New Finished Artwork
Above is a detail of a recently finished piece called Moon Net. What’s great about being a contemporary mixed media artist is the freedom it affords you to try new things. In this case, all of the leaves and plant pieces are collaged onto a monotype background. This almost gives it the feeling of an appliqued textile. Each leaf and flower is built up with several layers of color, creating a feeling of great depth and detail. It’s as if you’re seeing into the structures of the plants, adding to the mystical mood that I hope to convey.
monotype collage with mixed media, 16 x 12 inches
Bronze Sky Disk of Nebra, Germany, 1600 BCE
The Oldest Lunar Calendar on Earth
32,000 years ago the ancients knew more than most people today about the stars and the phases of the moon
Andreas Cellarius, Harmonia Macrocosmica, 1660. Selenographic diagram depicting the varying phases and appearances of the Moon by (means of) shading.
I’ve been obsessed by the moon for many years, and I’m not alone in the this. The moon appears in images from the very beginning of what we call “art”.
It seems the moon has always had a strong pull on the human psyche. And why not? Next to the sun, it was the brightest light in the sky. Yet, unlike the sun, it grew bigger and then smaller in a fixed pattern, and even seemed to disappear. It had an obvious effect on cycles of the tides. No wonder it seemed magical…
The image above shows the phases of the moon in a month. This is a page taken form a calendar prepared by Sayyid Ahmed b. Mustafa Al-La’li, who presented this calendar to the Sultan Selim II in 1566.
This eighteenth-century engraving of the Moon was published by John Keill, an important disciple of Isaac Newton in his book Introductio ad Veram Astronomiam in 1725.
Moon symbolism runs deep and wide, so I’ll just give you a few highlights here. In most cultures throughtout the world, the moon has represented the female aspect of nature. You could think of it as yin and yang, the moon being the counterpart to the masculine energy of the sun. The moon has been associated with various goddesses throughout many cultures and time periods. The waxing, full, and waning moon are said to represent the Triple Goddess in her personas as Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
The triple Goddess: – 3 phases of woman – Maiden, Mother and Crone as in the myth of Persephone, Demeter and Hekate. Painting by Susan Seddon Boulet.
The moon, with its regular cycles, was important to the ancients as a means of marking time. Lunar calendars have been found in cave paintings and carved on rocks and bones dating back as far as 30,000 years ago. This eventually evolved into our present day system of dividing the year into months, though we no longer strictly follow the lunar cycles.
Because of its effect on the ocean tides, the moon has long been seen as a water symbol.
“Its profound connection to water represents our emotions and the innate depths of our subconscious mind. It powerfully affects the tides on earth as well as female menstruation. In fact, the full moon often naturally induces pregnant women (with their watery womb) to go into labour and give birth.” (http://www.nataliakuna.com/moon-cycles–meanings.html)
Its phases “…remind us that all things on Earth have a natural cycle. Water evaporates from the ocean and falls down again as rain… We are born, mature into adults, age and eventually die, but our children are there to start the cycle over again. Some people believe that the “rebirth” of the moon hints at the renewal of the soul through reincarnation….
Because of the moon’s connection to water and the tides, it is said to represent our emotions and our subconscious mind – what we see on the surface often does not reflect what is going on underneath, nor does it reveal its vast depths.” (https://wootandhammy.com/blogs/news/what-does-the-moon-symbolize-symbols-phases-meaning-triple-goddess)