Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Only Have Eyes for Horus (and James)

It has taken until the third post to do it, but I'm finally able to blog about what this blog is supposed to be about. (There was probably a more eloquent way to put that but it's 1:15 am and I'm already thinking guiltily about how tired I'm going to be in the morning).  Granted, I could blog about my wonderful husband with whom I celebrated our 7th anniversary today, but he reads this blog and hates to be talked about, so maybe I should just move on to talk about what I said I was going to talk about: my new experiments in art.  Specifically, mandala art using oil pastels. 

I've done a lot of color exercises in the last 2 weeks and several projects that I thought were going to turn out better than they did, but the one I did tonight is what I'm most interested in right now, so that's the one I'm going to share:

This piece is based on the Egyptian hieroglyph "the Eye of Horus", which ties into several figures in Egyptian mythology.  I blended several shades of green because green is a very significant color in the history of this symbol.  I had been working with the image of an eye and with shades of green in separate pieces but when I started reading about this specific eye symbol I knew that the two would go well together.  I'm still not sure I've got the mix quite right, but I think it's a good start.
Here is the original eye drawing:
The curliness is actually additional experimentation gone wrong.  Once I got the purple and red filled in I knew the colors were not what I wanted, so I decided to play around with the curls while I was at it.  I'd still like to go back to this version of it and try again, but not until I've finished the Eye of Horus to my satisfaction.  Now take a look at my color experimentation:

The scroll work began to look like a fixation with the letter S after awhile, but that is my last initial so I guess that's okay.  Pardon my doodles, I tend to treat my margins like scratch paper.  I wasn't very deliberate in my placement of shapes or colors so this one's a bit of a mess, but it was only every meant to let me see what the different shades looked like next to each other.  Lastly, here's something a little more refined with the greens.  The scrolls were added a day or two after the rest and I immediately hated them so I'll have to work on that:

I fully expect some version of this to show up as a projection backdrop in "Oz!" next year, if we do end up doing that show.  More or on that some other time.

All of this is proving to be an excellent exercise on what this medium of art can do and of what it really takes to develop an idea into a finished piece.  It got a lot easier and a lot more fun when I stopped worrying I would mess it up and accepted the fact that there were going to be several versions before I got it the way I wanted it.  Actually, there was an intermediate stage between the red and purple eye and the green eye that is currently the "finished product" but I think I've posted enough pictures.  I only wish the blending and smudging I've been doing came through in the photos.  I've been going to bed with rainbow fingertips.

So that's it for now.  I'm finding all of this really exciting and incredibly therapeutic.  I'll keep you posted on the latest developments!

And now I'm going to very sneakily add that James is a wonderful husband who supports me in all my whims and whimsies and does twice as much before breakfast as mere mortal husbands do all day.  He'll deny all of this and really believe he's not that great, but that's part of what makes him that great.  I love him dearly and wouldn't give him up for anything.  Sh, don't tell him I said any of this, he'd be embarrassed.


  1. I'm glad you're exploring the visual arts since it's so obviously genetic from your dad. He or your brother could probably give you some helpful tips, although I can't remember if your dad ever did anything with oil pastels. Probably did though since that was his major when he started college.

    Love you,


  2. Those look wonderful, especially considering you're just starting out! Oil pastels are fun, aren't they? I think the rainbow fingertips are the best part haha. And I do agree, the Oz design would look awesome as part of a set.

    P.S. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary!! Eventhoughwe'retechnicallynotsupposedtogushaboutit :)