Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calliope, Part V: The Muse Inspires

Calliope, the Muse
The original Calliope was a figure from Greek myth. One of Zeus’ many bastard daughters, she was also the eldest of the Muses; demigoddesses that inspired mortals to create divine works of art.

Calliope (pronounced “Kah-LYE-a-pee”) was the Muse of Eloquence and Heroic Poetry, and is credited with inspiring Homer to write the classical epics The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Now here we were, feverishly creating, dreaming of adventures, and I was yearning to tell our story, to share our enthusiasm, to visually express our selves and desires with brilliant color and graceful form. I wanted to paint the Heroic Poetry of Us.
Surely our patron Muse was smiling upon us.
Thus began my love affair with symbols.
Now, I had dabbled in such things before, I have several books on the subject and a basic appreciation for the topic. I’d even done art pieces in a similar vein before. But working on Calliope led me into a whole new world of wonder.
Having the vast library of the internet at my fingertips, I began to seek out ways to visually express the ideas I wanted to incorporate into Calliope. I began to research symbols from diverse cultures and philosophies from all over the world, throughout history. I began to bring them together, combining and entwining them, creating visual messages written in a global language comprised of the entirety of human experience and expression.
I really felt I was tapping into something very special and very powerful. I still do. It’s very exciting. I plan to dedicate much of this blog to sharing my explorations of this artistic path.
"The Garden"
The result of my initial foray into this new art method was The Garden, an elaborate piece that covers Calliope’s driver’s side wall.
Within this mobile canvas, I managed to squeeze in: Freedom, Love, Art, Joy, Wonder, Gratitude, A shaman’s eye, a circumpunct, an Endless Knot, a Chinese shou, the World Triad, an Om symbol, a heart, a sun, a double rainbow, a yin-yang, an Eye of Horus, a Claddagh, a peace sign, an ankh, our zodiac signs, a triskellion, a spiral, a pentagram, an infinity sign, a sunwheel swastika, a Vajra Cross, a Maori fish hook symbol, a double spiral, a Seed of Life, a key, a lock, a butterfly, a ladybug, a serpent, a selection of Ogham Tree Runes, a selection of I-Ching ideograms, a couple of adinkra symbols, and 4 phrases: “Prosperity to All” (in Latin), “Safe Journey” (In Sanskrit), “To Life!” (in Hebrew), and “Eat, Drink and Be Merry!” (in Gaelic).
Symbol Key to 'The Garden'
Here’s a more comprehensive guide:
While I’m happy with this piece, I don’t consider it a great masterpiece. I don’t even consider it one of my better artistic endeavors. However, I do feel that this piece marks a pivotal point for me, creatively.
My Muse, Calliope, had set me on a path that I have followed with passion and growing proficiency ever since.
(Continued in Part VI...)

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