blog is to teach you my language.  Not an easy task, putting visual symbols into words.  I'll be honest, I don't even know what my symbols mean sometimes.  I paint them and know they mean something.  Of course, writing about my paintings helps me define and decipher the meanings.  

Take these "totems" I have been using lately.  A totem is an animal, plant, or other object in nature that has a special relationship to a person, family, or clan that serves as a sign for that group.  I know that these paintings are about identity.  I think my women want to take on or emphasize the qualities and traits of their animal totems.  Ursus is a mother bear who fiercely defends her cubs, is soft and strong at the same time.  

Also in this piece, she displays a colorful and happy house.  It is inviting and somewhere you would want to be.  I'm not sure why it is one-dimensional, maybe a representation of an environment she is trying to create.  A symbol of a symbol.  The moon?  It makes me feel like she is the protector, when all is quiet and vulnerable, she holds her cubs safe.  


Laura Mayer said...

NICE painting young lady!!!!! So proud of you, love where this one is heading..keep it up.

pamela said...

very beautiful em, i'm loving your colors.

Kat said...

i love the determination on her mother bear face. i like your language, cuz. :)

Cassandra Barney said...

Nice post sister.

Angela Bentley Fife said...

You are a master at hands. the best part of your paintings. If I were a movie maker I would make a video montage of your "painted hands". Inspired me. Thanks.