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.
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?
The motivation for this blog is to share my journey to sacred sites around the world. I write from the perspective of an artist – not as a scientist or an archeologist. I take pilgrimages to these incredible sites as a way to connect with spirit of place, to walk in the footsteps of the ancestors, to see the symbols carved in stone and painted on cave walls first-hand. I stand in awe and bask in the mystery of what once was and what is left behind.
As a visual artist, I take my inspiration from these journeys. I’m a painter, printmaker, sculptor – an expat living in Mazatlan, Mexico. Originally from Mississippi, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Mexico. I’ve always got lots of work going on in the studio, currently I am working on paintings inspired by the ‘vesica piscis’, a form in sacred geometry that is prominent in my work. It is a feminine shape formed by 2 interlocking circles – the womb, the divine mother. (watch for a future blog on this symbol) Also in the works is a bronze sculpture for the City of Mazatlan, ‘Aleteo’, with imagery of flora and fauna from the area. (More about this soon!) My prints are currently inspired by the Nazca Lines in Peru (see one of my earlier posts.)
In addition to my own artwork, I also teach printmaking workshops to locals and international artists in my studio in Mazatlan as well as take artists on ‘Art Vacations’ to other great cities like Oaxaca and Guanajuato. I’m planning the next one for Peru and should be great!
Art and Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place, book of my journeys and artwork
In May 2014, I published a book, Art and Sacred Sites: Connecting with Spirit of Place, about my journeys and inspirations. (Available through my website: www.glenrogersart.com) I was motivated to produce the book when I realized there was a pattern to my travels over the last twenty years – I would visit a sacred site, then return to the studio to create a body of work. I have sought out sites around the world that held meaning and fascination for me from the Temple of Knossos in Crete to Uluru in Australia.
Although I have kept a journal for many years, writing the text for the book was a challenge – but one I came to enjoy. Now that it is in print, I realize I enjoyed the writing and feel the need to continue to share my experiences through this blog. I would love to connect with other artists, adventurers or armchair travelers who share my fascination with the ancients – with those who have come before us.