The Spell

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 fifth one! And here comes The Spell…

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.

Casting the Spell

For this painting, I chose the one with the Titan Green square in the middle of the paper with shapes and lines in the corners, covered with a thin layer of teal (bottom one on the left in the above photo). Rather than let nature take course, I was this time determined to make the painting about the Spell symbol. It’s because I simply liked the look of it: a lit candle on top of the altar. As such I firstly stenciled in some red blobs on opposite corners of the paper, then worked around it by firstly drawing the Spell symbol with the dropper some Payne’s Grey ink. Then Yellow was spread in the middle of the background along with some fluorescent pink on the base. Symbols of the moon and earth were then doodled on the left, followed by those of purification and peace on the right. After that, I randomly filled them all in with various colors including teal, fluorescent orange and white. The symbol of spirituality was further added to balance out the painting. And now!

Among the six mini-paintings in the Archetypal Symbols series, I must say this is one of my favorite. The color combination including my favorite shades of teal and fluorescent pink indeed draws quite a bit of attention. Then incorporating some yellow, red and fluorescent orange further livens up the entire painting, bringing out positive vibes. I wonder if this Spell symbol was in fact chosen for a deeper reason than “just liking the look of it”. Seeing the depressing developments of the world during the past two years, perhaps the painting symbolizes casting a spell and directing some positivity for the coming future?

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