What’s in a name?

I’ve been thinking a lot about iconography since my last post, where I discussed the symbolism in Renewal. I love symbols, signs, icons and pictograms and incorporate them often into my work but I don’t point them out. I like leaving them as little secrets for viewers to discover on their own.

But I do always sign my work and that is never hidden, although it is discreetly placed. Signatures are symbols of ourselves. An architect friend’s signature is completely unreadable as his actual name but is entirely recognizable as his personal mark. I have rather lovely handwriting ; ) and like the signature I use for my art but started thinking maybe I should also have something a bit more distinctive, like Albrecht Dürer’s famous monogram.

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Or I could do a Prince, discard my name and become known only as a symbol. But no, I’m too fond of Gretchen (which has its own richness in symbolism and meaning). Maybe I just need a chop (an identifying symbol used by artists in Eastern cultures) to accompany my signature. These are the symbols I’m considering: the alchemical marks for mercury and the astrological sign for Gemini. Why? Because I like the confluence of their meanings in the framework of my life. And they look cool. Plus curvy lines and little devil horns. An abbreviated summary: Mercury rules Gemini, which I am; although I am not an ardent follower of astrology, I do identify with my sign’s most common characteristic of duality, which appears even in my initials.

Fun to consider, but I will continue to sign my name as I do now (I occasionally sign with double Gs, see above) and be happy to insert my secret symbols into hidden spaces in my art. Or right out in the open.  Keep a look out.

Art for a new year

Symbolism plays a big part in my life and my art (yes, I’ve got a little of that hippie thing going). Celebrating a new year is in itself a form of symbolism. It represents new beginnings and hope for a better future. Life is constant renewal and we have the opportunity to renew and reinvent ourselves every day.  So, in this piece to mark the beginning of 2012, I incorporated some of my favorite icons to express that idea. Butterflies are symbols of metamorphosis, renewal, reincarnation, Psyche and the soul. The moon represents the feminine spirit, resurrection and the cyclical nature of all things. The fish is a masculine symbol and stands for the life-giving properties of water as well creativity. Circles have no beginning or end and therefore symbolize eternity and the infinite. I threw in the alchemical symbol for mercury to represent myself.  I won’t elaborate on that. ; ) Prints are available here. 

May you have a creative and abundant new year.