Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Earth and Water

I got my first computer in 1991, and by 1992 I was doing a lot of digital art in CorelDraw. I wouldn't call this early work of mine "cutting edge," since by that time other artists were already doing much more sophisticated work in computer generated images (CGI). But this type of abstract flat or simply blended color fit in (and still does) with what I was trying to portray. It is a mix of graphic design and "fine arts."

At that point I was doing a lot of study in Western esotericism and its visual symbolism. The creators of magical systems such as the "Golden Dawn" appropriated symbols for elements not only from Western alchemy but from Buddhist and Hindu iconography. The four ancient classical elements are a big part of Western Esotericism and are often symbolized by three primary colors and one other color, or by basic easily memorized shapes. The Elements in the Golden Dawn system were symbolized by Earth as a yellow square, Water as a silver crescent, Fire as a red triangle, and Air as a blue circle.

As with the CorelDraw Tarot, I created "card"-like representations of the four classical Elements as well as "Spirit," which was created to be the "quintessence" or the transcendent element. The image incorporates the esoteric symbol for the element, Earth's yellow square and Water's silver crescent. The landscape of Earth was inspired by the hills of East Tennessee during winter, when they are brown except for evergreens and the ever-present eastern red cedar trees (portrayed here) which grow by the roadside or in fields. "Water" was inspired by seaweed and bubbles.

"The Four Elements and Spirit," CorelDraw, February 1992.

1 comment:

Tristan Alexander said...

Even though they are done on computer, I like the stylization and design of these.