The idea of this challenge was fun for me. Although I was too young to really participate in the events of the 60’s, the flowering of the ideas of the day certainly influenced my beliefs and values. As I was “Musing” (see what I did there??!) on Sandra’s beautiful stamps, a gorgeous image of repeated Frida and Oculus images plus other elements kept coming to me. A mandala was forming. As I allowed the piece to develop over time, it also began to have a story, which is true of a lot of my work.
In the 60’s, people were finding new ways to spread their wings, expand their consciousness, and express themselves freely, no matter what it looked like to the outside world. Frida Kahlo always authentically expressed who she was and how she felt, no matter what anyone else thought or said. Her art was her lifeline and her wings and it seems fitting that she is pictured here as free as a butterfly. As I was painting the outer borders around her and envisioning the words I wanted to say, I realized that under some images of Frida, a sort of winged shape was appearing, but under the corner Frida images, more like a body shape. These are the two aspects to her and our humanity--the Spirit always within and shared, and the Corporeal Body, our Earthly Home for the Spirit, if you will.
The Eyes of Wisdom in the center guard a treasure, but not the kind you might think. Many children of the 60’s were finding out that much knowledge, ultimate peace, and Union with the Godhead, was within them. All they had to do was be still enough to listen. Their happiness and bliss spilled over in waves of love, acceptance of others, and explosions of color in art and creativity. Like a precious parchment discovered at an archaeological dig, the sentiment “Life is Art” was real gold, and acted out daily with love as the guiding force. As I positioned my square piece of art on what was to become its canvas base, when I turned it on its point, I realized it looked like a God’s Eye. God’s Eyes, or Ojo de Dios, are a woven craft which originated in cultures such as Mexican Indian and Tibetan. Meanings include having the power to see and understand things unknown, and special protection and watchfulness over those who made the symbol.
From Sandra’s Antiquities Treasure Chest, The Uzbek Beaded Tassel speaks to us of a colorful past. Over years rich with history, these kinds of tassels were worn for adornment, luck, and for warding off the evil eye, among other purposes. The blue vintage Tibet Tesbih Prayer Bead is hand painted with flowers and the names of 99 gods. The beads are used to mark the repetitions of prayers, chants or devotions.
Both of these special finds express the Bohemian feeling of spirit, joy and love that I had when making this piece and remembering some of the simple yet lasting ideologies of the 1960’s that I try to live by.