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Wards and Talismans

Protective sigils are created through a variety of methods, and result in a unique symbol or character, charged with specific intent by the creator and user. These objects have been created with specific purpose in mind, and have been cleansed and consecrated to be charged with your energy and perform this function. To activate the ward or talisman, you will need to perform the three ‘C’s – cleansing, consecrating and charging your object – in a way that is meaningful to you and your purposes. Below are suggestions for how to do this:

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An Interview with Painter Wendy Westlake

Join an artist’s group.  Making art is a solitary endeavor so finding a group of like minded artists is vital.  Find a group specific to your medium, watercolor, pastels etc. and make an effort to get involved.  There are many opportunities for classes, workshops, and shows.  If you can’t find one then start your own.  Enter shows.  It may be intimidating but there is no better way to see how your work stands up to others than to put it out there.

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The Grid

Not so much a grid as a universal lattice of some kind, I’m thinking of these studies as looking more closely at all of the boxes we create for ourselves or involuntarily find ourselves within. An aerial photograph of any human settlement will reveal a pattern of change imposed upon the landscape. The same kinds of patterns are employed inside of our technologies, embedded in social structures and modes of thinking. We compartmentalize information, emotions, nature and reality inside of billions and billions of known quantities, but miss all of the spaces in between. I think there’s more out there, and I’m using these as a way of visually digesting this taxonomy of experience. 

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Esoteric Stencilism

Borrowing from the mystery traditions and folk medicine, this new collection of stencil cuts is for a series of stoneware wall tiles and covered jars that I’ll have for the Powderhorn Art Fair, Aug 5-6th. A smattering of these images will be featured on enameled copper jewelry as well, but decisions are yet to be made as to which designs make the cut (pun intended). The wall tiles and pendants are intended to act as a reminder to keep a wider perspective in mind, to flow around obstacles or attract abundance, to name just a few. We take subliminal cues from our environments all the time, here’s an attempt at deliberately seeding those spaces with intentional symbolism.

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Test Tiles

Have you ever had a thing that you had to do, lodged in the back of your consciousness, just waiting to be acknowledged and given room to breathe? This has been it for me since November. When there aren’t enough fresh moments to go around, months can slip by, when all I can do is get everything configured correctly for the operation, but can’t commit to it’s execution. The stars seem to have to be aligned in just such a way for the start to occur, but then, the rest will flow with greater and greater momentum as the front-end of the process get’s out of the way.

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Path Studies

I had a dream or something about playing around with varying combinations of point, line, direction and color, over a grid, as a way of mapping the story arc of a lifetime. The rules of the drawings are inspired by algorithms used by computers to solve pathfinding problems in spatial exercises. But looking at the simplicity of the image, I’m reminded of things like sigils, hobo signs and constellations, all to do with ways of finding one’s way. These are just quick renderings in colored pencil, but I’ve a mind to try them next in watercolor or guache.

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Interview with Photographer R.J. Kern

R.J. Kern brings a lighting kit and wellingtons with him into the field, giving the humble subjects of his pastoral photographs a luminescent quality as only an ‘animal fame maker’ could. In order to gain insight into his work, we’ve asked him to share a little about the process of capturing these remarkable images.

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Talismans

tal·is·man
>A stone, ring, or other object, engraved with figures or characters supposed to possess occult powers and worn as an amulet or charm.
>Any amulet or charm.
>Anything whose presence exercises a powerful influence on human feelings or actions.

These pieces are emblems of personal storytelling, designed to reinforce or diminish certain ideas that we presently hold about ourselves. If we need to altar something in our own inner space, they can act as a constant reminder of the change we want to see.

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Ritual Vessels

rit’.u.al
>A prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service: the ritual of the dead
>Any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner
>A prescribed code of behavior regulating social conduct (eg: shaking hands).

ves·sel
>A hollow utensil, such as a cup, vase, or pitcher, used as a container.

These are containers for water and medicine, blessings, visions and light. Some of them are intended for everyday use, some are to hold memories of a person or event. While they may vary widely in material and design, they are united in spirit.

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