Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Labyrinth Four

I've been on a bit of a Minoan/Mykenaean kick lately, and have been working my way through my local library's copies of Arthur Evan's The Palace of Minos at Knossos, which is in like a million volumes; I'm on the second one (part two). So I have been looking at these really lovely, crisp pen-and-ink drawings of artifacts, as well as the artifacts themselves a lot lately. This design, the bull's head and double axe, is straight from a Late Minoan jar. I rather like it, and the colors, which I chose in imitation of Minoan frescoes; though next time I think I'll use different paper. It's this matboard I have that is fine for watercolor or colored pencil, but a little too fibrous and linty for pen and ink, which scratches up the surface a bit too much.

In the process of doing this I had to clean out my pens, and for a while there could not find the special ink that goes in them; but in looking, I found a whole bunch of little teeny canvases I bought once upon a time, and pulled them out. Seriously, they're itty-bitty, four by five inches (though not as small as that drawing above, the original of which is two by three inches).

But I'm not that happy with what I came up with:

I think the proper word is meh. It started out quite promising, but the more I worked on it the less I liked it, and ended up painting over it with some white.

So though I liked that first one, altogether I'd say it was kind of a frustrating experience. I'm in some kind of transitional phase, art-wise, I think right now; and though I know the old way of doing things isn't really serving me anymore, I've no idea what the new way will be like, and I really feel like I am blundering about in the dark. More reason, I suppose, to keep at the Labyrinth imagery.

Also, and I hadn't applied this to my situation, both labrys (double axe) and bull's head are symbols of rebirth.


Thalia said...

And why are they symbols of rebirth, you ask? (Well, okay, you probably don't, but there is a reason I write about obscure Goddesses and the like; my brain is just fascinated by connections and cannot help but expound a bit.)

Because the double axe probably evolved from depictions of butterflies; and the bull's head? With the horns, it is a very similar shape to the uterus with fallopian tubes and ovaries. Interesting, no?

Anonymous said...

That is very interesting! I'm also fascinated by symbols and connections and obscure meanings etc. I love your Minoan art. Really cool!

Unknown said...

Well, Thalia, since you ARE through this MInoan, labyrinth kick, do get yourself lost for a while... Maybe this is what these mazes are about... to puzzle you.

And I am sure Ariadne will pull you out for a dionisiac celebration in the end.

But I have to say I love the bull head.

Evn said...

The bull head/labrys is my new favorite Thalia Took creation.

(It's also my new desktop wallpaper. I'm enjoying it mightily.)

Inês Barreto said...

I'm totally crazy about Minoan stuff! I'm loving your labyrit series.

I think about the Labrys and its conecction with rebirth could come from its uses to sacrifices and rituals with this simbolism. I don'to know, just musing...

Thalia said...

Thanks, everyone.

I keep thinking the labyrinth is related to the idea of Ariadne's dancing floor. I don't honestly know where the symbol originated; it's found all over the world if I'm remembering correctly and has a 'trick' to drawing it.

The labyrinth is also reminding me of coiled snakes (who shed their skin) or the baby in the womb with the umbilical cord. (More rebirth.)