Reflections on Strength

Shame on me, I haven’t been around for awhile again. I have a good reason for it I promise! I am starting a part time job on top of my full time job AND I started a Kung Fu class a couple of weeks ago (which is crazy hard, but way fun) so needless to say art has taken a backseat for awhile.

I am so excited about my new part time job, it is going to be way less stressful than what I am doing now and a lot more fulfilling. I also get to work with a group of really great people, which is just the icing on the cake. I don’t want to go too much into details just yet because it’s still sort of unofficial, but the idea is I will be transitioning into a full time position in the next couple of months. Details to follow!

Anyway, as far as artwork goes I wanted to submit to the open gallery for October only to find out they weren’t continuing to do open galleries into the holiday season…boo. Due to the chaos in my life I haven’t had a lot of time to work on anything, but I did complete another piece in my Tarot series a couple of weeks ago, this one is pretty personal…

Along with the job related stuff I am going through some other significant life changes right now and as a result have been thinking a lot about strength. There are days where I feel so helpless and weak, I have trouble accessing my inner strength sometimes. This piece was a bit of a reflection on what it means to have inner strength.

In the Tarot, the Strength card shows an angel holding open a lion’s mouth, however, the angel is NOT using brute strength, rather strength of will. The lion is docile and does what she wants. In my interpretation of that I wanted to include imagery that invokes inner strength, this is why I added the mirrors so when someone looks at the piece they can see that “strength” comes from within and not some outside source...

Here is the finished piece.

The woman in the photo is my Great, Great, Great Grandmother Amanda Powell Buchanan. The Powell’s originated in Wales so I knew I wanted a Celtic lion image for this particular piece to honor my ancestry. I don’t tend to have pictures of Celtic lions just laying around so I had to design and hand carve my own stamp to get the image I wanted. I took a couple source photos from the internet and combined them till I got something I was happy with. Here the picture is drawn onto the stamping material and I just started cutting it out.

 Here is a close up of the lion stamp final image…

 I have always felt a strong connection to my Grandmother, though I have never met her. I love this photo of her, she is so beautiful and I believe she was a very strong and confident woman. When I started doing my Tarot card series I knew immediately I wanted to use her for Strength. I added the heart shaped pendant to the final piece as a statement that true strength comes from the heart.

Sometimes life can be scary, really scary, but I am learning we all have inner reserves that we can pull from to help us through hard times. When things get too overwhelming I think of my Grandmother and send a her a little prayer for strength. She hasn’t let me down yet…

Since I am sadly lacking on material to share with you all I have a few more pages from my Gratitude Journal that I thought I would share. I am really into quotes right now if you can’t tell.

The bird is actually an image on the page from the original book, I just painted the background, added the tree and the text.

This is a riff off a Thich Nhat Hanh meditation I found. I adapted the words to suit me.

Hope you enjoyed, please continue to check back. I may not have artwork to share, but I have been doing a lot of cooking so you may get some sneak peaks at some of the crazy recipes I have been trying!

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