Another inspiring lesson in Unit 2 of Tracy Verdugo’s Abstract Mojo! This one is on Archetypal Symbols, an interesting exercise from which we developed some mini paintings. With six in total, I completed all recently and thought I’d share here my third one! And here comes the Psychic…

What are Archetypal Symbols?

To recap, Archetypal symbols represent a variety of objects, elements and emotions deriving from different cultures and societies. We have, for instance, the ancient hieroglyphics from the Egyptians, astrological signs, images in China which eventually developed into a writing system of today, and even secret codes used by homeless people! Tracy’s class called for doing some research on such archetypal symbols as a means of exploring our personal journey and eventually as a basis for creating our abstract artwork. By Googling on the internet, I did indeed find a number of interesting symbols including Zodiac signs, codes for homeless people, alchemy symbols and interestingly Adrinka symbols from Ghana! I collected them, screenshot them for own use and began taking some down on my sketchbook. Quite a lot I could always use again in the future!

Intuitive Painting

This exercise was definitely intuitive, based on our feelings and our train of thought. From a huge piece of mixed media paper (I used 360 gsm thickness), I cut up six equal rectangles each for a seperate painting. A limited selection of fluid acrylics (by Golden) and acrylic inks were used including Cardium Red, Payne’s Grey, Titanium White, Nickel Azo Yellow, Titan Green, Teal, Turquoise, Antelope Brown, etc. And how could I not include some fluorescent shades too! I stuck with Fluorescent Pink and Orange this time. And here we begin taking each sheet one after the other randomly painting on as our first layer whatever came to mind.

Getting Psychic

For this painting, I chose the one with the Nickel Azo Yellow and the undulating lines in Cardium Red (top one on the left in the above photo). Some areas were then covered with Teal as well as Pink. This time, the symbol for the psychic somewhat appealed to me; I did like the triangle and the circle on top, for one, but I suspect there were underlying reasons for selecting it in the first place. The symbol was then drawn using the dropper of the violet ink, and whilst wet, spread outwards with a wet brush. Then a series of symbols ensued: purification, love, money, health and something telling us “here is the place”. A zodiac symbol of the Taurus and Aquarius were then scribbled on, since they are the signs of my boyfriend and me, respectively. To give it a more interesting effect, I sprayed some isopropyl alcohol, ie by the aquarius symbol and once dry moving onto the purification symbol. And here we are!

Halfway done with the series using symbols and creating abstract art but enjoying it! Like the earlier one, it gave me the chance to explore beyond my comfort zone which meant working intuitively and coming up with the unexpected. Worth mentioning here, though, is that the point of this exercise is about exploring one’s inner thoughts and emotions and should hence be seen as a personal journey rather than a perfect work of art. As such it is interesting that the psychic symbol came to mind this time. Perhaps in view of all the uncertainties amid the pandemic and its economic and social consequences as well as the impact on health and well-being, I am praying that some good will come in the future for us. That now also explains including the symbols for health, love, money and home…

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