Yantras are covered in detail in The Gateway Series books and I also recommend the book Yantra by Madhu Khanna.
|Karen L French||
Alchemical Art is transformative, changing anyone who works with them. This can happen merely by looking at the artwork or being in its proximity. Each piece is contained within the sacred space of its boundaries and is a fusion of the dynamics of geometric forms, emotive colours and one or more of the Classical Elements. The latter may be symbolically represented in the image or made out of specific materials due to their symbolism or vibration. In this instance crystals were placed on four paintings of my alchemical art paintings to incorporate their qualities. The results were stunning to look at and to work with. It would have been interesting to add further Elements, such as bowls of water and burning essence for air and fire, and also to use sound to activate them.
Each of the alchemical art crystal grids were made by some participants of a crystal group run by Karin Bain. Karin has written an e-book called Networking With Crystals that will soon be available in paper form as well.
Crystal grids take many forms, they can be simple, intricate or complete. Invariably there is sacred geometry in their layout and so they are actually a yantra, or "thought form", the principle of all man-made sacred geometry artworks and structures. By adding the vibrations of specific crystals the crystal grid yantra becomes a pulsating vehicle for connecting your Mind to the underlying basis of reality. The effects are very personal.
Yantras are covered in detail in The Gateway Series books and I also recommend the book Yantra by Madhu Khanna.
Any sacred site using sacred geometry and specific earth materials brings additional vibrational qualities to their function and use. For example, Stonehenge and its bluestone rocks that were deliberately brought a great distance for their vibrational purposes. In the aerial image below notice how the central stone grid is enclosed within a larger Circle. It is part of a larger site that has several smaller yantra that all work together. This sacred structure is a huge crystal yantra that still has the capacity to draw thousands of people to it.
It was a unique experience painting with acrylics in torrential rain showers during this year's En-Plein in Windsor. As painting en-plein is a rare experience for me I took improvised rain cover, which was not sufficient for the heavy rain and wind. Regulars had an array of quite amazing kit that kept them dry, such as an umbrella with a zip-on sheet to make a cosy shelter.
My painting was literally washed off twice, as I battled to dry it in-between each downpour. So instead I did a high speed pen drawing but it got to the point that my hands were so cold they were shaking. Another shower and more wind send me packing to the welcome shelter of Windsor town centre. My resulting piece is not polished but I like the ghostly image of a smaller shadowed castle within the larger drawing. At the beginning, in the sunshine, I was going to do a smaller castle with its windows and more of the formal east garden, but soon realised I wasn't going to have sufficient time outside to complete so much detail.
It is a rare privilege to be able to go into the east gardens of Windsor Castle. These are the Queen's private gardens where she walks her corgis. A dog bowl of water by the stairs was a reminder of this. I chose to paint in these gardens because of the formal geometry used in their design.
These three images are (left to right): Canvas ready to go, my view through scaffolding, stock image of the east gardens.
These pictures are my washed off painting on the left to which I added some colour.
This year all the entrants' paintings were displayed under cover in the Windsor shopping area by the station. A line of easels ran along the shop front windows and made a very interesting display. Many people had a close look and voted on their favourite painting.
Overall a throughly enjoyable day as it was artistically challenging and sociable.
Archetypal symbolism using a variety of geometric shapes is ancient, stretching back to the dawn of man's earliest artworks as seen in petroglyphs around the world. Our ancestors’ simple drawings on rocks and artefacts gave tangible form to the harmonious patterns of life and the intangible order uniting the Universe. They give 'form to the formless' and are abstract expressions of the science manifesting reality.
Ueshiba Morihei (founder of aikido):
Down the generations all cultures have used simple shapes such as these and they, like Zen artists, had the same profound understanding that the simple patterns shaping the Universe were themselves sacred and empowered. Other examples, used extensively in my books, are yantras and mandalas. Tantra Yoga is the path of union with the Absolute through geometric visualization in Tantric Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Central to Tantrism are elaborate and precise geometric patterns, known as mandalas or yantras, some of which are thousands of years old. In this tradition the triangle, circle and square were significant Vedic forms which symbolised spirituality, evolution and the Earth respectively. Additionally in both Indian and Japanese esoteric teachings, such as Mikkyo, these shapes represent earth (square), water (circle) and fire (triangle).
Simple shapes embodying intricate complexity, the circle, square and triangle structure and bind the 3 profound concepts of time (evolution: Mind, serenity and perfection:water), space (Earth:Body:earth) and being (spirituality:solidity and applied control:fire). The empty circle, the vessel for all geometry shapes, when totally empty is the essence of enlightenment.
Here is my version of these timeless concepts:
All ready for Bucks Open Studios 2017!
A wonderful space for exhibiting a large selection of my art, cards and books.
Set within my exhibition is a display of, bespoke milliner, Tracy Field's beautiful creations.
I even managed to find an alcove in which to work, so I am really enjoying myself.
'Brush With Fame' on Sunday 28th May 2017 - a tremendous initiative by the Bucks Open Studios organisers to encourage people to visit artists studios in the coming weeks. I was one of the lucky artists to be there, in Milton Keyes, painting Michael Praed's portrait over 4 hours.
After the first hour of nerves I settled into the process (it has been many, many years since I last did a portrait). It was wonderful that so many people, including other artists, really appreciated my unusual approach to doing his portrait as an abstract painting using mixed media (acrylic, liquid water colour).
Watch this space, more portraits to come...
Here we go
The end result
Wishing everyone a very happy 2017
2 + 1 + 7 = 10 the Divine Light
The end (01...10) is also the beginning, it is the eternal Moment.
In astrology the 'Wheel of Fortune' works with the 'Star' so we have a year filled with hope and optimism. As we start a new cycle of the numbers the Wheel turns and brings in a new 9 year cycle.
'Follow Your Star' and in every eternal moment be centered, fully conscious of your dreams and choices as they influence the direction of your path and circles you move in. Fill your Self with light and be like a radient star. Shine through the veils of illusion to reveal your true Self to the world.
Every image I create is imbued with symbolism - sacred geometry of shapes and patterns, light and colours, flowers, animals, Gods & Goddesses… All are visual expressions of the science manifesting reality. Images for connecting into with your Mind to enhance your experience of reality. To see more in my abstract and conceptual art look beyond the surface images and think of them as a 'thought forms' to blend into and work with.
I often post one of my pieces with a short interpretation and insight for that day. As examples here are a couple that I posted on my facebook page in December 2016. Enjoy!
Infinity and Emotions
Emotions colour our lives. Every time you are triggered by events in your life to feel blue (sadness), see red (anger, hate), feel green (with envy).... they happen to reflect back and show you the inner work you need to do along the Spiral path towards the inner, central Self where unconditional Joy is experienced.
Look at the subtle images within the paintings, which were not created intentionally. For example I see a swan at the centre. Swans symbolise grace, the awakening power of the inner Self, balance, inner beauty and the 'rising glory' of a new day.
As 2017 approaches here is a thought for the new year. Allow your potential to unfurl to reveal you in all your splendour. Awaken your senses, exeperience the colours of life and learn from them.
Up the Hill! was the result of 5 hours of non-stop painting and a 4pm dead-line. It was intense! Unfortunately I didn't manage to finish but was close enough. Having painted abstract and conceptual for a few years it was strange to be painting a structured building again.
I was on Tower Hill (red X on map) and positioned myself in shade for most of the day; many other artists boiled in the sun and there were a few of cases sunburn.
A pop-up exhibition followed and presentation of prizes by the Windsor Mayor. All the artists were treated to a delicious buffet and drinks. It was great fun and I look forward to next year!
INDONESIA - Solo River banks in Java
Excavated in the 1890s, the site in Java revealed bones of what appeared to be an ancient human, surrounded by animal remains and shells dated between 1m - 700,000 years old. Similar fossils have since been found in Africa and elsewhere in Asia. Palm-sized shells found alongside the body's are very interesting as they are decorated with abstract geometric patterns. These are the earliest evidence of abstract art.
AFRICA - Blombos caves ochre
The Java art is very similar to the 70,000 year old ochre etchings found in the Blombos cave Africa. This astonishing cave is home to a veritable stash of art materials. Read more here.
These first examples of abstract art are similar to the triangular Grid of Life, and basis of what it is 'to be', a design that is found in the symbolic systems of every culture and also in nature. 3 creation, 6 fertility and 9 maturation - this is the trinity of numbers linked to the Grid of Life.
GUSTAVE KLIMT was a pioneering symbolist artist of art nouveau whose style was controversial due to its erotic elements. Symbolism, including that of geometric shapes, was used extensively and overtly in his art. Never subtle, he used symbolism imaginatively in a way that generated criticism since he was so far ahead of the time period. Klimt is best known for the style of his later works, which includes the use of gold paint/leaf, abstract space in the art and exotic symbolism of the female figure.
The Tree of Life (above), symbolic of the union of Heaven and Earth, is a well known Klimt masterpiece. This stunning painting is full of geometry in the patterning and in its underlying structure. The figure for 'Anticipation' (left hand side) has triangles directing you to look at her face, which itself is looking at a desired future of 'Fulfilment'. Symbolically triangles are associated with eyes and directed intent. The embracing figures of 'Fulfilment' (right hand side) are united in an oval. Note the yin/yang male/female faces and within the robes. There are interesting geometric patterns within the males robe, such as the square grid. Dynamic spirals of the 'Tree of Life's' branches unwinding enfold the two sides and also, like a labyrinth, tell the story of life as it progresses.
Click here for a more analysis of the painting by Samui Art Gallery.
Golden Adele Bloch Bauer is the most famous portrait by Klimt. You will note how the head, with eyes, is at the top of an underlying implied triangle in the structure. Eyes within vesica piscae, themselves within triangles, are in a pillar and the triangles point towards the top, head. An Eye in a triangle symbolises our mind frozen in a physical body; the eye of the expansive Mind looks out of the triangular window into a reality perceived by the 3-Eyes (two physical ones and the third inner eye). Spirals of manifestation surround her head, much like those of Buddha. In the background squares of the physical realm provide strength and stability.
Gateway to the Heavens
'Do you realise you actually shape your destiny and shapes influence your destiny. If you want to understand how this works ask Karen to give a talk about it or read her excellent book. You may have hated even the mention of geometry at school, but Karen's simple and illustrated explanations will give you a real insight into this fascinating topic.'
The Hidden Geometry of Life
'The attentive audience was enthralled by Karen's introduction to the principals of this truly multi-dimensional topic ... The energy in the room, by the end of the evening, was well and truly charged!'