Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mini Canvas Series Painting number 6 and Symbolism

'Gold mini canvas #6 4x4" © 2010 Shayla Perreault Newcomb

At first I didn't know what the three squares, dots or circles meant. They just felt right. After doing research I found out that there was a universal meaning, and even more exciting was that it fit with what I felt but was unable to verbalize. Turns out speaking "symbol" is just speaking another language, although it tends to go through the subconscious.

Like any language, there's different degrees of fluency. I found sometimes I'd see a symbol, not be aware of the meaning but would still feel something. My subconscious understood. With practice, or with help from a dictionary, it's getting easier, even addictive, to decode the symbols.

Here's what the dictionary says about trees: symbolize new hopes, growth, desires, knowledge, and life. It also implies strength, protection and stability. Being drawn to this symbol means you are concentrating on your own self-development and individuation.

The first book I found on the topic was Functional Pottery by Robin Hopper. The author has a great section on geometry and universal symbols. Since then, I've chosen a secular dictionary based on psychology and books on art history. Symbolism appeals less to our physical nature and more to what I'll call our spiritual side so some sources will be more religious, or lean towards the occult and you'll want to be aware of that when choosing your reading. If you're intrigued by symbolism, it makes sense you'll enjoy discovering it much more if the source fits with your wold view.


Roberta said...

Your symbolism draws me in. I'd be interested in learning more about the meanings behind certain symbols. Can you recommend a good book or website to reference?

Anonymous said...

I love the three dots. They speak to my heart! Thank you for your kind comment on my Simply Here blog.

picciolo said...

thanks for sharing the symbolism of trees, I have always been drawn to them and it is interesting to learn more!
: )

M.Kate said...

Hello Shayla, love the new template, very cool :P I always notice there's 3 dots also though not knowing what it meant, thinking it could be you, bf and someone else...a pet maybe. Somehow, it complete the picture and I like it. Happy week ahead. Hugs.....M

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

The use of symbolism in your work introduces a wonderful new way to communicate on a new level. Very interesting.

Shayla said...

Roberta, no problem. I'll be in touch with some suggestions.

Kathy, nice to meet you. I like your writing.

Jane, you use leaves a lot too. I wonder what that means? Would you like me to check?

M.Kate, thanks for sharing about the new blogger templates :)I'm glad you like the three dots, and they have several meanings. They could mean three people. The foremost meaning is to emphasize time.

Terry, for me communicating is the fun part :)

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

First, how wonderful to be an artist! You are so fortunate to have this talent. It's also a fascinating topic and reminds me of dream interpretations as our dreams often use symbols to express emotions that are too painful for us to face directly.

mansuetude said...

i don't think you can "separate" these ideas in a sense. we accept notions of separation because we are taught to "speak" that way, but it is false to deny and wholeness of vision does explode over the intuitive and nothing is separate, not the seed the sheath the rain the earth the tree the root the fruit the seed the sheath the rain the earth the tree the root the fruit : time itself, motion --seems

to make it appear categorically "other".

(i think :)

Shayla said...

Claudia, thanks for visiting. Yes, dreams are a rich source of symbolism, aren't they? Thanks for bringing that up.

mansuetude, I agree wholeheartedly. I do separate them when trying to explain to people about my art. In the art itself I'm exploring that relationship of the whole. I'll always be trying to improve the explaining half, which I'm not so good at. That's one of the reasons I paint :) Thanks for your comments. They help me with my own words.