Moving along…

I was ill for a couple weeks in December. I pretty much never get sick, no evil eye, so it was quite something for me not to be able to work for weeks. I am almost fully recovered now and back to work on orders, art, and magic. I made a resolution for 2014: I would do my best to work on art and magic every single day. So far it’s been going pretty well, especially because these days I’m much more organized about art AND magic than I ever was when I was young. For instance, now I keep track of every pigment I use in a painting, what kind of paper it was painted on, and so forth. I keep the original sketches on file as well as digital versions of the original paintings. This means that I don’t forget how I got a particular effect (or failed to do so). Keeping such detailed files works so well with art that I decided to do the same with magic. I’ve been doing this with oil-making for years; I keep the formulas for every versions of an oil on file with notes about each ingredient. This helped prevent me from making the same mistakes over and over; I could see right away what didn’t work. But somehow this never got transferred to my magic, maybe because I’ve mostly been doing magic for other people. My own has been dedicated to protection, pretty much.

Until last year, when I decided to do a home manifestation spell. I kept as meticulous notes about each aspect of that spell as I do about an artwork or about an oil. And it has helped enormously. For one, I’ve treated this spell much more seriously and have gone back to add more and more energy to it and have seen the work begin to fruit. So that’s been rewarding. After getting sick, I decided I needed something more than protection. I needed a magical weapon dedicated especially to attacking people or things who decided to attack me: a whomp-upside-the-head weapon. Instead of relying on someone else’s idea or tradition of what would be appropriate, I fell back on my intuition plus the knowledge about magic in general that I have accrued over the years, especially in terms of planetary influences, which for me is just a great way to organize magical knowledge. This allowed me to come up with something that is unique to me and also powerful. One thing I have learned in business that has served me well over the years is that if you are unique, you basically have no competition. I think this works with magic as well. If the magic you do is unique to you, it will be much more difficult for others to “compete” with it–to counter it, defeat it, destroy it, or find a chink in your astral armor. I’m not sure if the creativity in terms of magic originated there or came from my art and has spread into my magic, but I feel a much greater magical and artistic energy.

Re artistic energy, I’ve managed to produce a belladonna painting that I am finally happy with (after 7 versions) and am selling as a print here (you can even get it as a greeting card, lol), but in the future I will be selling all prints off Alchemy Works. I had to wrassle with technical issues like scanner size. I was having an awful time getting complete scans of my 11″ x 14″ works off my 8.5″ x 11″ printer. You would not believe the PIA it is to try to align two images perfectly, especially for a more seat-of-the-pants type like myself. But thank the godz for the interwebs, because I found some folks on a forum discussing the same thing, and that led to a piece of software that magically knits two images together. It was incredible to see the two parts of this most recent painting come together perfectly with the push of a button instead of imperfectly after and hour or so of fiddling using GIMP. Wow. It’s called Panorama 6, for those who are interested. If you decide to give it a try, be careful to uncheck the default boxes for making some biz you have never heard of your “secure” browser and toolkit and all that crap. I almost fell for that. The software itself is not free, but if you have a regular scanner and are doing art larger than its size, it’s worth it. Larger scanners, even the cheap ones, are hundreds more than a regular scanner. I had thought I would be reduced to having to have print shops scan my art, which would be another cost and another PIA, but this software solves that problem.

I’ll also be selling prints of the talismans I make on Alchemy Works for much less than the hand-drawn ones I sell, which are $150. Those have been popular anyway, but I hope that high quality color prints on archival paper for about $30 will be popular also. I will have that up this weekend. Lots of site work to do then, as I will also finally be putting up a new search engine on the site. The old one died some time ago.

I’ve started working on the next painting, which I’ve titled Henbane Moon. I like painting realistically, but I also want to incorporate some concepts from magic into my paintings, and that will involve more stylization. In this case, I want the Moon to be colored like the flowers of henbane and have chosen bismuth yellow and amethyst for that task. I also came up with a combination of Prussian blue and amethyst for the background sky, which results in a beautiful deep Saturnian indigo. Next up, experimenting with colors for the dried pods. As I’ve mentioned on my Facebook page, I was kind of going after the idea of the Japanese woodblock print in this design. They have a tradition of Moon views that I’ve always loved, and that was my inspiration. It’s going to take some experimenting to get the effect of moonlight on the pods right, I can see that. But I am enjoying working on it. Last year I decided that beauty was very important in my life. Doing art provides an fairly easy way for me to make it a part of every day, and I am loving that.

1 comment to Moving along…

  • I like your paintings, realistic yet evocative. Kudos for continuing to delve into the process of, well, ‘process,’ for both art and magic. This is something I’ve been thinking about lately as well, and I too am getting back into making art after letting it slide for several years. I think that making art and making magic are bound up together with recognizing and engendering beauty, and with connecting ourselves to the numinous – I suppose that’s what they mean by ‘re-enchanting the world!’

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