The Sacred Feminine Trilogy. Watch as a Large Charcoal Drawing develops in the Studio.

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Sometimes you create a piece of art because of the materials you have available to you. This is especially true during the Covid-19 lock down. I had this beautiful large sheet of amate paper, a hand-made paper made in a village near Puebla, Mexico, rolled up in a corner and nearly forgotten. I bought the paper for the size, 45″ x 97″ – finding paper that size isn’t easy – so you grab it when you can. But the sheer beauty of it also attracted me. I bought a couple of sheets from the maker who was traveling through Mazatlan a number of years ago.

The Beginning

In June, I unfurled and tacked the huge paper up on my sheetrock wall in my studio (in San Miguel de Allende) not knowing what I was going to do – without a plan. That’s my normal modus operandi: show up at the page and see what happens. I’d thought I might cut it into 3 pieces after I got started. And since I’ve been working figuratively, I began in the center – sketching in a rough figure with charcoal.

Three Figures emerge

I love working with charcoal, although it is very messy. It’s a very sensual medium, one you have to get your hands into. A push/pull of black and white, adding and subtracting, making marks and erasing. Smearing, rubbing, softening with fingers, rags, and erasures. As the figures took form, the symbols began to emerge from the page as well – the moon, the circle, the bird, wings, the spiral, the ouroboros (snake), and flowers.

The final piece!

I began to see the power in the full size paper – no way was I going to cut it into three pieces! It won’t be easy to frame or exhibit, but art is not practical and we don’t make practical choices in the studio.

As the figures emerged, a story developed and The Sacred Feminine Trilogy came to life. On the left is ‘Strength’ – a young woman turns towards center one hand in a fist, in defiance – “a don’t mess with me stance”. A bird sits on her shoulder, another hovers nearby, possibly her Spirit Guides. In the center is ‘Spirit’ – one hand upturned to receive, the other to give back, a sacred mudra or hand gesture. She stands in front of the Full Moon, a sacred feminine symbol if there ever was one, her wings fully in place – suggesting she is a spiritual entity. The Ouroboros, the snake eating its tail, encircles the moon, an ancient symbol for renewal and the cycle of life. On the right is ‘Abundance’ – the Mother, pregnant and abundant with life. She holds white Cala lilies in front of her stomach – a symbol for fertility – and looks towards Spirit‘ for guidance.

The viewer’s interpretation is as valid as the artist’s. What do you read into the Trilogy? Enjoy!

‘Throne for a Goddess’ sculpture in Austria launches Benefit for Rural Girls in Mexico

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Throne for a Goddess, sculptural seating, front view

My newest public sculpture, Throne for a Goddess, installed in Austria in September, has launched a fundraiser to benefit a Mexican based non-profit organization that empowers women through education –  Mujeres en Cambio (Women in Change). Visit their website to learn more about their good work.

 “This project is all about empowering and honoring women – from the ancient to the present”.

Since I couldn’t be in Austria for the opening due to covid travel restrictions, I wanted to raise awareness of my newest public sculpture and offer something locally as well. To that end, I created a beautiful golden print that reflects the imagery of the sculpture and benefits young women. I partnered with the San Miguel de Allende non-profit, Mujeres en Cambio, and offered them 40% of the sales.

This archival, limited edition digital print, 11.5” x 8.5”, is signed and numbered by the artist.

Mujeres en Cambio was a  logical choice since they empower young women in rural communities by offering scholarships for their education. In Mexico, education is only free through the 6th grade. In 2019 the organization gave scholarships to 187 girls from 46 villages in rural San Miguel. V.P. Trish Leaven said, “these times are greatly affecting how NGO’s like ours continue to raise funds to support our young women, so offers like hers (Glen’s) are truly appreciated.

The Throne for a Goddess commemorative print is 11.5” x 8.5” and is an archival, limited edition digital print, signed and numbered by the artist. The prints are $100USD or $2100 MXN each. Your Purchase of a Print Empowers Young Women Through Education!  Purchase your print on my website: glenrogersart.com

The Seed of an Idea becomes a Reality

So how did this public sculpture come about? In September 2019, I was in Europe for a group exhibition in Ghent, Belgium called Crossing Borders. After the show, my friend and I traveled to Austria where we visited her cousins in Vienna and later her extended family in Weiz in the beautiful countryside of Styria.

Glen visiting the real Venus of Willendorf

Sitting around the dinner table on our first night in Vienna, I asked our hosts if there were any Neolithic Goddess sites to explore nearby. (Visiting sacred sites is a passion of mine, one that I’ve been pursuing for many years, thus my book, Art and Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place.) To my utter surprise, they told me that the Venus of Willendorf, one of the oldest and most celebrated Paleolithic goddess sculptures, was housed in The Natural History Museum in Vienna. With a feeling of reverence and excitement, we paid her a visit the very next day! Housed in a special room with only a few other artifacts, the Venus was incased in a glass cube – all 6” of her. She was exquisitely carved in stone during the ice age, almost 30,000 years ago, and was discovered in Willendorf, lower Austria in 1908.

The Venus of Willendorf has become an icon for women everywhere, with her characteristic voluptuous shape, she is a fertility symbol honoring women as life-givers. She is an archetype that points to ancient goddess cultures and matriarchal societies. For me, this image of the Great Mother is a symbol of female empowerment, a reminder of who we are and where we came from.

Kunstpark St. Ruprecht/Raab sculpture park:

During our stay in Austria, our host took us to Weiz, and on the way, stopped to show us a new sculpture park in St. Ruprecht/Raab where he had a piece. The park which is beautifully laid out like a giant peace symbol, already had 20 to 25 sculptures by local artists. We met Wolfgang Neffe, the initiator of the park and shortly after, I made a proposal. I wanted to honor the Venus of Willendorf, this Austrian artifact that symbolizes the Sacred Feminine – the primary motivation for my art for many years.

The sculpture was fabricated in Austria by the Binder Company where I worked closely with Jitka Derler, an artist herself. Jitka totally related to the goddess imagery that was the basis for the work and we worked well together inspite of our language barrier and the physical distance between us. Throne for a Goddess was installed at Kunstpark St. Ruprecht/Raab on September 9th, 2020.

The final Throne is made of gold-tone anodized aluminum on the front and steel with rust patina for the back and stands 6.5 feet tall by 34” wide.

Throne for a Goddess is an interactive sculpture where visitors are invited to sit and feel the energy of the Great Mother: Rest in the Warm Embrace of the Goddess, the Great Mother, the Divine Feminine. Feel Her Nurturing Love and Offer of Abundance and Prosperity. Sit in Her Lap of Fertility and Plant a Seed for your Dreams and New Beginnings.

Back side of the Throne is made of rusted steel.

More of my public sculpture can be seen on my website: Beacon, Campbell, CA; Three Wings, Stockton, CA; Web of Life, Chico, CA; Spirit Gate and Meditation Bench, San Jose, CA.   https://www.glenrogersart.com/sculpture-

Glen with a framed print.

Spirit Cards – my new oracle deck – arrived and ready to ship!

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This deck of 50 oracle cards is a contemporary approach to an ancient tradition. The images were inspired by universal symbols that honor Mother Earth and the Sacred Feminine. I created the artwork, both paintings and prints, over a 30-year period.

Use these Spirit Cards as a companion on your journey of self-discovery. Open your mind, heart and spirit to the messages you receive and use them as a form of meditation and contemplation.

A boxed deck, cards are 5 3/8″ x 3 1/2″.  Includes guidebook with introduction and interpretations.

Spirit Cards were conceived during the covid quarantine, a silver lining to troubling times.

Order your cards on my website: $30 usd plus shipping. Add a beautiful gold organza bag for your cards – $5.00   

Purchase Now!

​Testimonial:

I just received my Spirit Cards from Glen Rogers. They are just gorgeous and I love and resonate with the messages attached to each card!  

Thank you Glen for taking time to share what you have experienced and accumulated over the years.

Wilma Bodrak

Spirit Cards, an oracle deck inspired by universal symbols that honor the Sacred Feminine.

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This deck of 50 oracle cards is a contemporary approach to an ancient tradition. The images, inspired by universal symbols that honor Mother Earth and the Sacred Feminine, were created over a 30-year period by artist Glen Rogers. In her books Art & Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place and Symbols of the Spirit: A Meditative Journey Through Art, she shares her pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world and her interest in archetypes and their universality. For Glen, creating in the studio is a form of meditation and a way to evoke a connection to the Divine Spirit. Her paintings and prints share a mystical quality that transcend into the spiritual realm. Spirit Cards were conceived during the covid quarantine, a silver lining to troubling times.

 

In Man and His Symbols, Carl G. Jung refers to certain symbols as archetypal: images that all of us can tap into through our unconscious mind, dream states and the creative process. He believed that “the greatest and best thoughts of man shape themselves upon primordial images,” and that archetypes—symbols from the collective unconscious—are metaphysical in nature. On my travels to sacred sites around the world, I learned firsthand that there truly is a universal visual language that connects us all.

Throughout my adult life, I have consulted various divination methods—astrology, psychics, the I Ching—all with eye-opening results. One of my favorites is Angeles Arrien’s interpretation of the Thoth deck in her Tarot Handbook. From her perspective, the ancient wisdom of the Tarot offers an opportunity to see life as a process of “walking the mystical path with practical feet.” Spirit Cards are a form of divination as well, a way of seeking clarity on an issue, and a simple-to-use form of reflection and contemplation to add to your daily practice. 

Oracle cards can be a tool on your journey of self-discovery, a way to inspire and awaken the Light within. For some, they are synchronicity at work through both image and word, allowing the unknown to become known. Open your mind, heart and spirit to the messages you receive and reflect on how they resonate with you. Meant to inspire and offer food for thought, each Spirit Card you choose is the right card for you at that moment. Comes with booklet with instructions and interpretations.

Pre-order Now! Introductory price $25 USD plus shipping. Visit my website to purchase: glenrogersart.com

Special Offer: The first 50 orders received includes a beautiful gold pouch to store your cards!

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The Lotus Weeps: Living in Heart-Breaking Times

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‘Allegory of the Spirit’, oil on canvas, 56″ x 56″

I made a decision a while back that I wasn’t going to post my political views on social media. Most of my friends are on the same page – so there’s no need to preach to the choir. And those who don’t share my politics, some family and friends, mainly from the past, will not be swayed by my posts and in fact may be alienated. So what’s the point? Better to focus on my art and what I consider uplifting words and images.

But there comes a moment when Silence is not the correct response. I am apalled, saddened, embarassed, and disgusted that such blatant racism is still rearing its ugly head in the U.S. That white supremacy has a choke hold on our country. That we have a president who continually encourages racism and applauds violence. This latest incident, the murder of George Floyd, is so despicable it hurts to talk about it. My heart goes out to his family and to the human race.

I was raised in Mississippi and still carry the guilt of my forefathers and mothers. I witnessed racism throughout my childhood from a privileged position and experienced the move from segregation to integration in highschool. After all this country went through in the 60’s, the pain and suffering on both sides, why is there still such rampant inequality and abuse? We are all created equally. I pray for a Martin Luther King, Jr, a ‘Jesus’, a Mother Teresa to deliver us from the mess we’ve found ourselves in. Or maybe its up to us, each one of us, as individuals.

I’ve been looking to some of our great teachers of the day for positive thoughts and hope for the future. These are totally taken out of context and pieced together like a quilt:

From Oprah: Be a Warrior of the Light. Use your gifts to illuminate the darkness in the world. Find a way to serve. Turn your wounds into wisdom.

From Deepak Chopra: With love and action, we can create a new story. What is the vision? Joy, peace, a new humanity. Don’t fight the darkness – Bring on the Light. Live a love-centered life.

From Caroline Myss: We are built for this moment. Every act of goodness counts.

Namaste

Anatomy of a Painting

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Here, my painting, Lotus Unfolding, literally unfolds before your eyes, layer by layer.

In a previous Blog https://artandsacredsites.com/2020/03/18/life-and-art-in-the-time-of-covid-19/ I talked about the painting commission I had during the first couple of months of the Covid Pandemic while I was sheltering in place. I loved having the opportunity to create something special and focus on this large-scale oil painting, 39″ x 77″.

The transformative lotus is an image that I’ve used in my work many times over the years. The petals unfolding never fail to soothe me, to embrace me and to help me transcend the ordinary. You can read more about the Lotus in my book, Symbols of the Spirit: A Meditative Journey Through Art. (https://www.glenrogersart.com/copy-of-books-1)

While working on the painting, I began photographing each step to document my progress. It was meant as a tool for me to study as I went along. So it literally shows how I built the painting – the layering of colors – easing my way towards completion. I hope you enjoy the sequence.

Let me know what you think!

For your Bucket List after the Pandemic Covid-19 breaks.

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We still need to dream! When all this is over, and this too shall pass, there just may be a new normal. Will we be able to travel as freely as before? For that, we shall see. But if you do get to travel, and you want to combine your journey to a beautiful and historic location with art and creativity, here is what I can offer, Monoprint Workshops in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, an Unesco World Heritage site. Dream on! Add it to your Bucket List.

Monoprint Workshops in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with Glen Rogers

http://www.glenrogersart.com

Tranquility – Find your Peace

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Imagine yourself in this landscape – enjoying the night time stillness at water’s edge, full moon shining. Breathe in and experience your inner peace.

“Bird with Moon”, Monoprint, 7″ x 5″

During these strange times, it’s important to stay centered and not give in to FEAR. Fear constricts and immobilizes. Yes, follow the protocols set out for us during our Covid-19 enforced home-stay. But after that, find your peace. Come up with your stay-at-home schedule. Be kind to yourself.

Perhaps this is the time you’ve been craving. The gift of Time!

I’m a list maker (the Capricorn in me!) Make a list of the things you want to accomplish.

Keep a journal. Set out on a journey of self-discovery. Write down your thoughts and feelings each day.

Listen to inspirational podcasts while you are working. Here are a few of my favorites: Caroline Casey, The Visionary Activist; New Dimensions Radio with Justine Toms; Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations; Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

“By the Light of the Moon”, 12”x12”, Oil on panel with gold leaf
Recently created for the Audubon Society of San Miguel auction (new date to be announced)

I would love to hear your comments. How are you dealing with it all?

Wishing you well! Keep your creative juices flowing!

Life and Art in the Time of Covid-19

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Ofcourse the title is a nod to Love in the Time of Cholera  a novel by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. And folks, we are living it – in the here and now – a crisis pandemic in our times. So what’s an artist to do?

I feel lucky that I just received a commission for a large painting. A 3′ x 6 1/2′ canvas. A transformative lotus – an image that I’ve used in my work many times over the years. The petals unfolding never fail to soothe me, to embrace me and to help me transcend the ordinary.

Sketch for Painting

From my book, Symbols of the Spirit: A Meditative Journey Through Art: Incorporating the lotus into my artwork is meant as a spiritual metaphor, not just the image of a beautiful flower. Using simple graphic strokes, I try to capture the hidden aura of the plant and reveal an ethereal side of nature. Jung said that the symbol (any symbol) is the psychological mechanism for transforming energy. Through this simple form, I attempt to transform a blank canvas into something mystical, giving the viewer a spiritual connection through my art.

1. So during this time of uncertainty (and mass histeria!), I will hole-up in my studio and create.

2. I’ve also decided to amp up my spiritual practice and do my yoga and meditation every day (up until now, it was 2 or 3 times a week). But I have plenty of time – so I’m going for it!

3. Pull a Tarot card each day (Also a practice I’ve been doing once a week for many years). Yesterday I pulled 2 of Discs: Change. The only constant and it is cyclic. For the purpose of re-balancing. For revealing to us that which is knowable and that which is unfamiliar. Changes in the External reality – and Internal changes that are expansive and positive.

Today I pulled The Hanged Man: The Pattern Breaker. Somethimes it’s necessary to take a distinctly different posture to get un-stuck. Time to trust the deeper aspects of who we are.

See how these nuggets of wisdom can make us contemplate and go deeper? (These abbreviated readings from Angeles Arriens’ The Tarot Handbook).

I realize this forced social distancing and self quarantine is a hardship for many. Believe me, I’m not trying to make light of the situation we are all in. But what if we thought of our forced home stay as a gift of time? How will you use your gift?

New beginnings – Appyling gesso to the canvas

Celebrate Endings: Reflections on 2019

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“Lady of the Cave V”, Monoprint, 22″ x 14″, 2019

“Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.”
—Jonathan Lockwood Huie


Reflections on 2019

It’s been a great year of art and travel, exhibiting, teaching, curating, learning, sharing with old friends and extended family and making new friends and connections around the world. Some of the highlights of my year:

Exhibiting at La Huipilista Artspace, San Miguel de Allende; in the Poéticas de Arte Contemporáneo, Dolores Hidalgo and Mexico City; and at GAP: Crossing Borders in Ghent, Belgium. Opening (and closing) Galeria Espiral in San Miguel’s Fabrica Aurora gave me valuable exposure, art sales and taught me what I did and did not want.

Publishing my second book, Symbols of the Spirit, gave me the opportunity to expand my audience and to give book talks at La Huipilista Artspace and Camino Silvestre ; Open Ground Studios, Triton Museum of Art and Richmond Art Center (Thanks to CSP!) in California.

Teaching my Monoprint Workshops allowed me to share my techniques and philosophy of art with wonderful artists (this year in my studio in San Miguel and at Open Ground Studios, California).

Curating two more Plastic Madness exhibitions (Casa Europa, San Miguel and Mazatlan Convention Center/Baupres Gallery) extended the message of the global plastic problem and led to upcoming exhibits in Columbia in 2020 (thanks to all the artists and fellow organizers!).

Traveling around Mexico, the U.S. and Europe enriched my life through new inspiration and allowed me to explore, commune & collaborate. Highlights were doing a house exchange and making prints in Sauve, France and a new opportunity for a public art piece outside of Vienna Austria, Throne for a Goddess, (more to come!). And believe it or not, it wasn’t all about art – I attended a very special McCrory family reunion in Kentucky where I re-connected with 25+ family members.

I am grateful that my art serves as a connector and allows me to share a message of honoring Mother Nature and the Sacred Feminine. Through the universal symbols that I’ve focused on for 25 years to my recent Return to the Figure (my upcoming show at Baupres Gallery, Mazatlan in February), the message in my prints, paintings, drawings, artist books and public art remains true and connected to the heart.

A sincere thank you to those who have been with me along my artistic journey!

May your dreams and creativity soar to make our world a better place!