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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Visionary painting : The Smile of the Seed

Smile of the Corn Seed - by Stephanie Tihanyi
(copyright held by artist)
 The painting I am currently working on quite obsessively is a work that first began many years ago. It started out as a small painting on card that never got finished, it was filed away, packed under papers and files. It was made with egg tempera paints, the type that can be commercially bought. Due to the damp conditions of its storing, the painting degraded and developed a dusty powder on its surface, probably a mold of some kind and the colors faded also. It was ruined. I felt bad about not having taken better care of my work and did not want to lose the image, as it had a deep meaning and significance for me that I had never really understood. It was as if a piece of me would die and be lost forever, if I did not resurrect the image into a new painting. I have always had it in mind to redo the painting and make further developments with it.
I have given many names to the painting over the years. Names such as 'Demeter the Seed' ' Smile of the Seed",‘The Corn Goddess', 'The Grain of Persephone', Well of Minerva', : all ancient Greek, Roman and Celtic goddesses of agriculture and arts.  Yet somehow to me the soul in the eyes and expression in the face seems to be much older than that. The ethnicity also is a mystery. Some people tell me, the she looks oriental, and some a bit African, strange, the eyes are blue but the face is clearly not Nordic. As an intuitive artist, it is not me who decides what race the woman is, I am just doing my hardest to capture the truest depiction of something that is visionary.   If the woman fits no current ethnicity, then I feel she is of a very old race indeed, an ancestor from far back. No one person looks like their ancestor did thousands of years later, all peoples appearances change with migrations and environments .
The face looks out at you, across the space of time. It looks young, yet very old, with knowledge accumulated of having lived many life times.  Half hidden and half in shadow, there seems to be a shyness, but no it’s not that. The eyes are full of capacity and wisdom and hidden power. She hides herself by choice, from the eyes of the corrupt or the ignorant and foolish, choosing when and who to be known by.
In my mind I have asked myself, who is she?, an archetype from the subconscious?, or some sort of genetic memory, of a far distant relative?. Do I act as some kind of a medium, is this a spirit from another place?. I am asking questions that no one in the reality we currently inhabit, can answer. From this futility I can only move to a second question that may have some answers, as it comes back to me. What message, do I feel the appearance of this mysterious image, is reveling to me?. That's a mystery that will take some working at.
So at least I know she offers me a mystery and it seems this mystery is not offered to all or just anyone. It seems like a gift, something precious, something timeless. Normally we think of a gift as being something wonderful you get for free!. Like “geez!, thanks a million!”. But what kind of special gift gets secretly offered to you, that requires you to work damn hard to attain it?. There really is no such thing as a free gifts, is that an allusion. Are all the true worthy gifts that exist only things you gain with your love, sacrifice and labor?. I believe so, yes.