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Leonardo Da Vinci, Armin Mersmann and others

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 16, 2011 by cerrilee

It will be obvious to anyone who read my last post that the idea of going back to the root source of what inspires me is occupying my mind greatly. I feel that there is a need every so often to reexamine what we do and why we do it and I am truly in that mode at this moment in time. 

I have again been watching a number of programs over the past weeks about Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo is and always has been since I can remember, my total hero, if I were that way inclined I would “model” (NLP terminology) myself on him and all his methods, though not the dissecting thing obviously, luckily he and many others have already been there and done that for me, phew! He was/is the ultimate rebel, visionary, a naturalist to put even Ray Mears to shame and a thinker of such profound intelligence and spirituality that few have surpassed him in my view….He sits along side the small hand full of human minds that seem to been open to comprehend the universal mysteries and yet somehow he remained open to and able to convey the spiritual aspects of it all in his work.

I digress….The first of these programs was about the rediscovery of a lost work of his, a jaw droppingly stunning and utterly moving painting of the face of Christ (which to my complete joy I will be going to see in February)…..and the most recent being the repeat of a dramatised series on the BBC. Added to this I saw a post on yesterday Facebook about another artist I really admire, Armin Mersmann who’s work is a good deal in one of favourite mediums Graphite and is also jaw droppingly stunning. What both of these genius artists seem to be telling me at the moment is, before all else comes observation and I don’t just mean looking with the eyes.

What they seem to be able to convey goes beyond what can be seen on the surface, it is what the picture can say to your emotions, your heart and soul. What makes a piece of art Art? What is it that takes light, shade and colour from being a good use of materials to something that makes you cry with the beauty and spirit of it? Answers on a post card please ……

As I take this path of rediscovery further I have to apply it to my whole life and work, where do I go from here, what is the point of what I do? what do I want to say? how do I reapply the art of observation to my spiritual being? well in truth I know that to apply the art of observation to one aspect necessitates the application to all aspects of conscious living, it is a cascade affect that revels light and shadow previously veiled by half closed, tired eyes. Once the alarm has chimed incessantly rousing you from sleep and you throw back the curtains to reveal the fresh new light, you can not help but notice even familiar things with a fresher, sharper eye.

All this is in no way to justify the £90 I spent on art books yesterday…well maybe a little. But in truth I think for me the energy of this time the Winter Solstice has much to do with wanting to go back to the womb, to reform myself, to taking time to learn and improve on a practical level so that I can consciously reemerge at Imbolc/Spring refreshed, renewed and ready to take life and all it entails for me and my artistic/spiritual expression to another level of engagement.

 

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Going back to source

Posted in art, cerri lee, clothing, damh the bard, druid, druidism, druidry, pagan, pagan music, paganism, sculpture, shamanism, spirituality, Uncategorized, wicca, witchcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by cerrilee

Recently I have been pondering the magic of Art and it’s ancient mystical roots.

I have recently finished a piece of work called “Cernunnos” that for me speaks of the origins of the pagan Horned God and then, a couple of weeks ago, I watched a curious film called “The Cave of Dreams”  made in a recently discovered cave in France where cave paintings have been found, these paintings are believed to be the oldest found so far at around 35,000 years old.

I have been driven for a long time by the need to understand what Art is at it’s source and I have long wondered if it still can have the same mysticism and power in a culture that is swamped by banal and fatuous images.

Almost every culture has in some way or another over the millennia created animal-headed men that have come to represent Gods, they are very familiar to all whether you be Pagan, Christian or any other religion, and they seem to me to be both a natural and magical way to interact with those forces of nature. They are powerful images that conjure a primal response within us and for me that is the whole point of art, to illicit an emotional response. Even within modern Paganism today many find ourselves drawn to this primal image and connection.

In some of the earliest images it is hard to see whether it is a man wearing an animal mask or an animal behaving like a man, the boundary is blurred and I feel that was the point. In order to catch your pray you must first understand it, maybe even become it. So are the beautiful cave paintings art or magic or both?  Were the shamans of the tribes, as walkers between this world and the world of spirit, the ones who painted these images, or was every hunter a shaman/artist? Did each hunter believe that to capture the animal in the flesh he must first capture it’s spirit?  In the dark recesses of the ancient caves by flickering fire light and with the most basic of ingredients gleaned from the earth, did they sing, dance and drum to the spirits of the animals before the hunt? Did they bind the animals and hold their spirits to give any advantage to the hunters against the enormity of mammoth, lion or rhino. Maybe the shaman stayed in the cave until the hunt was done, holding that energy for the tribe doing battle with magical spear and arrow?

Then there are the many small sculptures of naked women with large breasts often called the “Venus” of where ever they were found, older still than the cave paintings in many cases, but one was found as a painting in the French cave with animals woven into the design to look like parts of her body. Did they call to a spirit of creation to aid them in the hunt also?

All of these dreams and notions keep me searching for ways to express the ineffable through art, inspired by the magic of the ancestors.