Welcome to the March edition of my imaginarium.
Although the heat is still relentless, there is a shift in the air and a slight whisper in the leaves that say: Autumn is coming. In the northern hemisphere, the hope of spring and warmer weather is around the corner. These in-between seasons always remind me of a doorframe. There is such a thin barrier separating one season from the next, and it is easy to stand one side and see the other side.
In this month’s edition, I’m sharing my thoughts on navigating through life when we find ourselves on the threshold of change: Which way to go when indecision is gnawing. I’m looking at ways to incorporate the Pantone colour of the year 2020 into our everyday lives, as well as certificates of authenticity. Well, let’s jump right into it.
Every year the Pantone Colour Institute releases the colour that they predict will resonate with that particular year. This year the Pantone colour is Classic Blue 19-4052. I’ve always been a fan of blue. It’s such a soothing colour and reminds me of the ocean and our expansive evening sky. If I could sample the colour blue, it will taste like a piercing peppermint icicle. What makes blue such an appealing colour?
Blue has been a highly sought after hue by artists and monarchs alike. Some of the most prominent paintings in history has traces of ultramarine in them: Gérard David’s Virgin and Child with Female Saints, and Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. Ultramarine’s less expensive cousin, Cobalt blue, was famous in the use of porcelain ceramics and jewellery. Artists such as J. M. W. Turner, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Vincent Van Gogh used it in their works. Then came cerulean blue, followed by indigo. Blue used to be cultivated from lapis lazuli, which wasn’t easy to come by, and the Indigofera Tinctoria plant was discovered, creating the perfect Indigo pigment. It made is much less expensive to use indigo for textiles and paints. Navy blue, or marine blue as it was known, was essential in the uniforms of the British Royal Navy. Prussian blue, came about accidentally when a German dye-maker Johann Jacob Diesbach while working on a new red colour. Due to a chemical reaction with animal blood, this vibrant blue was born. Yves Klein experimented with blue to create a matte version of ultramarine. He even registered International Klein Blue (IKB) as a trademark. More recently a new shade of blue was discovered: YInMn. In 2009 Mas Subramanian and Andrew E. Smith found this unique shade of blue, made up from yttrium, indium and manganese. It is used commercially since 2016, which makes it a very young colour.
But blue is more than a colour, and I associated with relaxation, peace and loyalty. It corresponds to the throat and third eye chakras, making it a tone for clear communication and vision. We all can do with a bit of peace and relaxation during these stressful times.
Find out more about this fascinating colour of the year here:
How can you incorporate Classic blue in your everyday life? You could use it in the kitchen. Blueberries, red cabbage, and butterfly blue pea flowers make interesting accompaniments in salads. Wearing blue jeans will also bring more blue into your daily routine. Blue reminds us to do the simple things that bring us joy, such as looking up at the sky and breathing and dipping our toes into the ocean. We need to play more and worry less.
Therefore I’ve conjured The Mighty Kraken articulate paper toy in the colour of the year. You can cut him out and find creative ways to stick his tentacles onto him. I’ve printed mine smaller and threaded elastic through either side of his body to fasten his limbs. For a paper critter, he is quite posable, and I can take him everywhere to add a little surrealism and whimsy to my day. Think of him as a paper version of Elf on a Shelf. He can go on adventures and conquer new worlds with you. He is a reminder that it’s okay to have some frivolous fun.
Creative block is a nightmare artists try to avoid at all costs. But what happens when it hits you hard and you have no idea where to go? Even mundane tasks such as cleaning, deciding what to eat and what binge-worthy show to stream online can become difficult. It is a feeling of being stuck in a tin room surrounded by hundreds of doors. Which ones are locked, where should you go, and what should you draw? Seeing other artists churning out masterpieces one after the other doesn’t exactly help your sense of well-being at this stage.
When I’m creatively directionless, I turn to my crystal pendulum. I ask it simple yes and no questions in the hopes of dislodging a seed of an idea. It is similar to a compass. , that can guide you the right answers if you know how to use it. I needed more insight and felt like I haven’t been utilizing my pendulum to its full extent. That gave me the idea to design a pocket-sized chart with some more easy questions I could ask. Just to be sure, I also added an Ouija board-inspired card. Now I can gain more in-depth insight and find my inner supply of creativity.
If you haven’t used a pendulum before, or need some more insight, Ashlee Morgan breaks it down entirely:
You could also make a pendulum instead of buying one:
You can find some gorgeous ones on Etsy, as well:
Using instruments to guide us, is something earthlings have done since the beginning of time. Ants use the sun as their compass, and pigeons use the Earth’s magnetic field to find their direction. Compasses ranged from crude bowls filled with water to the well-known magnetic instruments we use today. It is believed that they were first used during the Viking age.
In the Icelandic grimoire, Galdrabok, the symbol of Vegvisir is imbued with magic and used to ensure the traveller does not get lost. The sigil is typically inscribed in blood on the forehead, but in modern times we opt for less conspicuous methods, like a tattoo on the arm. If you look closely, you will see it is similar to a compass with its directional markings. I like to draw Vegvisir symbols behind doors and drapes as symbolic protection.
If you’re like me and fascinated by ancient cultures, you can read the transcription of the Huld manuscript here:
“Carry these staves with you, and you won’t get lost in storms or bad weather, even though in unfamiliar surrounds.” – Geir Vigfússon
When I started as a full-time artist, I researched everything I thought made an artist legitimate. I spent months documenting and cataloguing my art. After completing each piece, I sat down and looked at it from a different perspective and described my thought-process behind each piece. All I needed was certificates to authenticate my work. Obtaining such documents sounds much more official and intimidating than it is. You don’t have to obtain a certificate forged by Certificate Daemons in the nether realms. You can make it yourself. The most important thing is information.
There are hundreds of templates online, some are free, and others are quite pricy. I looked at so many certificates and designed so many different versions that I could probably start my certificate emporium. Some COA’s are small strips of paper stuck to the back of an artwork containing a signature, date and embossed stamp. Others are elaborate sheets with gold foil and an entire history of the artwork. Starting, I didn’t have gold foil or a seal, I had a printer and a golden pen. That just had to do. By adding unique elements makes it harder for thieves to forge your certificate.
Why is it essential to authenticate your art? Certificates of authenticity are a way for collectors to ensure the artworks they purchased are original and not knock-offs. It also gives information about the artworks such as: who is the artist, when was it created, what mediums you used and any other information that could identify the artwork.
Here are the elements that typically go into a COA:
- Artist Name
- Title of Work
- Year of Completion
- For originals: mediums, for prints: editions as well as mediums
- Photo of Artwork (optional)
- Statement of Authenticity: A short sentence stating that the artist created the artwork
- Use and care for the artwork (optional)
If you don’t know where to start in making your COA, you can download a copy of mine. It is in a Microsoft Word document, and you can alter it to suit your needs. Of course, you can use it as is.
Thank you for reading and feel free to share with your art-minded friends and family. They can also subscribe to my newsletter here:
In next month’s edition, I’ll discuss artist resumes, the importance of trading art cards in a digital age and a bit of DIY as well.
Until next month, #daretomakeart and have a beautiful March!