The February 2023 show is installed in Gallery 209. This month, my artwork focuses on healing and those who are healers.
The art exhibit opening reception is Friday, February 3rd, from 5 – 9 PM. Stop by to see all of the beautiful art on display in the gallery from our 19 local artists, as well as meet and see the work of the many other diverse artists throughout the Artists & Makers Complex!* This show ends Tuesday, February 28th.
Gallery 209 artists take turns in the Gallery every Saturday from 11AM – 3PM. I’ll be there Saturday, February 11th from 11 AM – 1 PM.
Opening receptions are usually the first Friday of the month, or if it’s a holiday, the reception will shift to the 2nd Friday. Receptions also offer an opportunity to visit the many other artists in the Artists & Makers Art Center Complex and see their work, too!.
* Facemasks are optional, but recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
One of the fascinating concepts I learned about over the years in dream study is that of the shadow. The negative or dark shadow, according to psychologist Carl Jung, holds those unconscious aspects of ourselves that we don’t want anyone, and most often not even ourselves, to acknowledge. These aspects are typically unconscious and something we judge as “unacceptable”, so we stuff them way in the back of our metaphorical closets.
As the concept goes, if someone really annoys me or gets on my nerves, there is something of that person’s traits that trigger my own dark shadow. Although I will deny this until I’m blue in the face, the heat or emotional reaction is the clue that this may be the case. If I find the courage and curiosity to explore and own up to this, I can grow into a more psychologically whole person.
In the opposite vein, if I really admire, am drawn to, or respect someone, there is something of that person’s “exceptional” traits that are part of my golden shadow. Again, the emotional reaction is the clue and exploring these traits can help me to own those parts of myself, too.
Honoring Shadow Energies
I’ve found shadow energy in so many dreams, as well as in waking life. This encaustic painting, She and Her Shadows, is my attempt to honor the discovery and doing of this internal work. The painting is 11.5″ wide X 18.5″ tall.
Today, I’m thinking of the ageless wise woman. When I wake up in the morning, I often spend a few minutes lying still, listening to my body and thankful that I’m alive for another day. Most days have a schedule. But on days that don’t, I like to choose an intention and see if I can work on it throughout the day. Some days, I think of who I might see and what question I might ask of them.
Characteristics of the wise woman
Who is this wise woman? She is the one who knows all things from a feminine perspective. I don’t think there is such a being within one person, but I try to look for core characteristics in the many people, female and male, who I will meet today.
Business woman, author and broadcaster Lynne Franks’ presents wise women traits in this TEDxWhitehallWomen video. In it, she notes traits of responsibility, connection, laughter, creativity, leadership, teaching, nurturing, confidence-building, mentoring, integrity, courage, and bridge-building to generations of the future. I’m also reminded of the Hindu goddess Kali, who is a creator but also known for being a destroyer of what is no longer helpful, especially the dark forces.
I’ve been fortunate to know many wise women. They show strength, vulnerability, compassion, humility, respect, love. They use their smarts, experience, and hearts to make the world a better place.
Hmmm. Is it laughter, creativity, leadership, mentoring, courage, letting go of something… or something else I need today? When the opportunity is here, will I serve as a mentor to another? How will I make the world a better place for the generations of the future? What can I contribute? How does my purpose today fit into the purpose for my life?
About Today with the Wise Woman
With May’s celebration of Mothers Day, I created this encaustic mixed-media painting in honor of the many wise women in the world. I used my favorite turquoise to surround the rust-colored feminine symbol, which also happens to be the sign and the color for the planet Venus. The tiny round glass beads fit nicely with the larger copper staff with the carved bead. The short poem encircling the symbol leads to the bigger note: “Today With the Ageless Wise Woman.” It’s companion painting, Today With the Wise Man, is my next post.
⇒ For information about purchasing this artwork and/or its companion art, contact Janet Fox.
Unlike some of my other work, this painting was not inspired by a dream. One reason I enjoy creating art is that I can drift into a focused realm that is “in the moment of doing.” During this process, I somehow turn down the volume of outside distractions and on-going mind chatter and enter a sort of creative, healing meditation.
I painted this encaustic image on top of an earlier painting on canvas that I had also previously collaged over with bits of incomplete paintings and writing snippets. While building up the layers, including the top ones of melted pigmented wax, I decided to let the title words poke through. Do you see them?
Other words on the under paintings, which I blurred or covered over, can be forgotten. I felt enlightened by the words that poked through clearly; they looked right and made me feel good.
In a literal sense, “healing” means to “make whole.” My energy and intentions while painting come from somewhere inside. Perhaps painting this art allowed me to become more whole. The words poked through from a deeper source of knowledge, like writing myself a reminder note so I wouldn’t forget.
The multiple layers also remind me of the complexity of life and how the experiences of today layer on top of those from many yesterdays. In some way, my life IS my artwork, since I add new layers of experiences every day while deciding what to focus on or forget.
After I finished this painting, I photographed and exhibited it at the Montgomery Art Association Gallery. Several months later, I decided to scrape off all of the wax and other layers, down to the base canvas surface. As a result, the painting no longer exists in its original physical form. Now, it exists only as a combination of zeros and ones in the digital realm. I make prints of it for art greeting cards.
Through this painting, I explored how healing energy is present deep within. I can help it break through the layers of time to the awareness of daily life. Now that I know this, I can not un-know it.
Contemplation: Have you found healing energy from somewhere deep within? Did you do something intentional to release it?
⇒ Feel free to add your note about this post or view others’ thoughts by clicking “Leave a Comment / Comments,” below.
⇒ For information about purchasing art cards, contact Janet Fox.