Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Woman I Saw - II


  1. Your postings are totally cool, ktotten. just me

  2. It was evident before, but now it's undeniable, you have some serious art-chops. I take it you're a professional artist/designer?

    One thing to note about the sketch and the finished painting, is that the woman looks quite alive, with some color in her skin, although you say she was dead in the vision and 'her skin was milky white, pale and smooth'.

    Hm, at first I thought I was just tossing out an unsolicited critical comment, but I realize I'm interested in your process of translating dream/visionary imagery into visual art. I occasionally work with dream imagery (the comic I'm currently serializing revolves heavily around such), and translating that slippery stuff into something solid and visual is always a real struggle.

  3. Justin, I am currently an interactive designer, In previous careers I worked as an architectural designer, and illustrator). Yes this woman was very much alive. Though I saw her dead, I had a very strong sense of her personality of /who she was/ (though I do not really know her identity). I also had the very strong impression she was alive in that particular incarnation, about 30 - 50 thousand years ago. I have no way to verify that; no "words" were spoken. This painting does not illustrate what I saw, but rather, an extension of the person I sensed beyond the death mask, so to speak. It came about almost by accident. I did not set out to paint her (specifically), but rather to create an image of a feminine archetype. As the sketches progressed it became clear I was drawing out of my psyche the very person I had seen in vision about 6 months prior to the execution of this piece.

  4. her path is clear, her bed pristine,
    though her love has drawn her here
    she grieves of life unlived,
    a leaf afloat on endless stream.

    she goes on, where i can't follow;
    my sight is clouded, my heart is dim.
    the leaves enfold her and my sorrow;
    what's left of life... - a dream.

  5. Looks a lot like Colette!

    PS: BTW, what technique did you use for the painting?

  6. Clothes n jewellery from 50 000 years ago?
    This must be nietzsche

  7. The woman in the painting (and sketch) looks a lot like the face on the Statue of Liberty.

    Looking down slightly, strong straight nose, very articulated lips and a low straight brow.

    She has one big ear-ring bead, and five smaller beads.

    Lady liberty has one big Liberty CAP and 5 points.

  8. Mike, to the extent that the statue of liberty represents a feminine archetype, the comparison is apt. Out of curiosity I looked up the wikipedia reference: lady liberty is apparently based on the goddess "Libertas". I have no idea who (specifically) the woman I saw is or was, but I do have the sense that she is connected with the oldest roots of our (human) history.

    Justin, the painting is mixed media: ink, acrylic wash, color pencil, and airbrush.

  9. Kartott: It was Red Pill Junkie who asked about the media used, but thanks!

    Interesting to note that 30-50 thousand years ago was when the first wave of modern humans displaced Neanderthals in Europe. What made you think that's how old she was?

    Not sure how quickly those early Europeans evolved white skin though. And of course they were punted out after the last ice age set in, and I have no clue what cultural links the first wave had to those humans who re-populated Europe after the ice sheets receded.

    That historical/evolutionary stuff makes me wonder about concepts like 'female archetpye' though, because we've been in a morphological flux throughout our evolutionary history. I got a strong classical art vibe off your finished piece, and wonder what a more specific rendering of the original vision would look like. Were you satisfied with the piece as representative of a 'feminine archetype'?

  10. You should make your own Tarot deck. (Pity the person who draws the Cigarette-Smoking "Woman"!)

  11. I wrote about my lady in the water vision recently. I watched a woman step down into a pool of water. She lowered herself in the water up to just below her eyes. She never looked up at me. I watched this 'video' on the back of my eyelids while awake. This left me in a paralyzed state. I haven't had an experience like it since. That was also several years ago.

    Great blog!


© 2009 - 2015 Karen Totten. All rights reserved.