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.
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
Imagine yourself in this landscape – enjoying the night time stillness at water’s edge, full moon shining. Breathe in and experience your inner peace.
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.
Perhapsthis 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.
I would love to hear your comments. How are you dealing with it all?
Wishing you well! Keep your creative juices flowing!
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.
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 agift of time? How will you use your gift?
“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!
On a recent visit to France, I visited one of the last prehistoric caves sites open to the public where one can see authentic paintings from the paleolithic era. The Niaux Grotto is located in the northern foothills of the Pyrenees, just south of the French town of Foix. I made us a reservation months in advance for 1:30 in the afternoon – enough time, I thought, to drive from the small village of Sauve. We booked a rental car and set off – GPS said 3 1/2 hours to get there. It took 4 hours and we barely made our tour! Driving in a foreign country, sometimes on small windy roads, not knowing where we were going or if we would make it on time, added to a slightly stressful adventure.
But we did make it (at 1:15) and it was worth the stress! Like my traveling companion said, this was a once in a lifetime experience. (Actually, this was my third cave visit (See my blogs), but equally exciting. Ofcourse, no photography was allowed and veryone was given a flashlight to maneuver the unlit cave.
Once inside the cathedral like space, I felt a serenity and a connection to the ancients who walked this space 15,000years before us. On the left, a figure of a woman (not a painting- a spirit) greeted me. (This is not in the guide books, folks!) She was there to the left outlined in the gold and white granite rock. I pointed her out to my friend and she saw her as well. This sign of the sacred feminine spoke to me and let her presence known. Perhaps she created some of these drawings and wanted me to know it. Thats my story and Im sticking to it!
As we moved further into the cave, our guide pointed out the beautiful drawings made with black carbon – horses, bison, mountain goat, ibis etc. There was often a layering of images – implying motion and one could tell many hands created these images over time. One never knows what will inspire the artist – in my case it was something even more mysterious and ethereal than the ancient cave drawings themselves. It was the spirit of the cave and perhaps a whisper in my ear…
“Retablo for the Sacred Feminine”, oil on canvas with gold leaf & wood, 25.5″ x 18″
I’m honored to be participating in The CrossingBorders exhibition in Ghent, Belgium, August 31 thru September 15, a group exhibition of artists from the Global Art Project (GAP). We were invited to create an artwork that reflects a border or boundary and what it means to cross it – (political issues, globalisation, (im)migration, climate change, gender, race, culture, religious racism, terrorism, genocide, war, misogynist behavior, feelings of fear or superiority etc.)
I chose to use a retablo format and focus on how women have been marginalized, tortured, terrorized, and abused for thousands of years in the name of religion. Through time, matriarchy was erased from memory as myths were appropriated and symbols were stolen. With this votive, a prayer is lifted for women to break through patriarchal boundaries around the world and share the bounty of the planet equally and peacefully with men.
Traditionally, retablos were a votive offering in the form of a religious painting with a solemn request or a show of gratitude for a miracle. They were specifically important in Mexican folk religion in the 19th century where workshops would paint a favored scenario on a piece of tin or wood and write a request to God at the bottom of the image.
Using this retablo format as the basis for my piece, I chose to focus on Mary as she represents the divine feminine in the Catholic Church. For many indigenous cultures who were forced into the religion of the Opressor, Mary is a symbol for their goddess from ancient times.
In “Retablo for the Sacred Feminine,” Mary is crowned in all her glory with a golden halo and a hint of angels wings behind her. She is truly Divine. Her breasts are bared, challenging the status quo and breaking through the shame that the Church imposed on her body. One hand open signifies her love and caring for all humanity and the other, a tight fist, represents her anger for the suppression of women and her readiness for their defense. Incorporating the spiral and the lozenge design at the top, symbols of renewal and fertility from the Neolithic goddess culture, signifies her role as life-giver.
The CrossingBorders exhibition will take place at the Sint-Amanduskapel – Campo-Santo – Visitatiestraat 2 – 9040 Sint-Amandsberg – Ghent – Belgium. It is organized for Global Art Project GAP by 10dence and curated by Ron Weijers and Carl Heyward.
You will want to savor your time with this gorgeous volume created with love and wisdom by very talented printmaker, painter and sculptor, Glen Rogers. The book is filled with Glen’s beautiful artwork expertly laid out and printed in rich colors, accompanied by short text and guided meditation.
Glen’s work has long been grounded in archetypal imagery—metaphysical symbols from the collective unconscious. As a young feminist artist, Marija Gimbutas’ insights in The Language of the Goddessspurred Glen to walk in the footsteps of early goddess cultures. Over the next several decades Glen made spiritual and artistic pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world. On these journeys and in her art and life in between, Glen discovered and nurtured an internal resonance with sacred archetypal symbols, which then became a focus of her work. When she began authoring this latest volume, she set out to write a book about two of her favorite symbols: the bird and the lotus. Once she began, however, she quickly realized there were eight key symbols that appear again and again throughout her body of work.
In Symbols of the Spirit Glen writes a two-page essay on each of these eight symbols that have imbued such meaning and beauty into her art and daily life: the bird, circle, lotus, moon, seed, spiral, vessel and vesica piscis. She covers the symbols’ historic use and meaning as well as how they came to speak to her personally. Glen includes a short meditation or experiential activity inviting the reader to connect with the energetic properties of each of the symbols: to “experience it with your heart and allow the images to become part of your visual and spiritual vocabulary.” Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.
The effect is one of pure joy and thoughtful contemplation. If you are looking for reading that nurtures the spirit, the heart, one’s creativity and authenticity, you will find it here. Merely touching the rich pages deepens and calms one’s breath. Keeping this book near you in your home or work space provides a quick escape from the harried world we live in.
Most Mazatlán residents have much to thank Glen for, including the First Friday Art Walks in Centro Histórico and the OMA Gallery at the airport. She owned Luna Art Gallery in Mazatlán, and currently splits her time between our city on the bay and San Miguel de Allende. Born in Mississippi, Glen holds an MFA from San Jose State University and has a long and esteemed art career. For decades she worked in public art and as a community leader. Glen has had solo exhibitions throughout the USA and Mexico plus several in Peru, and group exhibits on four continents.
Glen feels that these eight archetypal symbols offer a promise of healing and transformation, a spiritual and artistic anchor to the Sacred Feminine. She views the creation of art as meditation—a communing with a higher power. Working with ancient symbols provides a bridge to our ancestors and a heart connection to the past. Glen’s experience tells us that these symbols provide healing on a subconscious level, and that once we’ve healed ourselves we can heal the world, because archetypes allow us to go deeper inside to find new truths to the dilemmas we face individually and collectively. Do we really need reasons more powerful than these to invest our time and talent?
Glen’s record of giving back to the community and trying new things is evident in this book. Making such personal works available to everyone—artist and non-artist alike—allows us a peek into what pushes someone as amazingly talented as Glen, and in doing so inspires us to look inward as well. Meditating with Glen via these precious pages is a truly therapeutic endeavor. Contact Glen to start enjoying your copy.
“The man who speaks with primordial images speaks with a thousand tongues.” —Carl Jung
I was recently invited by curator Maximiliano Grego to be in a group exhibition, Poeticas del Arte Contemporaneo, in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato at the Bicentenario Museo. Each artist was given a them, usually a poem to inspire their work. I was given the theme of the Otomi women (indigenous to the area) and their tradition of stamping their tortillas for fiestas and special occasions – perfect for me since I recently returned to the figure. “Los Tesoros del Pueblo” was the result. I used real stamps for the tortilla designs I had bought previously.
My artist statement:
I hold an image in my mind’s eye of women at the hearth. It’s an ancient universal vision that transcends local culture and is found in every corner of the world. Women cooking at the heart of the home or working over a communal fire is a traditional theme. She, as giver of life, provides strength and cohesiveness to the family and the community in many ways. In ‘Los Tesoros del Pueblo’, her arms encircle an offering of sustenance and healing. In Mexico, tortillas, central to each meal, remain a treasure of the culture.
I was told that in ancient times, the Otomi were a
matrilineal culture and they worshipped the moon as the highest deity. Mother Earth was also celebrated for the
bounty of her harvest. As in many cultures, it’s the women who keep the stories,
the traditions and the symbols alive. The tortilla, a small round shape, patted
out by hand is itself an archetype – the circle, a symbol of wholeness and
The Otomi women embellish their tortillas with designs
using sacred imagery. Each family has its own seal carved out of wood from the
mesquite tree and the dark purple dye from the muicle plant is used to stamp
the images. These circular woodcut designs are passed down from generation to
generation and used to print the tortillas for special celebrations and fiestas.
It is a testament to the Otomi women that this ritual remains alive to honor
the ancestors and preserve ancient traditions.
As an artist, I take my inspiration from symbols and artefacts that honor women and the divine feminine from cultures around the world. My two books document these influences on my art: Art & Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place and Symbols of the Spirit: A Meditative Journey Through Art.
Glen Rogers – New Works – Opening at Galeria Espiral, Fabrica Aurora, San Miguel de Allende Saturday April 6, 5-7pm and for the month of April
With these new paintings and prints, I honor women and the sacred feminine . With each new life passage, she has a desire to be heard and respected. Women share an inherent strength to face challenges in the present, demons from the past, and uncertain futures. In Her Story and Black Madonna, mothers, sisters, and daughters display the power of the feminine. While they radiate independence, they also acknowledge the arbitrary barriers and obstacles that women often encounter. These women stand at the threshold of their lives and hold a shared wisdom as divine creators.
The return to the figure began in September when I went to Morocco for an artist residency. I planned on pursuing symbols inspired by Moorish design but something shifted, as often happens when I travel and create in a new locale. To my surprise, the figure reappeared – this time in the form of Islamic women in their head dresses and jallabas – with a series of prints, Anonymous in Morocco. (Read my blog on Morocco here: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/artandsacredsites.com/1626). This new direction was not a conscious choice – yet these figures showed themselves and transformed my imagery to figurative after more than 25 years of working symbolically.
Contact me for prices or more information: firstname.lastname@example.org