Do yourself a flavor and view it in full screen
Do yourself a flavor and view it in full screen
A delicious tango to send a buzz through your day…you’re welcome!
Seven minutes to break your heart…..
There is something fundamental about masks. We have worn them throughout the ages and we wear them figuratively every day. The work of Damselfrau, working name of artist Magnhild Kennedy, is a stunning example of the power and beauty of the Mask.
In Visual Atelier 8, Damselfrau was asked:
It can be argued that the mask exists as an art object, as an investured pseudo personae, as a hiding space, as a symbolic representation, or even as a simple cultural adornment. With this multimodality of meaning in mind, is the mask as everything here stated, and more, or might it in your view, possess one quintessential overarching quality?
In reply she said: The main power is transformative. Most of all it’s simply just fundamentally human, isn’t it?
I also think some things exist past our ability to fully articulate them. A mask belongs there. A part of me wants to know the what and how of them… but then I step back, step back and allow the magic to be there free from dissection and cognitive comprehension. Much like ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’, dissecting something magical robs it of its power and removes its mystery, it takes something wondrous and places it into the mundane.
For me, and it is very personal how creatives tackle this, the alchemy of creating stories and the writing process are in that same situation. I don’t want to dissect a story, I don’t want to disect why it has come to me, or why I am driven to create it; I simply want to be in the experience of creating it.
Damselfrau says something similar about her mask making, she says she doesn’t plan, she just remains present with the mask as it is made, following the journey the materials take her, not trying to plan or ‘design it’ as such.
In my stories, I specifically leave some of the aspects of character and motivation unexplained not only to the reader but to myself as the writer. As a reader and even as a the writer, its comforting to know, to ‘see behind the mask’ of a character. But by getting that insight into a character we categorize them, slip them into a box. Their magic leaks away. Stories and the characters in them need magic and power to make you love them, to have them resonate with their symbolic and archetypal lineage.
The other element of not fully explaining a character is that we are ostensibly hidden from ourselves. We don’t fully know why we do what we do and why we feel as we do, even if we think we do. When I write I don’t always look for answers so much as congruency, that sense that the flow of a character feels right to itself. I think a character can’t be fully revealed and consciously resolved to themselves. As we have our figurative masks in life they do too; they can be resolved to a satisfying level to the reader but not fully and most certainly not to themselves.
As a writer, I find the process of writing one that almost asks me to step into a character much like stepping into the mask, placing it on and looking through it, imbuing oneself with its world view and the world’s view of it.
Have a look at her work and see what you might wear ….. I have chosen some above that would easily part of Elsa’s world….
The amazing power of dreams, vision and a passion for beauty. Kirsty Mitchell! Her mother reader her stories everyday and in honor of her mother’s memory she made Wonderland a book of ethereal beauty.
Find out more about Kirsty: https://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com/
Buy her Wonderland book HERE
Michelle Augello, writes creative fiction, erotica and is also an editor for Siren. For those of you that want to publish edgier work go have a look at what Siren does.
Her blog is here https://michelleaugellopage.wordpress.com/
Michelle has some works available and come article links.
I chose the poem below from her blog to share. I am slowly working on a series of erotic shorts around a circus and one is of a knife thrower, the poem reminded me of it. Part of my process writing is that as I start to connect with a story as the mood and ‘swell’ of it starts to come through, I collect things like a crow that relate to what that swell feels like. A collection of symbolic moods and visuals that wraps around the story idea and modd like a caterpillars chrysalis.
This is one of those shinny things my inner crow collected.
I love you like a woman
pinned to a carnival wheel
blindfolded, I spin
taut against splintered wood
my body is a temporal thing
skin, blood, bone
you throw knives
at the negative spaces
between my fingers, along
the line of neck and jaw
I hold my breath. I do not
speak. I don’t want to break
and risk a slip in direction
the sweat on your brow
is glistening in the hot sun.
“July” is one of the poems in My Mother’s Daughter, a collection of poems I wrote between 1998-2002 and published in 2012.
All the writers I hang out with have a muse of sorts. When writers describe their muse it ranges from a distinct presence to a form of inspiration or internal guidance. Some relay a sense of communication from within and others that it is somehow greater than them and more connected to something universal.
No matter what form they take, writers agree Muses are all demanding and moody task masters.
I experience my muse as a sensation. We communicate through a link, a golden thread connected to my belly that sinks deep down until it gets to very dark waters and dangles into it. Communications come as a swell that travels through the thread and back into my gut, creating a kind of fullness that needs to be transmuted into pictures, words and feelings which then take shape on the page as characters and story. By the time they are taking shape on the page they are quite formed. I don’t consciously create and ‘make up’ the characters and dynamics. I also don’t feel that I ‘make up’ the story, rather that they are all given to me. My job is to express it and if I fail to write it, someone else will.
Having said that, I do think there is a ‘simpatico’ between my personal life themes and the stories I am given. As if by the very fact I have the resonance of those themes I call to me stories with a similar vibration and frequency, if that makes sense.
I’m a pretty amicable sort but I regularly manage to upset my muses. For something so anciently archetypal they are pretty thin skinned, or maybe just inflexible task masters. Generally this ‘falling-out’ happens when I want to take the lead in the story and say something like “no, no we aren’t going to go that way, this is much more interesting… or this is closer to genre” well they dig their heels in and the swell stops and that great idea I had sucks and the swell that feeds me is gone. Eventually I head back to that awful idea the muses’ had and start it up again and wham, in comes the swell. I feel like I’m the typewriter and they are the fingers…
I asked some writer buddies to express some of their experiences and grumbles about their muse.
So, when I started writing I didn’t realize I was getting into a relationship with this motherfucker called Muse, and I say that with affection. Well, some affection. You see my muse and I have been at war since August last year. Mother. Fucker. Just once I’d like my muse to be easy but he/she never has.
Most of the time I think of my muse as a he—there is an abruptness to him, he comes when he comes and when he wants, he stays away. There is no cajoling him, no bartering, no demanding. It’s his rules. When he does show up, he likes to express himself in visuals, like watching a movie scene with the sound off but I can feel the characters emotions—joy, lust, pain, as if I waked in their skin, living inside them. Sometimes my muse does talk, not a voice but still in visuals. I see the words, like white lines on black, just dialogue with nothing to anchor it to a scene or place in the book. All of what my muse gives me is just seconds. Flashes. Random. A spark because he really has no interest in doing the heavy lifting, getting involved in the writing. He feeds me crumbs and the writer in me tries to fill up on it. And I can’t. The truth is writing is craft and mastery; the greats have unwavering discipline and my muse … my muse is all whim. He has moved on before I can even sketch what he’s shown me. Before I finish the book. Before I even germinate the story—the crumbs in my mouth turning to ash.
When I started writing I thought my muse and I were dancing. I didn’t see that we were not courting, or the battleground we were drawing. I didn’t understand that my muse is not my lover—someone I could call with a touch of my hand or still with my company. In some ways my muse will always resist. Always be an adversary. Always be a wonderfully, wild thing.
You can find more about Nicci HERE. She writes HOT BDSM and is working on a Anne Rice type Vampire series that I gobble up when ever she shares scenes of.Follow her on Tumblr if you like to blush while checking your phone.
My muse as writers call what gives them story, has lived inside my head, taking me to wild worlds all my life. A mysterious creature, she cannot be found at a whim. She has no address, no phone number, no Facebook account or email.
She’s one of those friends who float in and out of your life when it suits them. The crazy friend who is fun and wild, and a tad whimsical, a little dark inside. She’s that friend who plants a goofy smile on your face and leaves your heart fuller as they waltz out the door, leaving you wondering or in this case—writing, until they once more return.
My fey mysterious friend often arrives when I’m writing a different story, urging me to change what I’m writing. She’s the one that whispers in my ear, no don’t write that, write this.
She throws open my door and waltzes in, wafting scents and images of other worlds.
It’s the images I write from. Pictures and flashes of scenes that play in my mind – as she urges me, write this down right now.
She’s like your favourite song, dragging you back to the dance floor even though you have blisters on your feet, or need to go home—or finish the story you’re writing.
She’s the reason I have several dozen partially written stories, just to get her images out of my head, the ideas down. But after messing up my routine, showing me alternative tales I try to ignore, she leaves.
I rarely disagree with her ways, though sometimes I have to dilute her dark side. I do however consider that a little dark makes the light seem brighter.
Cassandra Shaw writes Urban Fantasy, Shifters and Time-slip Romance. I love her writers voice, its versatile and strong. You can find more about Cassandra HERE.
Cathrine Winther Poetess and dark, dark writer shared this on troublesome Muses.
This is a very personal, reflective piece about my process with my muse. It is not a generalization to how other people experience writing or their muse.
My muse is a bastard. I love him but he is a bastard. That said, I wouldn’t change a thing about him. He is what he is and he does what he does very well. He feeds my creative drive. However, he largely does it on his own terms and in his own time.
I am not someone who sits around waiting for inspiration to strike. I write when I want to write, and if I have done the hard work, inspiration and my muse usually turn up. However, I am often writing blind. I tend to have a vague idea of where I am headed but many vital details are hidden from me until the moment comes that I have to write the details of that particular scene or character. This would be fine except for the fact that I co-write a lot of my books. My co-author (Leon) places a lot of trust in me that I will pull a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute when we write. In our latest novel I had to assure Leon that the villain of our piece would be fully fleshed out and present when it came time for me to write him… even though I had no idea who he was or what he was like right up until the day came and I had to put pen to paper. But, true to form, my muse pulled through and Malick, our villain hit the page running.
However, probably my longest ongoing ‘dispute’ with my muse is power. My muse doesn’t do things by halves. He loves writing very dark, powerful, dominant males. Although I value all characters equally, for me, there is something far more intense happening when I write these edgier characters. While this is exciting it is also incredibly mentally and physically draining. I tend to compare it to the idea of sprinting for two hours instead of slow jogging for two hours. After writing one of my typically dark and dominant males for two hours I feel like I have just done a two-hour sprint. As an ex, semi-pro sprinter I can confirm that sprinting for two hours is just about impossible.
Working through this issue is an ongoing, very conscious compromise between my muse and myself. I find it all too easy to sit down and start writing and before I know it, two hours have gone by and I have spent the whole time in the headspace of a dark, dominant male. More recently I have found ways to manage this better through routine and goal setting, but it is a battle because I am fighting instinct and emotion to keep my muse in check and take care of myself and my stamina. And in short, my muse is quite wild and doesn’t want to be controlled. Part of me loves that about him, the other part of me just rolls my eyes… Just like an old married couple.
You can find more about Cat HERE. I love her pomegranate banner image, the seeds that kept Persephone in the underworld with Hades.
I am a great believer in the role of beauty to shift consciousness.
The impact of a breathtaking vista, the perfection of a fern frond as it unfolds, the prisms of light as they shine for the smallest moment through a drop of rain. Beauty acts on us like displays of the human spirt; which are profoundly moving, inspiring and highly charged. Beauty I feel, hits us as hard but deep under the surface. It’s like when you are in the presence of perfect form, when the mathematics align and the whole is at the same time so perfectly natural, something inside you aligns with it and starts to shift to that frequency.
Karin Weber writes:
Amid so many insecurities in the world today, Małgorzata Chodakowska uses the uncompromising nature of her works to arrive at a sense of a security. Her medium is wood. usually from uprooted trees. The wood grains from the tree trunks of basswood, pear. cherry and oak come alive and follow her as she removes layers of wood to reveal larger-than-life sized ﬁgures. neo-realistic nude ﬁgures. clad ﬁgures, and busts – a process whereby the wood seems to shed its skin. the wood itself appears to be turned inside out. The ﬁgures are a continuation of the growth of the trees themselves. sprouting ﬁrst from the earth and then ﬁnding themselves rooted within the artist and her dreams, expectations and demands. her self image and her personal experiences. Behind the daily passions which remain hidden for most of us. the artist reveals what really moves people. as she exposes the timeless beauty of the creation of a human being
Her works are a romantic phenomenon in our present time. a time in which countless artists reject beauty in the name of modernity and denounce it as a “bad habit”. And what a great mistake that is! After all, beauty is a most basic need for all of us. read more here
Naturally given what I write, I think love is a form of beauty and the body a form of art. In The Painted Heart and in the subsequent series of The Painted Sisters, the body as a canvas and a form of living art is explored. In The Bound Heart I touch on the dichotomy between nudity in art and in life, the grey zone of porn and eroticism. Chodakowska uses the human form often naked or clad in ‘the wet look’ to fully show form and shape. There is a deep seated sensuality that comes from nature, through the wood, and often encased in metal. Elemental as it shifts us into our own natures.
Tutt Arts writes:
Chodakowska lifts her craftsmanship in wood and bronze to the magical world of experience in which the balance between beauty and perfection delivers the most beautiful tension. Her angelic figures radiate an paradise type authority, intriguing and most irresistibly attractive. The suggestion of perfection, the challenging energy of an equally powerful as subdued seduction. Her work is obviously highly respected in nowadays top sculpture art market.
Chodakowska studied sculpture art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (1985). She continued her study at the Art Academy in Vienna (1988). In 1991, Chodakowska completed her dissertation in Vienna (Bruno Gironkoli). She has been honored with the highly selective granted ‘Masterclass Award ☞’. Read more here.
This is a great video to watch about the creative process. There is a part where she talks about how a poet talks about the poems and how they come to her… just brilliant.
There are other elements that underlie the talk. The idea that artists can walk into the flow of the creative force ‘to be touched by god.’ What is it like to have had that experience and wonder if it will ever visit you again. Her own fears of what if the best work was the work you have already done, that nothing else will match it. Made me wonder if it was harder to hope for your work to catch fire and speak to thousands or to have already done that with a work of creativity and never be able to do something similar again.
As much as being witnessed is part of the creative process, I think there has to be something at the core of it that you do because you can’t not do it. Because doing your creative process is a process in itself independent of the results.
Extract from the film Angel-a by Luc Besson with Rie Rasmussen and Denise Richards. A snippet which speaks to the hurt child within us……
Great video from Iron & Wine for their song Boy with a Coin. They are like black swans dancing flamenco <3
Movie about Henry Miller and Anais Nin
The imagery and sensuality is superb still a great watch.
There are so many magical photographers working at the moment. I have already shared Uldus and Margo Kareva and their fairy tale images.
Here is German photographer of Contraire – Fotografie and below a wonderful gallery of her work. You can see a full selection here.
We are so in need of imagery that brings to life this symbolism. We need imagery that brings the magical and the special into view. That take an environment or a person and create out of that an eternal moment by using it to express the archetypal. Seeing the ordinary and within it recognising the extra ordinary is an act of love between you and that which surrounds you.
I find imagery like this a visual signpost of the worlds I imagine to write. Not always as they appear so magically here but how they express the inner nature of character and circumstance, that part in all of us that is connected to these ever playing stories and symbols.
She writes of her work:
In meinen Bildern geht es um Geschichten, um Momente, Gefühle, eine Aussage.
Mal verspielt, mal melancholisch, mal verträumt, mal traurig. Dabei versuche ich immer, das Besondere einzufangen, ob es in der Location, dem Model oder wie so oft im Verschmelzen von Mensch und Ort zu finden ist.
All das, um den Betrachter zu bewegen, ihn zum Nachdenken zu bringen oder ihm ein Staunen zu entlocken.
Oft ist dabei der Weg das Ziel und dieser Weg spiegelt sich in all meinen Bildern wieder.
Loosely translated: In my pictures it comes to stories, moments, feelings, a statement. Times playful, even melancholic, even dreamy, sometimes sad. While I always try to capture the Special, whether it found is in the location, the model or as so often in the merging of man and place. All this in order to move the Viewer, to bring him to think, or to elicit from him a wonder. Often the way is the goal and this is reflected in all my pictures.
Her facebook is here
The video is called advice to the young, but if you are in anyway creatively driven it’s a good listen.
Marina, says something that I’ve heard for writing as well. She says about performance art: “do what scares you.” As a writer we often hear “write what scares you”. I don’t think many peolpe would expect that to apply to romance as a genre but it does.
I don’t think I have really chosen anything yet that presses a lot of my buttons but I feel myself working towards that. Yet things still challange me as I write. I find that writing the conflict in the story can involve a lot of getting up and walking around and forcing myself back behind the keys and forging through the tension and getting it on the page. I can be known to leave a conflict and start a new story in the misplaced hope the tension will ease… it doesn’t, lol.
To write you are connected to your characters, and in a way you channel and translate their experiences into words. The biggest faux par as a writer is to under cut the depth of the character’s experience because it is too uncomfortable to wade through it with them as their biographer.
Thematically, I am attracted to stories and characters that reflect emotional and personal courage and exploring the release of old wounds through acts of deep intimacy. They are areas we can easily talk about academically and nod our heads at their importance when living a meaningful life. However, it would be interesting to see on reflection if that is how we have actually lived our life. We are not given many opportunities to demonstrate emotional courage and to undertake and embrace acts of deep intimacy. In reality we may only ever have a few occasions in our life that demand we step up right then and there and be in the moment with courage and vulnerability.
I find both of these areas very challenging. And have fail more than once. I have also succeeded.
I admire my characters willingness to undertake those acts. What it means that I write them I am not sure…..
Karoline Hjorth, Photographer, & Riitta Ikonen, Artists, work together on an ongoing collaboration called Eyes as Big as Plate. Their works reference fairy tales and myth as well as incorporating the subjects own stories and relationships with imagination and folklore.
“This blending of figure and ground recalls the way in which folk narratives animate the natural world through a personification of nature. The slippage of elderly figures into the landscapes suggests a return to the earth, a celebration of lives lived, reinforcing the link between humanity and the natural world.”
What speaks to me is that our relationship with the magical, mythic, with nature and imagination is ageless. That we are inherently archetypal. The photographs capture the spirit and the otherworldliness within the subjects but also in us as well look at and experience the image.
There is not a stage in life where we are not connected with nature and with the collective symbols that travel through time and across cultures.
You can find out more via the link below. The work and the arts have had numerous global exhibitions and continue to build their collection.
Photographic Artist using irony to make motivate and change stereo types. Great TED talk. You can fine a series more information about her and her fairy-tale images here
I find her freedom of spirit and creative expression very motivating and stimulating for my own creative process.
Every shot I take is influenced by something, and each photo tells a story. I reference things that are special to me. Whether it is an old film, a song, a painting, or a poem. It’s all about telling a story. I am constantly inspired and my way of expressing this is by taking photos, it’s my way of sharing my experiences. There are way too many bland, cold, boring fashion and lifestyle photos out there. My photos try to express something deeper then today’s average trendy photo formula. I make it a point to get away from that. I want to be learning something or feeling something when I’m looking at a photo – so I try to create the same experience with my photography. With my art. With my Life! I am deeply inspired with Pre-Raphaelites , poetry of XIX Century, with paganism and Russ Land fairy tales, at the same time i am very passionate about modernity, media, i love super heroes, especially Iron Man, i love German language and colored hairs on girls. So, all these little and big things come to me and get to you from me through my art photography! Generally my statement isto be free and flow with emotions. I am gaining to bring beauty and positive emotions to people! I live for that! STAY HIGH!
Another wonderful Russian Photographer. Kareva Margo. Along with the traditional areas of photographic work (wedding, portraits and commercial etc), she has a passion for bringing fantasy and fairytale to life. Images of princesses and witches with shamanic symbolism and rich colours draw you into the images and set your imagination wandering. Many of her photos contain animals and express a connection with them, a communion or shared nature.
When I saw her work, it had the feel of the images I am getting for some new storys I am panning for 2016. A moodiness that has the feel of the other world, of deeper layers and meaning. A sense that we are connected with a world past the veil of ordinary sight and sometimes that veil lifts….
Here is a link to Margo’s work. http://kareva-margo.ru/#portfolio
My name is Margarita Karev.
I live in Ekaterniburge (Russia)
The main directions of my business:
• The organization and carrying out of photos abroad
• Individual staged photo shoots
• Wedding photography
• Art projects
• advertising photography
I work with a great team of professionals (stylists and designers) who help me to realize any of your fantasies to life 🙂