Sunday, 30 June 2013

A Tale Of Three Artists: Introduction

I could remain immersed in Ancient Kemetic art for eternity
As the probability of pulling together an exhibition of my work becomes more likely, I wanted to share with my readers some inspiration in the form of other artists that paint Kemetic themes.

Inspiration is such a valuable and precious thing; many take it for granted, but I take it as whispers from the Netjeru themselves. To say that the three I will highlight in the next few weeks inspire me is an understatement. Their gift for interpreting Netjer and expressing the Divine as art leaves me speechless, actually. So writing about it will be challenging.

My paintings “come to me” pretty well as they end up, but along the way glimmers of wonderfulness come along that enhance, tweak or sometimes even fortify a direction I have chosen in a work in the form of the art that I admire of others.

A look through Deviant Art will inform you how much the wonder and mystery of Ancient Egypt serves as inspiration to many artists out there, but the three that I have chosen are artists that I feel resonate strongly  – if not actually connect – with the Netjeru themselves.

It is not the first time that I have featured artists on my blog (see my Jeff Cullen and Joan Lansberry posts) And I doubt it will be the last. (More Joan Lansberry here and here).

Stay tuned good readers: Part 1 is but days away!

Beautiful Nefertum! Beautiful, beautiful Nefertum! I look at an image like this and know deep in every part of all of my souls why I am only interested in painting Kemetic themes.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Artist As Beloved Of Heru And Set

The Artist As Beloved Of Heru And Set, acrylic on canvas 48" x 36"

This painting began as a sketch last year and began translation to canvas in January this year. It was completed June 20, 2013. It combines many themes and many Netjeru and is my most complex painting to date.

If I am developing a style (and I like the term Neo Kemetic that my friend Ptahmassu suggested) I think this may epitomize it: how more modernising of the Kemetic can I get by including myself in a painting with the Netjeru?

The painting shows 7 Netjeru: Heru, Set, Nut, Geb, The Aton, Shu and Tefnut. Auset is not represented per se but her influence inspired many of the amulet icons and the purple background.

The image is meant to evoke a modern stained glass window and a “religious” feel as a result of that.

Heru and Set are presenting my Ka with the life force via the ankhs, and this central triptych is heavily inspired by the coronation statue of Ramesses III – a statue I stood next to, examined, and was completely entranced by when I visited the Cairo museum in November 2010.

A visit elsewhere on that same trip inspired this painting in an unexpected way also. It occurred to me when visiting the Coptic Museum in Cairo that the Christianised images of the Netjeru would be the last images to be created of Them for some two thousand years, or at least until the Rosetta Stone began to open our eyes to Ancient Egypt again. For this reason, the uraeus surmounted sun disks that Heru and Set wear are featured lower to appear more like halos. It is interesting that the inherent Kemeticness of the symbols do not get lost by doing so.

The amulet images featured were included after a revelation, as do the inclusion of Shu and Tefnut – barely perceptible in the top corners in the beyond realms of Nut’s stretch.

The four colour paneling at the sides framing the piece are lifted directly from Kemetic wall paintings and art.

The painting heralds a personal understanding for me of myself in a Kemetic context. The Artist As Beloved Of Heru And Set is acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36”

May my Ka be blessed by Them for eternity

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Divine And The Human

I awoke from my afternoon nap today (I usually take afternoon naps because of my long day work schedule and the nature of my work itself) to be greeted by the wonderful image below in my kitchen household "shrine".

The little "shrine" that sits on my kitchen bench: Ra Heruakhty, Anpu, Bastet and my Kemetic name canvas, which I created as a test for an upcoming work where I am trying to get a granite look

The glorious afternoon light of Ra was particularly strong for the winter that we are having, and it lit the back of the little canvas featuring my Kemetic name in such a way as to highlight the Set glyph and the man glyph.

This reminds me very much about recent meditations and pondering on that very subject: the human and the Divine. How can I balance these elements of myself and live an effective fulfilling life that honours the path before me and that of the Netjeru?

An answer came from my wonderful new friend Ptahmassu this week, who suggested that I treat every mundane act like it was an act of honouring Netjer. I did this, and my first client for the day stepped in and remarked how amazingly clean the place was (I had cleaned it no better than I usually do, so she was picking up on the heka that was generated with the cleaning as I cleaned I believe).

This shift in thinking changed my approach and made my downstairs work place amazing indeed. It also felt good to do - it offered more of a purpose to the act of cleaning.

Who knows why we are as we are (our humanity)? But it does not stop us remembering and honouring the Divine within and without as our lives unfold.

Thankyou Ptahmassu!