So here are the first of the fire dragons as they emerged. It's been an interesting journey. Part of which has involved reconnecting with old images in new ways to bring a different feel to them. The other two images that grew out of this fiery connection are completely new and completely different. For me they represent a release into more of my own instinct, substance and freedom and I allowed myself to relax and flow a lot more in the drawing. I'm really excited to share them with you and one has already led to an oil painting commission inspired from the digital painting! I hope that you can get a sense of a thread of fiery energy running through them. I might add some colour to the ink drawings at some point too.
Alongside this has been the transformation of the Alder branch into a rune/ogham disc. In the middle/material/ social world there have also been lots of experiences that I have been attending to in order to get these images from the cosmos through my mind, onto paper and then onto the screen/ available for sale. I'm really engaging for the first time with the dilemmas that face any artist trying to survive in the material world. I've set up a red bubble sitewhere you can access prints, cards and other items with my images on. I've also set up a Facebook page for Unspeakable Arts where I will post from this blog and my Portfolio blog. If you'd told me a few years ago I'd be doing all these things I probably would have argued with you or maybe had a panic attack. I see the Red Bubble site as a stepping stone to setting up an online shop locally. The advantages for independent artists are that you still own your images and you don't have to outlay for prints and products that may or may not sell. It means as well that the products are made to order so I guess that's a small ethical tick. Sadly they don't offer a recycled or sustainable range but that's something I could engage with and in future I hope to set a more local and value based way of exchanging around my creativity.
It's a strange time. I feel like one of the fire dragon energies is around boundaries. Relating respectfully around other people's living edges and finding out and making space for our own dreams, needs and limits. This is a really scary challenge and a really alive process - it's not something you can get in a neatly wrapped box with a label that stays the same. What feels comfortable and easy for me one day, or even minute is really difficult the next, my boundaries change depending on who I am with and where I am. I have to work to find the edge between boundary and cut off between freedom and stability and the way to hold my limits without being punishing, or shaming, the balance between being their for others and being in unbearable pain. These are all things the fire dragon seems to help with when I think about it.
If it's hard to hear someones boundary then I see that as a call to channel my energy and emotions into my own life to reexamine my own values, dreams and limits and also to focus on other areas that bring me joy and give that person space to be where they are. This also helps to develop a sense that I can be okay and accepting with them and myself even if I can't be with them in a way which is easy, or feels natural for me. If someone isn't respecting, or accepting my boundaries then I feel like being in touch with fire dragon can give me a sense that my boundaries don't have to make sense, or be reasonable for someone else as long as they help me to remain more responsible and connected and sustainable. If I don't listen to my boundaries I start letting that fire dragon burn people because I'm feeling threatened by their position in our relationship. Or I turn that fire dragon on myself and say I'm no good because I can't do this this and this and give myself a good burning. In permaculture the saying is increase edge and value the marginal - often this is seen as applying to the garden but I find it equally valuable when considering what is marginal within me and what is marginal in society. So I share with you one of the ways I work with animals and symbols to help me to find my way in the world.