These 3 paintings are images I created in a class I took with Misty Mawn recently.

I have been enjoying adding wings, birds and crowns to my paintings. While at the "Art and Soul" retreat many of the mixed-media paintings include these moving symbols. When I use the crown and wings my paintings to take on a deeper meaning.

I was interested in the letters to the editor in my "Somerset Studio"
magazine. Friday night I bought my first "Cloth Paper Scissors" and "Somerset Studio". magazines.

The letters by some readers said that there were too many paintings bearing Wings, Birds, Crowns, and Dunce Hats. They felt is was just a trend. Some people liked them,
believed in the freedom of the artist. Some
readers felt we need to move on and change now!

I think images that people use in their art work meet deep needs in their heart. We are in a period of time were women in particular are moved by the thought of flying/freedsom as symbolized by the wings. Beauty, transformation and flight is
symbolized by the butterfly. Birds are about flying and eggs represent the feminine ability to create life weather it be natural or symbolic. Nature symbols like birds and eggs are feminine and intuitive. Not material and heady or driven by design as in the masculine voice.

The feminine in both men and women is the listening heart, the other ways of knowing rather than the mental way of knowing. Wings are spiritual images as in Angels and even Faeries
. Crown represent worthiness, being chosen, having a authority. And Dunce capes are about being made to feel stupid. The use of them as comical or sweet is an effort to come to terms with the lack of acceptance. I think these are all symbols of the struggle of the Artist and Woman in particular. Arts and creation are feminine. Nature is more about listening and being rooted. Women and Artists have been shamed and not affirmed in our society for a long time.
It is my opinion that people who are bored or feel these images are just a trend are missing something deep and important.

Reflecting on these comments reminded me of a beautiful art show I stumbled into years ago at the Tacoma Art Museum in
WA. It was about and artist named of Faith Ringgold. She talked on her video about the Afro Americans and the theme of Flying in their folklore to symbolism Freedom. She used it frequently in her own art works. She also has written/illustrated several children's books and even wrote a song on flying.

include a illustration and excerpt from her book called "Tar Beach"

Cassie Louise Lightfoot has a dream:to be free to go wherever she wants for the rest of her life. One night, up on "Tar Beach"--the rooftop of her family's Harlem apartment buildings--her dream comes true. The stars lift her up, and Cassie Louise Lightfoot is Flying.
Faith Ringgold

I celebrate my freedom to create Art freely and with joy. I am celebrating my own self worth and the crown is a perfect metaphor for this. I will use these images as long as my heart needs and takes hope in these symbols. I know it brings me happiness when I see these images. The continual use in the mixed-media artists show that it brings blessings to others too.



Soulful Artisan said…
It was nice to meet you when you came in to Poppy & Ivy and got your lovely seqined bow-tie to match your vintage sequined crown..Thanks for exchanging links with me. I love your paintings and I REALLY appreciate your comments and thoughts on why people use the images of birds, crowns, eggs, etc. You make it all make perfect sense. NO WONDER I am so simply drawn to all those images like so many others. Blessings for your thoughts and explaining it to us all. Becky in Portland
Unknown said…
such lovely thoughts about the symbolism people, especially women, are drawn to use in their artwork. i have to admit, there has been so much use of these images in the mixed media publications that i see, it has deterred me from using them as much in my own pieces. but you've helped me realize this is kind of silly. if i'm drawn to using certain images in my pieces, then by all means, i should follow my intuition to express whatever my soul is needing to speak. and yet, i've also realized by resisting to use these often used images of wings, crowns, and such i also challenge myself to find other imagery or effects to convey the message of my heART.
and you know what is funny to me... i always thought they were party hats, not dunce caps! ha!
thanx for your thought provoking post Deirdra.
Morag said…
I think the dunce cap/party hat contrast is interesting. I think of wizards or elves -- so how you interpret the symbol is just as revealing as using it yourself. That might be an interesting exercise in itself.

Popular Posts