About "Materia"

Materia is a series of 4 paintings I am creating for the next Energy Art Movement Salon, on July, which theme will be “Energizing Radiance”. I immediately thought about exploring something more “scientific” while transmitting a sense of energy (read more here), which is one of the main directions of this exhibit. I really love when I have the opportunity to work with science and (meta)physical concepts. And since I am fortunate enough to have a respectable scientist who is also a lover of art as a friend (hey there, Roy!), i had a precious help and idea to create the concept, which was not easy at first. My basic ideas: including mandala art, since the mandala in my opinion is a perfect link between science and spirituality. The mandalas should appear behind or integrated to the heads of the figures, just like the images in Byzantine art; representing the link between humans and Nature, and how we contain the macrocosm as the macrocosm contains us, all in a big energetic network; making four pictures, each one representing one element – Fire, Earth, Air, and Water – since they are seen as the essential parts of everything, as stated by the hermetic philosophies; representing the bodies with certain parts “disintegrating” in energy or molecules that would float upwards, to the ether. It sounded like a whole bunch of things, each one with its own richness, which synthesis in a pictorial solution sounded like a cosmic pain in the butt.

Roy came to my rescue introducing me to a little thing called ferritin. Ferritins are proteins that store and release iron, and that exist in almost all living organisms. I couldn’t help but get blown away with how the ferritin molecules look like:

Exactly. A beautiful, intricate, gloriously designed mandala. Added to that, the little thing stores iron, which is absolutely necessary to life since it helps produce the energy that will move you. Iron is attributed to Mars, the archetype that symbolizes the raw forces of nature, energy, and drive. I immediately knew that it was the glue that would put all my ideas together. Isn’t great to know we have such a wonderful source of inspiration in nature, in our own bodies?

My first experience was not very satisfactory (pics here and here) and I decided to start it over — typical me. I had chosen to represent the molecules of ferritin as the disintegrating parts of the body, but in the end it didn’t work because it was incredible time consuming (the pattern is too intricate), and I didn’t achieve the sense of unity I was seeking for. Then I had the idea of transforming the mandalas in the heads of the figures as big molecules of ferritin! Actually I would just copy the main structure, which should be a common element to all 4 paintings, and make use of my artistic license to add other elements freely according to the nature of each one.

 My copycat of the Divine’s design. He/She is indeed a terrific mandala maker.

The main structure of the ferritin molecule after my creative intervention, forming the “Byzantine” mandala. 

Remake of Earth, penciling and underpainting. Notice the parts of the body disintegrating in circles (another allusion to the mandalas) I chose to represent the element Earth through the leaves forming the bottom part of the figure, the horns in the mandala, and the color green.

Back to underpainting first. Absorbing the vibration of the green actually helped me with the drawing. The mandala design afterwards came pretty spontaneously. I am going to repeat the process with the other three paintings. 

I am pretty happy now with the result and very excited to start working on the other elements. This is indeed being a fun project. My deadline is now super tight so I’d better go!

3 Responses

  1. Again, I am so impressed! This is so beautiful…you make me want to practice, practice, practice!

  2. This looks fabulous!!!!

  3. Olá Ariel! Obrigada por teres dedicado um tempinho para visitares o meu blog e escreveres umas palavrinhas! E como te entendo – o tempo passa a correr e vamos adiando, adiando… quando damos conta não aproveitámos nada nem tocámos ninguém! E depois existem os artistas – como você que tocam no mundo inteiro através dos seus trabalhos! E eu adoro os seus! As suas mulheres são lindas! Muitos Parabéns! E cheguei a postar o seu trabalho no meu blog – espreita aqui: http://atelierdatruska.blogspot.com/2009/11/patricia-ariel-brasil.html
    Muitos beijinhos de Portugal : ***

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