Hello lovelies, and welcome to week two of the Season of Colour, a week dedicated to the much unloved colour orange. I guess part of the reason for this is that it is too much of a happy colour for me. Nevertheless, when you think about it, it is quite a nostalgic colour: one associated with Halloween, Fall foliage, hearth fires…and, in my mind, the marigold flower.
The marigold flower and a tarot card I pulled this week lead me to explore my first archetype for this week: the Seeker Queen. Marigolds play an important role in El Dia de los Muertos celebrations: their scent and vibrant colours attract the spirits of the dead.
I have always been fascinated by death. Not exactly by death but by what surrounds it: mourning, grief, rituals. I love the material culture associated with how we bury our dead. I’m interested in rituals of mourning and ways to mark or alleviate grief. I am fascinated by funerary rituals from all around the globe and throughout time.
This is what lead me to become an archaeologist and a forensic anthropologist. One of the reasons I am so excited to go to London next month is because a lot of the research I used for my (never completed) doctorate was from Christchurch in Spitalfields. Going there will be a pilgrimage. This is me, at work during a dig in 2004. This work made me feel alive.
This Seeker Queen is the part of me that examines and tries to understand burial practices. The part of me that is touched by what people chose to include in the burial to mark their relationship with the dead. I have seen porcelain dolls, messages in bottles, hair and religious artifacts. I have seen remains buried in fancy coffins and others on simple wooden planks.
I have been in the infant section of cemeteries, where they placed the bones of so many children who passed so young. I have seen people in their finest suits, in army uniforms; I have picked up shoes and boots that had been laced decades earlier. I have seen signs of trauma and disease.
I love to uncover a burial and then I love to wash the bones and then let them speak to me. It is a ritual for me, a mark of respect for that person who lived and for their family who made sure that their loved one’s burial brought rest to their soul. I am grateful that the colour orange has allowed me to revisit this part of me. I drew the skeleton with my Uniball signo and added the pencil markings afterwards. I love the look of the bold black line and the thinner, spidery pencil lines.
The second archetype emerged after I played with my inks following Riet’s tutorial. I didn’t marble any paper but seeing her lovely creations made want to explore a more organic and fluid background. I used lots of water and watched the inks bleed into each other softly.
Meet the Petulant Queen. It’s hard to admit this but it’s like I’m looking in the mirror. This archetype goes hand in hand with my Warrior. If I feel there is an injustice, I will do everything I can to repair it. But sometimes that means keeping tabs on everything and always bringing up the things that bother me about a person or a situation and that is just no good after a while. This spread is also based on the ‘a day in colour’ prompt, as I had a good, petulant-filled day on Thursday. No pity like a pity party!
I had such fun finding the figures in the ink blots. By some sweet serendipity, they went perfectly with the theme. I used lots of copper, it doesn’t show up as well in the photos.
If you are interested in archetypes and art journaling, check out this book by Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli who taught me all I know about approaching you work (and self) this way. I have a spread in this book and…guess what? It is orange! A big phoenix to accompany my Warrior. We also discuss and research archetypes in my Totems class. You can find the link to that class on the sidebar.
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