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idaandersenlang
07-24-2011, 01:01 PM
Enchanted by Symbolism

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Jul-2011/975167-Fernand_Khnopff_002.jpg
Fernand Khnoppf "The Sphinx" or "The Caresses" 1896, oil on canvas

:heart: Hello :heart: all you wonderful fellow artists from around the world!
Well I decided to start up a new project/thread, celebrating the richness of the european 19th -20th century Symbolist Movement of Art and all symbolistically infused art in general. Symbolistic art has always been a great inspiration for me, so I thought it would be exiting to share this passion with you.

So what is this thread all about then?
1.
- for everybody to share their art, if you feel that it is somehow related to the realm of symbolism in a broader manner. It could be:
- studies after symbolistic art.
- your own original artwork, sketches and so on.
- Also I think it would be wonderful to share some thoughts on our own artwork; of what consists the symbolistic current in it, how was it inspired, how was it made and so on.
2.
- for my part I will commit to post inspirational stuff on symbolistic art (artists, background, techniques and so on) in this thread as often as possible, and of course invite everybody to do the same if they like :) .
3.
- I will post some challenges/inspirational projects down the way to fuel symbolistic imagination ;)

:cat:

So hop along and I will be back as soon as possible with a short introduction to symbolism, some inspirational stuff, and I hope to see all you dreamy, enigmatic, mystery loving artists in this thread :) .

birdhs
07-24-2011, 01:54 PM
This could be a fun and interesting thread if it is kept personal and not swing over to the academic arguing that I often see in other threads. I don't want to debate, I just will be stopping in to enjoy.

After all, unless you are just copying for practice, isn't all art representational and therefore symbolic? I always put a piece of my life experiences into all of my work. Sometimes lots of pieces.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Jul-2011/110200-CHATT_SUMMER_07_127.jpg

What was going through my mind with this shot was 3 generations, how time flies, government regulations, and some other personal items that were represented by those particular cars (positive and negative).

This particular photo is going to be the cover of a novel I am working on at the moment. By the time the reader has finished, the symbolism will be apparent.

I am sure there are those who feel photography is not part of symbolism, but I would say it is. Think outside of your box, and enjoy, Greg.

artbyjune
07-25-2011, 02:02 AM
Dear Ida,

welcome to wetcanvas! I am pleased you are joining us. This is a wonderful project and I look forward to more projects by you.

I am moving this to our 'projects' area....as that will probably generate more input since people go there for project inspiration.:thumbsup:

June XXX

idaandersenlang
07-25-2011, 04:52 AM
Dear Greg!
Thank you for joining, I believe your respond is very promising for this project. I think I understand what you mean by academic arguing, though Iīm not quite sure, and thatīs probably because my native language is not english. So I am not fully confident with the full meaning of this expression. Do you mean that the thread should not be too tutorial? Or that it should not be too restricted in style?

I think itīs worth to give it a thought wether all art are symbolistic or not. For my part, I do not think it is so. Symbolistic in my understanding requires that the artist to some extent has the conscious intention to speak a symbolic language in his art. That the items rendered in the image is intentionally loaded with another level of meaning than meets the eye. As in your image of the cars, representing much more than just the cars. I am convinced that some other people rendering cars in their images, would disagree that their image represents more than cars in a more narrow sense.

On the other hand I agree with you, that nearly all images carries a symbolic or archetypical level of meaning. Iīts kind of hard getting around it. Itīs a very long and interesting discussion really :) .

I find your image of the car very interesting. It has a real strong composition, the balance of colors, to me, suggests a lot of things, and furthermore the rain on the cars makes it kind of emotional. Very strong image.

To your comments on wether photographs can be symbolistic or not, Iīd say of course they can. As I said, part of the meaning of the word symbolistic, to me, is if the artist has a symbolistic intention from the beginning. I believe that will shine through. Wether the art consist of photograps, paintings, drawings, sculpture or whatever doesnīt matter at all. I see symbolism as the state of mind you make your art in, far more than it is a matter of the media chosen.
:cat:

idaandersenlang
07-25-2011, 05:06 AM
Enchanted by Symbolism

Well I thought it was time to throw in some art of my own :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jul-2011/975167-uden_titel_l.jpg
"Look to the Future" Ida Andersen Lang, oil on canvas, 100x100 cm

This image to me is about inner visions, how we view with the inner eye. Furthermore I can tell that some inspiration came by contemplating mythology and ancient history for stories of priestesses viewing into the future, as for example the Delphi Oracle. The title is something that came to me intuitively. I always try to be "innocent" and give my images titles that kind of drops out of the subconscious. I find that a very interesting process.

Thatsīs all for now, and I will be back soon as possible with some symbolistic scribbles ;)

birdhs
07-25-2011, 01:23 PM
It is unusual to see someone looking out of the canvas. She is well rendered and the background is appropriate to keep the focus on her. This is a very nice piece of Fine Art.

The symbolism that strikes me in this work is:
female,
sitting,
folded hands,
plain dress,
looking away,
blindfold,
simple-long hair' and the background.

each of these items has it's own meaning to each viewer and the combination will be unique. I' am sure your meaning and message has or will change also.

Thanx for posting, this pleaseth our eye, Greg.

artbyjune
07-25-2011, 01:35 PM
Interesting symbolism here, Ida. It starts me wondering:- what is going on, who is this woman, why is she blindfolded? That amount of intrigue adds so much interest to the image!

trafford
07-26-2011, 07:45 AM
Lovely painting Ida, and a great project.

idaandersenlang
07-26-2011, 09:20 AM
Thank you Trafford :)
Birdhs and [email protected] thank you, in fact what I really hope is that my pictures makes people wonder. What I wrote on the priestesses and stuff is really just the surface inspiration for me. From the beginning I had this image in my mind as a kind of vision. This is always the way I initially begin a painting. In fact sheīs an enigma to me as well, and thatīs what I really find fascinating about making this kind of images. To make it short: I know what the image is all about, but still I havent got a clue. Does that make sense? :)

birdhs
07-26-2011, 04:57 PM
This sounds like a perfectly rational statement to me. Sometimes we cannot express what is deep inside, but we 'sense' it. When anyone analyzes artwork that someone else has done it is always a guess, whether it be a sculpture, photo, painting or music or dance. We can comment on the technical side, but to know what they intended or felt, we will never truly know that. We can't even express it about our own works while we are alive.

That does not minimize the fact to some, a cigar IS just a cigar. and that pretty woman in a blindfold is a nice painting. and nothing more.

Looking forward to more.

ryster007
07-27-2011, 09:10 AM
Ida thanks for starting this thread- will be an interesting one for sure:thumbsup:

I love your painting- the fact that the girl is looking out of the painting hightens our interest on the blindfold. Would love to see some close-ups if you'd endulge us?

Here's one of mine using the symbolism of the apple to represent the choices we make

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jul-2011/83841-aForbiddenfruitssmall.jpg

Forbidden Fruit
Mixed media on board
15x15inches

Ryan

azulparsnip
07-27-2011, 03:09 PM
Hi all - interesting thread

birdhs
07-27-2011, 05:35 PM
Ryan: I like this piece and it certainly seems to fit the theme of the thread very well. To borrow a phrase:
"The symbolism that strikes me in this work is:
female,
hands,
shiny apple,
iridescent tree,
sparkling moon (what did you use as a medium?, it is quite eye-catching)
lack of mouth (very symbolic),
simple-long hair,
and the background: so much to comment on in that, the effect is one of a collage of newspapers (?)

each of these items has it's own meaning to each viewer and the combination will be unique. I am sure your meaning and message has or will change also.

Thanx for posting, this pleaseth our eye, Greg.

artbyjune
07-28-2011, 09:27 AM
http://www.huntfor.com/arthistory/c19th/symbolism.htm

Quote from this site:
' The term Symbolism means the systematic use of symbols or pictorial conventions to express an allegorical meaning. Symbolism is an important element of most religious arts and reading symbols plays a main role in psychoanalysis. Thus, the Symbolist painters used these symbols from mythology and dream imagery for a visual language of the soul.'

I have seen listed under symbolist painters a few of my own personal favourites:- Frida Kahlo, Redon, Gauguin, William Blake.

artbyjune
07-28-2011, 09:47 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jul-2011/106623-whitecliffs1a6k.jpg

'White cliffs of Dover', graphite, about 4 by 6 ins., paper.

A drawing I did a while ago and which I have yet to do in paint. Well, I did a small colourful one but not sure what I think of it so I may re-do it in a larger version for this project.


Here's a recent painting of mine which may be symbolist or is it more surrealist?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jul-2011/106623-redjacket1a6k.jpg

'The red jacket', 8 by 12 ins., acrylics.
;)

ryster007
07-28-2011, 11:37 AM
Ryan: I like this piece and it certainly seems to fit the theme of the thread very well. To borrow a phrase:
"The symbolism that strikes me in this work is:
female,
hands,
shiny apple,
iridescent tree,
sparkling moon (what did you use as a medium?, it is quite eye-catching)
lack of mouth (very symbolic),
simple-long hair,
and the background: so much to comment on in that, the effect is one of a collage of newspapers (?)

each of these items has it's own meaning to each viewer and the combination will be unique. I am sure your meaning and message has or will change also.

Thanx for posting, this pleaseth our eye, Greg.

For the shiny apple there is a layer of collage, gold spray paint through a stencil followed by transparent glazes of the apple red. The gold catches the eye in certain lights- difficiult to show on a photo!

The sparkling moon uses pearlescent tinting medium (system 3) mixed with interference shimmering blue (system 3) and titanium white. The same mixure is dry-brushed on the edge of her hair and the tree to indicate them catching the moonlight.

The background has lots of collaged newspaper/magazine acticles- mostly illustrating the 'sins' of modern society and bad choices we sometimes make- greed, vanity, sex, lust etc

The lack of mouth was an interesting one (I debated with myself to add one or leave it)- I've had a few good debates about what that means:thumbsup:

Glad you liked it:)

Ryan

ryster007
07-28-2011, 11:43 AM
June - I love these works very nice, pleasing style also.

I'm not sure where that sits symbolism/surreal- guess it depends on your use of the birds- if the first is a dove- symbol of peace, not sure about the parrot(?). Can you give us a clue on the allegory of them?

They're lovely whichever camp they fall into!


Ryan

birdhs
07-28-2011, 05:11 PM
Ryan : Thanx 4 the explanations of the technical sise - and it photographed well enough for me to notice it.

The time spent finding the articles / headlines must have been quite an insightful time for you. Bet you debated endlessly which articles, why, where, and so on. It is through creating this kind of art that an artist can learn so much about their personal values and beliefs...

and then generations of art historians and critics will spend eternity telling everyone what you 'really' meant by it... and they may or may not gt it right. guess you'll have to publish a manifesto for each work!

It is so much easier to write about art than to create it.

birdhs
07-29-2011, 06:08 AM
June: the drawing intrigues me, it vaguely reminds me of something I have seen (or imagined?)and I like this piece. I have all sorts of interpretations for your choices, but they are meaningless to anyone but me.

The items that I noticed :
The water, the female head on a dove(?), the interestingly gentle look on the man, the beard, his proportions, the angel with her hands out and the counterpoint of his hands about to ??, and all this set on a the edge of the sea.

On the painted version the angle of viewing them is so different, on vegetation, and the man is totally different and has a startled expression, now the bird is a bird but with a malevolent stare at the man (?)

All in all these intrigue me, and that (IMHO) is a sign of art that I enjoy.

Greg

idaandersenlang
07-30-2011, 06:29 AM
ryster007 @ - thank you for joining the tread :) Wow this is a nice painting, I find the symbolism strong in it. It is interesting that it is a subject very well known, but still you add something new to it, perhaps the fact that she has got no mouth. That indicates a lot of things, that are up to the viewer to figure out. Superb

idaandersenlang
07-30-2011, 06:40 AM
artbyjune @ - thank you for posting these beautiful images. There is a very empathic feel to your artwork, the figures looks very strong yet vulnerable when seen through my eyes. Thatīs really wonderful. Maybe itsīs something with the relationship between the strong bodies of the figures and their very gentle eyes. Naturally I donīt know how you come up with your imagery, but it looks like you have a close connection to your inner images, and uses it quite freely. In the drawing of "the white cliffs of dover" - itīs so peculiar with the girlbird, totally strange, and what is it with the two other persons, and is the woman a kind of grandmotherangel...it really makes me wonder and thatīs a real hallmark to me :)
The other image, "The red jacket" makes other feelings arise in me. It looks like he is going to dance with the bird, and the angel watching. A rather strong vision. It makes me think of relationships between man and nature, and the higher realms above. :)

idaandersenlang
07-30-2011, 07:50 AM
Enchanted by Symbolism

Short intro to Symbolism. Symbolism in a more narrow arthistorical sense is a state of mind really, rather than an actual movement, wich swept through europe in the later half of the 19th century and some decades into the 20th century. It expired with the disasters of WW1. After that, a whole array of new –isms dawned, for example cubism, expressionism and futurism.

Symbolism draws great inspiration from dreams, the unconscious, religious iconography, myths and fairytales and favors the depiction of the human soul or inner life through a visionary and narrative imagery, rather than naturalism and realism.

At the same time as symbolism bloomed, Freud and C. G. Jung emerged with their new take on manīs inner life. This period also gave birth to the Theosophic movement. Another interesting fact is that in this period the first translations of spiritual literature from other parts of the world e.g. India, hit europe and the united states for the first time ever. This greatly provoked a transformation of religious practices around the western world. Also in this period, the borders of Japan opened up to foreigners. Somehow symbolism is closely connected to industrialization in the sense that the World became more open. Perhaps one could even say that this period was the beginning of globalization.

Of course symbolistic art also has its roots, and it owes a lot to religious art through all times, since religious art has always been concerned with the symbolic language of the nonmaterial world. Most of the common symbols in symbolistic art is by no means new inventions at all. But the use of them is characteristic, and distinguishes symbolistic art from other more “realistic” types of art.

Today, I feel, symbolism is used profoundly both in art and in mainstream culture. Personally I feel that I am in debt to this period, because a lot of visionary artist strived to break free from the more restricted pictorial language of academies around europe. I find that symbolism somehow was a new beginning in art, wich influences us still today.

NOTE: this short introduction to symbolism is my personal view. It is by no means a thorough description, and I have tried not to mention any names, since the artists involved in the movement are so many, and from many different countries. Later in this thread I will get back to highlighting some significant symbolistic artists.

idaandersenlang
07-30-2011, 07:58 AM
Here is one more image from my hand :cat: - it is done in watercolor and is 20x20 cm. A miniature really :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jul-2011/975167-sky_deva_web.jpg
"Sky Deva"

:cat:

birdhs
07-30-2011, 11:11 AM
Your description of the Symbolism was well written and concise. I actually went back and dusted off my Art History books and did a little refreshing of the mind. I will be posting some more later, but for now just wanted to say I am studying your latest post (Ida) and am mulling it over with the religious angle in mind. Greg

idaandersenlang
07-30-2011, 04:38 PM
- Grazie mille birdhs :) hope I didnīt make too many crazy linguistic mistakes ;) (because of my being danish) It is a challenge to write this kind of text in english for me. It is different from daily language. If I made any crazy mistakes, please do correct me :wink2:

InkyEss
07-31-2011, 11:46 AM
This is all very interesting. I like the paintings and drawings that everyone has posted. I feel there is symbolism in a lot of paintings. I am following this thread with interest and look forward to reading more.

Ida your paintings are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

birdhs
07-31-2011, 12:21 PM
This is one of those cases where what an Art Historian might say about Symbolism is so very different than what a self-taught artist might think who has not read up on the different movements. I'm not sure if my "art education" is a hindrance or not. I like to think it gives me two (or more) viewpoints at which to look at things.

It says in my old textbook that Symbolism and Freud all developed at the same time, and interpretation of dreams is the core of the movement. It was based on rejection of an increasingly materialistic world through fantasy and hallucinations. (Also the peak of popularity of absinthe...hmmmmm) It also merged with Expressionism and some works fall into both categories. It mentions James Ensor, [I]The Reed[I] 1890 for how the masks are (maybe) not masks... maybe they reveal the true character of the wearers. Of course Munch's [I]The Scream[I] is discussed, too. Surprising (to me) was the book also mentions literature and Claudel's and Rodin's sculptures as Symbolist too. Then the book drifts into Art Noveau and how the Symbolism became very stylized.

Hope this gives some other things to discuss. Greg.

InkyEss
08-01-2011, 05:23 AM
With masks I always think they disguise the wearer's identity or maybe show an aspect of the personality that the wearer wishes to show whilst hiding what they do not wish to reveal. Very intriguing nonetheless.

I love The Scream by Munch.:thumbsup: Copied it once long ago. Must check out if I have it somewhere.

idaandersenlang
08-01-2011, 07:31 AM
[email protected] very interesting reading. Seems like your old book emphasizes the connection between the 19th century Symbolists and Psychoanalyzis. I am sure it is right in its point. I am getting curious now, are you an art historian yourself? :)

I am not surprised that your book mentioned literature, since the first description of symbolism in this sense was by Moréas who wrote the "symbolist manifesto" it can be read here: http://www.mutablesound.com/home/?p=2165 - however, the Symbolist visual artists, did never make their own manifesto.

Iīve also found a good description of the Symbolists on Boston Universityīs website of the symbolist movement: http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/symbolist/symbolist_intro.html
:cat:

birdhs
08-01-2011, 12:31 PM
No, not an art historian, but took Art History 1 and 2, and Art Appreciation in college. I did a ton of research for some papers, and I love to read books about art subjects. (I have 3 books on Maxfield Parrish as an example) I cannot resist used books stores and have picked up many books cheap. And WC has been such a rich resource from real artists with life experiences, so much better than reading about topics.

Oddly, I did not enjoy reading the Symbolist literature (I read some over the weekend) but I enjoy studying the painting and sculptures.

Your most recent posting is interesting. The 'eye' has been used in art from the beginnings, and it has so many interpretations. Angels are also ancient. Curious if the 'spots' on the angel's feathers were meant to be Bird of Paradise feathers? Northern Lights in the backround? or just un-named galaxies? The choice of her hands being almost closed is unusual.

Nice painting, thanks for posting, it please the eyes, Greg.

idaandersenlang
08-04-2011, 06:08 AM
sorry for my absence from this thread :) - life is such a busy bee.

Birdhs @ thank you for the comments :) - hmmm...the feathers on the angels wings are pure imagination, I havenīt thought of any particular birds. Just wanted the the feathers to be a little colorful. Yes in fact, it is northern light in the background, glad you could see it ;) I like the symbol of the eye very much, yes, because it holds so many interpretations. The vision I held in my head whilst making this image, was some kind of celestial precence, witnessing life and at the same time just dwelling in the skies as love and intelligence. Hard to explain, words quickly come short, - but tank god we have art then :)

birdhs
08-04-2011, 08:13 AM
I hope to have time to do a little work of my own soon along these lines. The preliminary sketches are ready, but cannot upload at this time...

I have an old book on the history of rosemaling and how it came to America. It is in black & white, but the legends of the wedding dresses and the meanings of what the brides wear fascinates me. The 'crowns' are what I wanted to focus on because of their meanings, too, as well as the coins. This may take a bit of time, so be patient.

So far I found this to be a great learning and sharing experience. Greg

idaandersenlang
08-04-2011, 12:50 PM
oops, misspelling spotted: of course I do not mean tank god (sounds pretty nasty huh) but thank god ;)
Kind of a challenge for a dane, because we donīt fill in all these hīes in words. But forgetting them in english words can get rather peculiar... :)

ryster007
08-05-2011, 05:00 AM
Ida- I love your watercolour. A lot of detail for such a small painting. Its very beautiful and the angel has a lot of graceful lines. The eye symbolism is very arresting with the rays coming out of it. It looks egyptian?

Interesting discussing going on too which is good. I like the point raised about the art history take against the 'untutored', quite interesting. I guess from what I've read, the symbolist movement was as has been described by Ida and Brdh a period of artist influenced by the psychoanalysts. Whereas symbolism is used as a device throughout art.

Great stuff


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Aug-2011/83841-forbidden_fruit_2.jpg

This is my second piece using the symbolism of the apple as forbidden fruit. Its not finished yet and the photo is not so good (had to use camera phone as digital camera has broken!).

Mixed media on board
15x15inches

Ryan

birdhs
08-06-2011, 11:11 AM
Ryan: So far I really like what you have done here.

Curious choice of the path leading to the waterfall: did you have a particular interpretation in mind?

Also unusual is the position of the hands: the apple is going to fall out onto the ground with the palms upturned and the fingers angled down. Perhaps is that what is intended- to show the moment before he drops it AFTER he took that first (and worst) bite?

It is hard to tell if his eyes are closed or just looking down at the exposed flesh of the apple (also symbolic)

Not sure what the object is over his shoulder (left side) Please enlighten us (or just make us guess...)

Symbolic, symbolism, symbolist, representative, modern, abstract, cubism, cubist, and thousands of other words are used by different authors. I did some research on the web about Symbolism / Symbolist and left feeling even less sure EXACTLY what it was. The examples shown range all over the place from Realism to ? Sooooo. I like the general feel of what has been discussed here, I am no expert and offer only opinions and NOT facts. Apparently even "experts" can't narrow this down.

I think your piece fits right in here, and hope to get mine completed soon.

Thanx for posting, this pleaseth our eye, Greg.

InkyEss
08-06-2011, 04:29 PM
Ryan, I like your paintings, they are intriguing and make me think.

Your first one depicts a woman who has no choice to make as she has no mouth and therefore cannot bite the apple even if she wants to. I like your inclusion of pieces of text and I love the shine on that tree in the distance.

With this painting the guy has actually taken a bite of the forbidden fruit, but he doesn't look too happy about it.

Looks like a waterfall in the distance (or maybe I just want it to be a waterfall :) ) and the path if we follow it leads over the hill towards it. The waterfall could symbolise overcoming obstacles or difficulties and its in the distance so maybe in the past? The man seems to have travelled quite a way to reach where he is right now.

He looks to me as if he regrets taking a bite of the forbidden fruit and that is why he holds it in such an awkward way, because maybe he's feeling uncomfortable with it?

I love this kind of art that really engages the viewer and everyone interprets things very differently which can be so interesting. Sorry I have waffled on... just thinking aloud really. :o :D

saje
08-06-2011, 10:39 PM
Enchanted by Symbolism




Short intro to Symbolism. Symbolism in a more narrow arthistorical sense is a state of mind really, rather than an actual movement, wich swept through europe in the later half of the 19th century and some decades into the 20th century. It expired with the disasters of WW1. After that, a whole array of new –isms dawned, for example cubism, expressionism and futurism.

Symbolism draws great inspiration from dreams, the unconscious, religious iconography, myths and fairytales and favors the depiction of the human soul or inner life through a visionary and narrative imagery, rather than naturalism and realism.

At the same time as symbolism bloomed, Freud and C. G. Jung emerged with their new take on manīs inner life. This period also gave birth to the Theosophic movement. Another interesting fact is that in this period the first translations of spiritual literature from other parts of the world e.g. India, hit europe and the united states for the first time ever. This greatly provoked a transformation of religious practices around the western world. Also in this period, the borders of Japan opened up to foreigners. Somehow symbolism is closely connected to industrialization in the sense that the World became more open. Perhaps one could even say that this period was the beginning of globalization.

Of course symbolistic art also has its roots, and it owes a lot to religious art through all times, since religious art has always been concerned with the symbolic language of the nonmaterial world. Most of the common symbols in symbolistic art is by no means new inventions at all. But the use of them is characteristic, and distinguishes symbolistic art from other more “realistic” types of art.

Today, I feel, symbolism is used profoundly both in art and in mainstream culture. Personally I feel that I am in debt to this period, because a lot of visionary artist strived to break free from the more restricted pictorial language of academies around europe. I find that symbolism somehow was a new beginning in art, wich influences us still today.

NOTE: this short introduction to symbolism is my personal view. It is by no means a thorough description, and I have tried not to mention any names, since the artists involved in the movement are so many, and from many different countries. Later in this thread I will get back to highlighting some significant symbolistic artists.

the image is the language of the soul. you cannot read the language of the soul, we can perceive it by intuition and innerspeak. i have studied Jung, the Theosophists also. I feel listening to your inner being is like Tarot, I Ching and other divine awareness. To me, Symbolism artwork is listening, not acting.

this is a most excellent discussion, thankyou all!

idaandersenlang
08-07-2011, 12:44 PM
[email protected] thank you for joining in, Iīm looking forward to your participation. I have studied Jung myself too, not so much the Theosophist yet, but thatīs only due to lack of time. Also I have studied indian philosophy and vedanta for many years now, and spending lots of time in meditation. I find that art is a wonderful nonverbal way of expressing nonphysical experience.

[email protected] thank you for your kind words :) yes, the eye is inspired by the egyptians, even though I find it is a very universal symbol. But I guess the egyptians made a very good use of it that will be forever inspiring.
I really like your apple series, seems youīve changed positions for Adam and Eve, and and let him take the first bite, and now offering it to Eve with that handgesture. Can you disclose a little bit on your thoughts on the Adam/Eve/forbidden knowledge theme?

[email protected] wow Iīm real happy for your positive response :). I wish this thread will be a freehaven for lofty thoughts on all art with a touch of symbolism ;)
My life is a little too busy these days, but hang on and I will soon post something interesteing... :)
:heart:

saje
08-07-2011, 03:23 PM
pictures did not download, sorry

birdhs
08-07-2011, 03:35 PM
Saje: because of your comments I was interested so I checked out the pieces you have posted previously. I was very pleased with them, you have a special way with words and creations. Looking forward to seeing / hearing even more from you.

Now I have to do an internet search of theosiphist to see what you are referring to: I studied once a long time ago, but it has not come back to me.

saje
08-07-2011, 05:42 PM
thanks for looking birdhs. Madame Blavatsky is the primary person from what i have read. i feel her book is an excellent stimulation with a good bit of eastern spirit. it has been a while since i have read her, i think i will review the book.

this time the pictures have uploaded. "withinfinity" plaster, iron oxide, 20"x23"x7" comments,critiques welcome-thanks

idaandersenlang
08-09-2011, 08:39 AM
saje wow this is something different. I get a lot of different emotions while looking at it. And the name is really intriguing too. The "ring" as the central object has connotations (for me) to many different things, it makes me think of a mandala the circle of live, but at the same time there is someting sad about it with the figure underneath. I feel he is carrying the mighty weight of life on his naked shoulders. But is he strong or weak? I am not quite sure. Is he mourning or is he whispereing to the ground. Also i sense the ring as a passage to the realm of the dead. There is some other figures in the ring too isnīt there? Hmm...a real piece of art. There is something Rodinīesque about it, very strog emotions. Perhaps your "message text" --holding angel wings-tearing the feathers-until the quill becomes my tool-and I write words of plaster-that make death seem a womb-- explains it all very well.

Thanks for sharing.

artbyjune
08-09-2011, 11:49 AM
I haven't read the thread yet as I've been busy attempting a painted versuon of the 'white cliffs of Dover'. It was taking so long to do so I rushed it a bit to get a first version. I thought if I continued at my slow pace it would never be done! So I rushed and finished the first version today. I'll post it soon.

Anyway, I have a bit of good news about the painting 'Red Jacket' of mine shown on page one of this project, I think.

I thought I'd enter a competition on artslant.com and it was chosen as a showcase winner in one of their rounds...to be shown on their site around 10 Aug 2011...which rather startled me...in a good way of course.

I've only just started to think about competitions.

I see lots of work and facts have been posted since I last visited so I am looking forward to reading...

artbyjune
08-09-2011, 11:55 AM
:cat: Here's my first version of 'White cliffs of Dover'. Maybe I will redo it and take my time.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Aug-2011/106623-whitecliffs2fx6kb.jpg


This is 11 by 14 ins., acrylics on paper.

artbyjune
08-09-2011, 12:12 PM
By the way, I am at a bit of a loss as to 'explanations' of the symbolism or meanings of works I have posted here. I tend to work with logic switched off for them and so they have meanings which shift around for me.

There are angels and birds. I think birds represent the soul or spirit as far as I have read about symbols in general . But I just like birds, especially parrots (and they are fairly easy to draw!).

White cliffs of Dover are usually taken as symbolic of the UK, or England particularly. The gateway to the UK, or what separates the UK from Europe. Looking at the figures in the painting, it seems that the 2 side figures are fairly protective of the bird-girl in the centre.

Well, its all a bit of a guess really!!

artbyjune
08-09-2011, 12:15 PM
artbyjune @ - thank you for posting these beautiful images. There is a very empathic feel to your artwork, the figures looks very strong yet vulnerable when seen through my eyes. Thatīs really wonderful. Maybe itsīs something with the relationship between the strong bodies of the figures and their very gentle eyes. Naturally I donīt know how you come up with your imagery, but it looks like you have a close connection to your inner images, and uses it quite freely. In the drawing of "the white cliffs of dover" - itīs so peculiar with the girlbird, totally strange, and what is it with the two other persons, and is the woman a kind of grandmotherangel...it really makes me wonder and thatīs a real hallmark to me :)
The other image, "The red jacket" makes other feelings arise in me. It looks like he is going to dance with the bird, and the angel watching. A rather strong vision. It makes me think of relationships between man and nature, and the higher realms above. :)

Ida, that's an interesting note that the standing angel may be a grandmother figure! I didn't have that in mind.

And the relationship between man and nature and the higher realms is a good theme, which I do like.:heart:

artbyjune
08-09-2011, 12:25 PM
Hi Ryan. I love your 2 paintings. I like the moody colour choices of mainly blue and green.

In the first painting, I like the tree being shown as a single leaf way back on the hilltop. You can't miss this tree. The contrast of well developed 3D apple, which suggests to me that the question to ponder by the figure is well-rounded and known. But the figure is uncertain, or tentative, flatter in design.

In the second, the man seems to be showing us that he has chosen. He's bitten into the apple. Maybe the waterfall symbolizes rebirth?

I like the mixed media techniques you used.:heart: I'd like to do more mixed media myself...but can't seem to get around to it.

artbyjune
08-09-2011, 12:33 PM
Ida, your sky Deva is beautiful. And a miniature, it must be jewel-like. It seems to show the auroraborealis in the background. I lke the moon near her shoulder as a sign of the feminine. The rays of sun being the masculine. She floats above us in the ethereal realms.

artbyjune
08-09-2011, 12:36 PM
Saje, this is a wonderful sculpture. It reminds me of imagery from tribal art. Perhaps, reminiscent of the sculpted wooden figures from Sarawak. I was thinking of the figures carved to guard the 'magic' boxes...used for travels to spirit realms.

saje
08-09-2011, 06:12 PM
saje wow this is something different. I get a lot of different emotions while looking at it. And the name is really intriguing too. The "ring" as the central object has connotations (for me) to many different things, it makes me think of a mandala the circle of live, but at the same time there is someting sad about it with the figure underneath. I feel he is carrying the mighty weight of life on his naked shoulders. But is he strong or weak? I am not quite sure. Is he mourning or is he whispereing to the ground. Also i sense the ring as a passage to the realm of the dead. There is some other figures in the ring too isnīt there? Hmm...a real piece of art. There is something Rodinīesque about it, very strog emotions. Perhaps your "message text" --holding angel wings-tearing the feathers-until the quill becomes my tool-and I write words of plaster-that make death seem a womb-- explains it all very well.

Thanks for sharing.

thanks much ida. yes, to me-it is a mandala. strong or weak is for the interpreting veiwer, i see someone almost scared. the feet wisp around a hole as if a genies trail into a bottle. i feel he is screaming from the compression of life upon him. the mandala is always a encircle of completeness, both beginning and end. the title does play with the sculpture.

there is the other side of this as to most of these sculptures. i will try attaching but have been having trouble lately.

saje
08-09-2011, 06:23 PM
Saje, this is a wonderful sculpture. It reminds me of imagery from tribal art. Perhaps, reminiscent of the sculpted wooden figures from Sarawak. I was thinking of the figures carved to guard the 'magic' boxes...used for travels to spirit realms.


thanks artbyjune, James Hollis, Ph.D., a Jungian Analysis and Author said about one of my sculptures “It reminds me of a Tlingit Shaman’s amulet whichJung pictures in one of his alchemical texts.”

ryster007
08-11-2011, 06:47 AM
Ryan: So far I really like what you have done here.

Curious choice of the path leading to the waterfall: did you have a particular interpretation in mind?

Also unusual is the position of the hands: the apple is going to fall out onto the ground with the palms upturned and the fingers angled down. Perhaps is that what is intended- to show the moment before he drops it AFTER he took that first (and worst) bite?

It is hard to tell if his eyes are closed or just looking down at the exposed flesh of the apple (also symbolic)

Not sure what the object is over his shoulder (left side) Please enlighten us (or just make us guess...)

I think your piece fits right in here, and hope to get mine completed soon.

Thanx for posting, this pleaseth our eye, Greg.

Hi Greg:wave:

The path is meant to be a river:D . It needs more work though to make it read as one-I'm on it!

The reason for including it is water can signify cleansing, purifying- it can wash things away.

I included it against the moral choice (represented by the apple), one 'path' leads to peace, tranquility and purity (on the left hand side).

On the other side is chaos- nothing specifically represented. It is mostly textured and layered with collage elements. Though I find it mirrors the effect of a building collapsing- with the debris cloud. I say that because although it was unintentional I included a collaged newspaper article about the attack on the two towers. There are other articles there about the evil choices man makes.

Ryan

ryster007
08-11-2011, 07:11 AM
Ryan, I like your paintings, they are intriguing and make me think.

Your first one depicts a woman who has no choice to make as she has no mouth and therefore cannot bite the apple even if she wants to. I like your inclusion of pieces of text and I love the shine on that tree in the distance.

With this painting the guy has actually taken a bite of the forbidden fruit, but he doesn't look too happy about it.

Looks like a waterfall in the distance (or maybe I just want it to be a waterfall :) ) and the path if we follow it leads over the hill towards it. The waterfall could symbolise overcoming obstacles or difficulties and its in the distance so maybe in the past? The man seems to have travelled quite a way to reach where he is right now.

He looks to me as if he regrets taking a bite of the forbidden fruit and that is why he holds it in such an awkward way, because maybe he's feeling uncomfortable with it?

I love this kind of art that really engages the viewer and everyone interprets things very differently which can be so interesting. Sorry I have waffled on... just thinking aloud really. :o :D

Thanks Inky:wave:

I like your interpretation of the waterfall- It's part of the symbolism I was after- that sometimes taking the right path and choices in life can feel like swimming up-stream and there are barriers (like a waterfall) in the way. like salmon that do this arduous journey every year.

The hand are deliberately awkward in the way they hold the apple- you're right he's not comfortable holding it. I've flattened the perspective here to tilt the apple to the viewer- could be he's offering it to you?

Ryan

ryster007
08-11-2011, 07:37 AM
[email protected] thank you for your kind words :) yes, the eye is inspired by the egyptians, even though I find it is a very universal symbol. But I guess the egyptians made a very good use of it that will be forever inspiring.
I really like your apple series, seems youīve changed positions for Adam and Eve, and and let him take the first bite, and now offering it to Eve with that handgesture. Can you disclose a little bit on your thoughts on the Adam/Eve/forbidden knowledge theme?



The other eye symbol is the magic eye- which I think is a ward against evil?

In the two forbidden fruit paintings here are my thoughts- remember though these are not definitive answers to what is going on, just my interpretation- you are invited to have you're own thoughts:

In the first Eve has the apple and is fighting with the choice of taking a bite- to me the inner fight is symbolised by her lack of mouth, she know's she shouldn't and is fighting the urge by hiding or blocking off her mouth.

In the second one Adam is holding the apple- is this the apple that Eve already took the bite out off and now he's got the choice? (This is my reading of it) The leaf points to his 'adams apple' predicting what might happen. The background illustrates the choices.

Of course the symbolism of forbidden fruit and specifically the apple can be found not just in Christianity but in Greek mythology, Norse mythology....:wink2:

Ryan

ryster007
08-11-2011, 07:55 AM
Saje- love this sculpture- really powerful stuff. To me the figure is weak and oppressed by the burden of the mandala- he's certainly not comfortable! Very much looking forward to seeing the other side of it and any others you can post.

Ryan

ryster007
08-11-2011, 08:41 AM
June- Congrats on the competition for Red Jacket!!

I'm liking the white cliffs too- one thing that might help composition-wise is to lower the sea level to below the level of people's heads. Will help tie it together and emphasise the heads.

THanks for giving us your thoughts on the symbolism. They have a really nice dream-like quality to them

Ryan

saje
08-12-2011, 08:26 AM
hey ryster, your apple theme works are excellent. they are laden with interpretative potentials. they do remind me of a piece i did a long time ago. i ruined it with paint-but the thought still causes me smile-two wild woman are standing on a rock with an arm around each other. they are looking down on this smaller in stature naked male. the title of the piece is "let's call it apple". oh well, hope it gives a smile

ryster007
08-12-2011, 11:15 AM
hey ryster, your apple theme works are excellent. they are laden with interpretative potentials. they do remind me of a piece i did a long time ago. i ruined it with paint-but the thought still causes me smile-two wild woman are standing on a rock with an arm around each other. they are looking down on this smaller in stature naked male. the title of the piece is "let's call it apple". oh well, hope it gives a smile

:lol:

ryster007
08-14-2011, 03:28 PM
At last I've got a new digital camera so can take photos and post them again!:clap:

Here's the completed painting

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2011/83841-015.JPG

Forbidden Fruit 2
Mixed media on board
15x15 inches

I've included close-up pictures of the collage elements that add to the narrative

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2011/83841-apple_small.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2011/83841-collage_1_small.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2011/83841-collage_2_small.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2011/83841-collage_3_small.jpg

Ryan

saje
08-14-2011, 05:29 PM
Ryan, most excellent in many ways! the multidimensionality takes the imagry/symbolisms closer to a true read as the language of the soul. the feeling begins before a thought can confine, to me-masterful!

birdhs
08-14-2011, 10:57 PM
Ryan: Thanx so much for reposting this, it all comes together now. The close-ups REALLY help see what your artistic statement was.

This is one of those rare opportunities those of us at WC get to enjoy, close interaction with an artist. For some of us, we get to enjoy works and artists we might otherwise never see. This not only applies to you, but also everyone else on this particular thread (I can't remember everyone's names...)

Greg

idaandersenlang
08-24-2011, 01:29 PM
Ida, your sky Deva is beautiful. And a miniature, it must be jewel-like. It seems to show the auroraborealis in the background. I lke the moon near her shoulder as a sign of the feminine. The rays of sun being the masculine. She floats above us in the ethereal realms.

Thank you so much June, I really appreciate this response :) It somehow confirms me in something I cannot express myself in words. Iīm so glad that this thread somehow is developing in people "interpreting" each others images. Itīs really valuable I think.
- Well June, I can tell you, I really am desperately in love with aurora borealis. I wish I will one day see it in real life, but it wonīt ever happen where I live. One day maybe I will get to that famous aurora borealis hot spot in Finland. I donīt remember the name of the exact place. But there is a hotel there built entirely of ice, rebuilt every winter, and you sleep on reindeerhides on icebeds and drink vodka in the ice bar... isnīt that gorgeous...!

idaandersenlang
09-12-2011, 02:41 PM
Symbolist hall of fame
FERNAND KHNOPFF

As promised earlier, I will begin to introduce some of my favorite symbolists from the 19th – 20th century symbolistic movement. The criteria is quite simple: firtsly; an artist I admire myself; and secondly an artist that has some kind of significance within the symbolist movement. I will give a short introduction to the artist, show one image as representative, and share some of my own thoughts on this particular image. Hopefully these small portraits can spur inspiration and conversation in this thread.

As the first artist in this series I would lik to introduce one of the early symbolist, namely Fernand Khnopff. He was one of the very first artists of the time to describe himself as a symbolistic artist.

Khnopff expressed himself in a very classic yet truely symbolistic manner, every part of his paintings spilling with enigmatic symbols. In the center of many of his images is the woman with a strong gaze. But also he painted a long series of cityscapes, especially some of his paintings of Brügges is very strong and, in my eyes, has a strong symbolistic impact, eventhough the motive is quite simple.

Khnopff was born into a rich family of lawyers and judges in Belgium, 1858. He himself enrolled in lawschool but soon tired of it. After that he persued a career in art and eventhough he met hard critics in the beginning he showed great talent in classical skills, and left behind a large number of high class symbolistic and classical art. He died in 1921.

To me there is something utterly strange and attractive about his paintings. There is something oddly mute about them, yet they convey a cataclysm of strange suggestions. I feel that he was highly capable to draw from the strange and sometimes disturbing realm of dreams, without ever loosing his “grasp” and manages to keep the paintings to seem impersonal, or one could say universal, eventhough they of course ar quite the opposite. I think that makes the images very attractive, because it leaves room for the viewer to mirror himself. The works of Khnoppf leaves me somehow speechless and to me that somhow indicates that an artist has catched something that cannot be described with words.

This is of course just an ultrashort introduction, try and google mr. Khnoppf and see some of the beautiful stuff out there. I must mention that many of his great but lesser known work is not on the internet. If you become interested in Fernand Khnopff, it would be a good idea to try and borrow some books with his art on your library.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2011/975167-i_lock_my_door_upon_myself-khnoppf.jpg
"I lock my door upon myself" by Fernand Knopff 1891

This is one of my personal favourite Khnopff images. I have found myself gazing upon it again and again. Perhaps some of the genious of this work is the title it self, because it makes the painting suggest something extremely complicated psychologically, eventhough in fact it is a rather simple image. At least at first glance. What is really happening here? First of all, of course, there is the girl, whom to me looks kind of scary in a very attractive way. She is looking at you but at the same time she seems absorbed in her own world. In the background we find some very peculiar interior. There is some fractions of streetviews, but do we see it through a window, or is it just some dreamy representation? I am not quite sure...The circles behind her is quite strange too. Often w see one circle in an image, but here there is two. In the circle to the right there is some shadow of a window, very odd. In the foreground we see some battered lilies. Often white lilies is used as a symbol of innocence, but these lilies seems quite the opposite. The marble head with the wings more obviously symbolizes the god of dreams and sleep, Morpheus.
Who is this girl? Can we trust her? Is she going to lure you into something?

These are just some of my thoughts on one of my favourite images. I would love to hear yours :)

artbyjune
09-18-2011, 12:29 PM
I love the clarity of the colour in this painting, Ida. She seems to be inviting you in and keeping you at a distance at the same time. The title makes me think perhaps she has been hurt in the past which is why she locks the door. Intriguing and thanks for showing it. I must look for more work by the artist- Knopff.

trafford
09-20-2011, 04:39 PM
One of my favorite paintings by Gustave Moreau (1826-96) The title is perfect.

Angel Traveller:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Sep-2011/42757-moureau_angel.JPG