Friday, March 28, 2008

Using symbols in our art

Symbols, painting by Robin Atkins
I’ve been thinking about Morwyn’s February BJP piece, called Imbolc/The Quickening Moon. She wrote this about the triangle shape in the center of her piece:

I have an emotional reaction to triangles. Something about a good solid base tapering up in a symbolic reach to the heavens. Aspirations, I suppose.
Her beadwork and her words made me recall a rather special appointment with a psychologist a while back. (I had about 10 appointments to work on my relationship with my husband and my changing career.) On this particular day, she brought out a large sheet of drawing paper and some thick markers. She asked me to draw the following shapes:

cross (like a + sign or an x)
She asked me to pick the shape that seemed the most compelling to me at that moment and to write the number 1 under it. Then she asked me to pick the second most compelling and to write the number 2 under it. Then I picked the third, fourth and finally the least compelling shape, writing the number under each.

Then she interpreted not only the meaning of each shape, but also the position it held, the rank I had assigned to each. She spoke of this test as the culmination of years of research into archetypal symbols and their psychological associations in our culture. It was fascinating!

Want to try it?

If so, draw and rank the figures. When you finish, check back here (where I have posted about the meanings) so you can interpret your own response. I've also posted a picture of a painting I did in exploration of the concepts (small detail from it shown above).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Now you can pre-order my new book!

Here's the cover of my new book!

Heart to Hands Bead Embroidery, cover, new book by Robin Atkins, bead artist
It will be sent to the printer March 22! (Finally!) It should be available to ship to you by May 1st, possibly a few days earlier.

All the information and printable pre-order form are on my website, or you can follow the specific links below.

Click here for more information about the book.

Click here to see a few pictures from the book.

Click here to find a printable pre-order form.

Yes, of course, I'll autograph all pre-ordered books! If you're a participant in the BJP, please make note of it on your order form.

Thanks sooooooooooo much for your support and encouragement along the way. You've been fabulous helpers, angels really!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bead Embroidery - Bead Journal Project for February

Oh my goodness, this one was sooooooo much fun!

bead embroidery, bead journal project, Robin AtkinsValentine for Little Robin

My very first thought, as I went to my fabric stash to pick out fabrics for my February BJP, was "It's going to be a valentine for Little Robin!" And so it is!

Who is Little Robin? I don't recall exactly when the concept of having an innocent, playful, sweet inner-being occurred to me. Maybe it was around the time I first read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron in 1993. At that time I began writing morning pages (journaling) regularly.

Being a former psychology major and trained counselor, I knew the value of role-playing. Somehow, I fell into the practice of written role-playing in my morning pages. I write long conversations with Little Robin. Because she always wants to play, paint, bead and have fun, she has contributed much to my life and my art. I'm a serious and responsible person, who can easily spend too much time working and get too stressed about obligations. In our journaled conversations, she helps me to lighten up a bit!

What do you think? Does she like the valentine I made for her?