Wow it has been a while since I have posted my own artwork! I am rounding out my final semester in classes for grad school, the next step is to write a thesis and hopefully be finished in August. My thesis will be studio-based and basically be an exploration into the paintings I have been creating. The following are pieces that have been created since my last Art By Ms. K post (way back in May). Enjoy!
HEART IN HAND
This piece is about wearing your heart on your sleeve. I know many people who are willing to share their heart with another but I believe that you must be whole before you can attempt to give your heart away. This is also a reminder to practice kindness and thoughtfulness everyday and live with love and light.
This circuit board design was inspired by two experiences with a labyrinth. When I travelled to San Francisco and Portland earlier this year, I had two maze like experiences. The first was on the high cliffs above the sea where a small area had been used for a labyrinth made of rocks. As we walked around and around and made twisty turns in the path we could feel the wind from the bay and see the bridge in the distance. It was just one of those moments when you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. The second maze came in the form of a Pac Man game played in Portland which turned out to be a true battle royale. Pac Man in particular is especially meaningful to me because it is how my parents met. So this piece is all about life’s pathways and how you are exactly where you are meant to be.
This dreamcatcher was made with ceramics, glaze, silver wire, and natural gemstones. I have a dream catcher hanging above my bed that my cousin made for me when I was little. I always believed it protected me from bad dreams. I created this dream catcher to protect from disease. The main circle has white blood cells carved into it. White blood cells are the protectors of the body. The next circle shows a hamsa hand with an evil eye to ward off negativity. the last circle has a prism which catches light and positivity. The stones and materials are all earthy and reflect the way that humans are connected to the earth on a molecular level.
This piece illustrates the mystical honey bee: messenger between the spiritual and physical world. I love scientific illustrations and this piece features a honey bee. There is a key hole in the bee to represent the mystery of the bees disappearing. Though it seems like something small, the effects of this phenomenon could have extreme consequences on the overall ecosystem.
I was inspired to make a bee by a book I read in which a beekeeper used a honey bee as a messenger between worlds which simultaneously represented loss and growth. This idea is reflected in the depiction of the vertebral bone (representing decay) and the flower (representing growth).
In the middle is a sacred geometry symbol known as Metatron’s Cube or the Flower of Life. Not only is this symbol beautiful but it is constructed by a seemingly endless repetition of shapes much like the cycle of growth and decay of all living things.
My secret language motif is present to remind the viewer that there are still mysteries of nature yet to be solved.
This piece was inspired by a walk through the forest. Walking on the paths by the river near my home is one of my favorite things to do. One day I was walking and all of a sudden a fox darted across the path in front of me. It was so cool to see because it is so rare to see such a large animal on that part of the trail.
It made me think about animals and humans and the idea of a “spirit animal.” It is said that your spirit animal appears to you in a dream or vision and often reappears in times of need. For me this has always been a rabbit and it made me think of the dichotomy of predator vs. prey. I think that we all have this yin-yang within us and work to balance it. For some it is a balance of introvertedness and extrovertedness, for some is it simply good vs. evil. With this painting I wanted to show that when we hold our dual natures in balance, harmony and peace is achieved.
I painted this after a camping trip. We camped next to a river with a bunch of mossy rocks poking out of the bubbling water. When we first got there the rocks were covered with hundreds of butterflies floating around. It was so magical and surreal. They were not luna moths but it made me think about the first time I saw one of these unearthly creatures.
This spacey Daruma represents perseverance and brings luck. I painted this in response to some news of a change which at the time really rocked my world. The Daruma is a Japanese object created by a monk to help people reach their goals. When you get one you color in one eye and think about the goal you want to achieve. When you reach your goal, you color in the other eye. In this way the Daruma “watches” you succeed. The goal I had in mind when I created this was to remain positive and continue trying my best throughout the rest of the school year.
The Japanese characters are traditional and read Okiagari which means “get up” and “arise.” Sometimes the phrase Nanakorobi (seven times down, eight times up) is also inscribed on a Daruma to show that any obstacle can be overcome with positivity and perseverance.
This piece also represents harmony though the Japanese expression of A-un. This concept is about harmony and balance which can be represented as simply as an inhale and exhale. This ties into my practice of yoga and breathing as a calming mechanism as well as a way to stay balanced.
This painting shows a map of the temporary settlement of Black Rock City which exists for a week every year and is known as Burning Man. I had the opportunity to participate in the experience in what I hope is the first year of many. To say the experience was incredible is an understatement and one I will always cherish. I wanted to capture the surrealism of it all with this piece and also think about what kind of installation art I would contribute if I had time/money/resources/knowledge to do so.
I think it would be really cool to have a giant glowing/metallic/reflective orb or disc that reflects the viewer. Here that is pictured as the entire city but in real life it would just reflect whoever is standing there and maybe have some kind of reference to the geometry of the city. Burning Man can be a very self-reflective experience and I think that looking into an enormous mirror in the middle of the desert would be a simultaneously dream-like and reality-bound experience.
The simplicity of the mountains and sky show how simple the land out there is – until there is a tremendous dust storm! The lines and galaxy in the orb are to represent the contrast between the serene landscape and the frenzied energy of all of the different people and experiences that exist there only ephemerally.
These two are part of the Jumble Tribe. This is basically a visualization of what the inside of my brain looks like so I suppose you could call it a type of meta-abstract self portrait! For me, doodling is a completely meditative experience. I created these as a way to find harmony within and try and de-stress.
I remember getting in trouble for doodling all throughout my schooling years and even today I cannot sit in a meeting, training, or class without a pen in my hand and a paper to doodle on. I have always been a kinetic learner and need to move and do to learn. I use this to my advantage with my students and in my teaching. I strive to be a teacher who caters to different learning styles and provide plenty of opportunities for all types of learners to shine.
This piece really has no deep or spiritual meaning and only exists for the sole purpose of being aesthetically pleasing.
This painting is about self-love. When you look in the mirror do you radiate positivity, love and light or self doubt? In this day and age we are bombarded constantly with a visual culture that has very specific requirements for what constitutes as “beauty” and it can be hard to see and even harder not to compare yourself.
I believe that everyone is beautiful and that the best gift you can give yourself is self-love and confidence. the figure in this piece is receiving just that from a reflection. The gold mirror and leaves represent a rich growth through this discovery of self. Haters gonna hate but you can do anything you set your mind to when you treat yourself with respect!
So this piece is a little bit darker and that is because it is a response to something that is not my usual subject matter of love and light and positivity. I recently attended a lecture by an art educator who promotes responses to current events with her students. She asked “How many tragedies have we seen? How many more will we see?”
I was reminded of this when I heard about the recent attacks on Paris. Having just turned 28 I thought about all of the tragedies I have seen and felt sorrow for how many more I will probably see.
There is a Grateful Dead lyric that says “wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world” and I feel like that is really true these days especially with the ability to instantly share and respond on social media. We are all viewers of the experiences shared on Earth. These eyes in the painting have seen a lot and are heavy with visions of tragedy. They represent those affected directly and those who witnessed from a distance. Anybody who felt and feels saddened by the sickness of terrorism.
Though this painting is dark I feel that there is hope. I see it every day in my classroom and promote it through character development and a culture of caring. I truly believe that today’s students can grow up to become kind and responsible adults who will crusade for positivity and kindness.
I hope that you, dear reader are inspired to live with love and light and practice being kind and caring. Until next time,
❤ Ms. K.
*** All images are the intellectual property of Mollie Katzin and may not be reproduced, republished, distributed, transmitted, displayed, broadcast or otherwise exploited in any manner without the express prior written permission of the artist ***