MAGICK and me.

Before I start talking about Magick , I would  like to apologise to everyone who used to enjoy my posts .I haven’t been posting that much anymore because I had to take a break for summer as being a mother , a full-time artist and a teacher can take it’s toll  .

So what is Magick? Magick to me  is all about imagination. Magick is what you make it, how you want it .It helps you find your true destiny and shape your life and yourself as you want to be. Free from constraints of religious dogma or social dogma.

There are incredible authors out there who have been researching history and uncovering  the stories behind some of the greatest scholars who researched alchemy, enochian ,chaos  magic for over 20 years like Jason Louv just to mention one. Here is a link to an interview by this incredible wizard  I really enjoyed.

We must admit that there has been a shift in consciousness  the last years. At the wake of scandals like sexual attacks  on children and vulnerable women by priests in the catholic church,  the ongoing religious wars , Atomic wars, Global warming, Cancer, mass migration because of which thousands of lives  are lost at sea, and all sorts  horrors, we millennials are starting to question the role of faith and religion  and everything else in our life.

But let’s face it? When haven’t people questioned faith and man’s role in the big cosmic universe? I feel that today, the age of space travel and bitcoin technology, our consciousness is shifting . The way mankind during the Renaissance tried to go back to reach God , to restore man’s grandeur before the fall of Adam,  nowadays the younger generation is  looking into spirituality and ancient wisdom in order to get away from the atrocities our present society is going trough. People are waking up to spirituality, are travelling and choosing to find a different kinds of answers to their need of being at one with the Universe. Nowadays the religious dogma of having to punish oneself  and fit into the model presented doesn’t fit us anymore.  We are looking into going before Religion came  and took over the world and shaped the world as we know it today.  We are looking into ancient wisdom, folkore, mythology and magic. We are doing it because we are tired and feel betrayed by the superpowers shaping every aspect of our lives and continuously letting us down.

So out of the collective we, there are some people like me who look into Magick.

Magick is ancient wisdom , it is folklore, it is the way our ancestors used to answer their spiritual questions about morality and being human. It’s the enchanted books we read as children, it is our dreams of all that we want to become.Magick  is present in the chore of each and everyone of us. You are only as magical as you want to be.

 

There are different tools with which one can express his magick. Some choose tools like wands, magical rituals and sigils,  others choose art. I am one of the latter.I choose to draw  and paint my magical thoughts and express them in colour. The one  below is part of a set of drawings I did as my son slept last year. It is about something I wish for. A soulmate with whom I can travel the realms of the imaginary and with whom I can  be who I want to be. A physical kiss but in reality it is not. It is about a Cosmic connection of 2 people whose the body is a cultivated  garden, ancient, the body as being full of wisdom as vast as  the universe the body of a soul that has traveled the universe at night that blossoms with love for every creature on earth.

 

Hope  you like them

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Inhale light Exhale #ColoursValletta

Selina Scerri

Colourselina

The person I have to thank for this incredible journey in my career is Ramona Depares.

Sometimes it just takes  a well wishing person to recommend you  for a project that could

potentially change your life and everything you have dedicated your life for, finally

starts to make sense.

I have been painting non stop for years now, and have always  taken a stand for the

impossible being possible. Transformation and magical happenings have always been at

the centre of my existence since I was a child. Having  always rejected the intellectual

aesthetic of contemporary art and  having opted for folklore and outsiders as the  artists

I mostly respect, my artwork has always  been a bit of a puzzle as to where it should be

classified. It doesn’t fit in any category.  I cannot be an outsider artist because I studied

art at one of the best colleges in the world…

View original post 668 more words

Inhale light Exhale #ColoursValletta

Colourselina

The person I have to thank for this incredible journey in my career is Ramona Depares.

Sometimes it just takes  a well wishing person to recommend you  for a project that could

potentially change your life and everything you have dedicated your life for, finally

starts to make sense.

I have been painting non stop for years now, and have always  taken a stand for the

impossible being possible. Transformation and magical happenings have always been at

the centre of my existence since I was a child. Having  always rejected the intellectual

aesthetic of contemporary art and  having opted for folklore and outsiders as the  artists

I mostly respect, my artwork has always  been a bit of a puzzle as to where it should be

classified. It doesn’t fit in any category.  I cannot be an outsider artist because I studied

art at one of the best colleges in the world  and I  cannot  be  a contemporary artist   as I

paint fairies and animals with human performative characteristics.

But here came this opportunity, to make a 23 metre installation for Embassy Shopping

Complex and Cinemas. The only way I knew I could pull something like this off was by

painting and applying colour with my own hands. I decided to apply the same concepts

of layering and transparencies on this installation as I do on my canvases. And finally I

can say I made a magical 3 dimensional contemporary artwork.  It took me over 25 years

to be able to get to this point . This project required mathematical calculations, painting

sewing, ironing , hanging and organisation . It was much harder than I ever imagined.

Everything else in my life had to come to a halt to be able to meet the deadlines

This was the statement of the work

  • Inhale and Exhale Colour is an installation designed to create an ethereal feeling of a magical colourful aura, that moves with the wind ,creating a tickling tunnel of colour as if a passage to another dimension  against the buildings of Valletta.
  • Strips of non woven fabric are dyed and spray painted  one by one  to create unique tones of colour moving from dark to light in order to create a sense of space.
  • The transparency of the fabric against sunlight plays on the interaction of multiple primary colour layers that overlap to create a playful installation, offering a respite from the hectic city life right in the centre of Valletta.

Apart from the impossibility of it’s scale, the time frame was crazy. I had to finish

everything in 2 weeks.  I can safely say  that I did not sleep at all during those 2 weeks.

I had managed to finish everything it is true but I panicked towards the end of the  last

day and thankfully Embassy’s management agreed to give me an extension of a couple of

days.I didn’t sleep at all either  but at least I had time to review every single piece.

Embassy’s management was truly the best partner I have ever  had. Understanding

careful and professional , had it been another manager not Chris Borg, I really doubt  we

would have managed to see the end of  the whole thing.

So many great people I met as well . My love for Valletta got even bigger when I met the

installation team who were such loving good people. Artists in their own right

these people  showed  great dedication to art , folklore and culture. They were truly

patient and professional in their work.

But the biggest thank you has to go to my parents and my brother who showed me full

support, helped me in every way they could and even lost sleep with me.

To cut a long story short, this was not the work of just one person but of a whole team of

dedicated people and professionals.

#Colourvalletta is  a true celebration of our amazing Capital of Culture  , and the

incredible people, who work with love and dedication to make this city an amazing

place. It is very hard for people from outside to understand or ever come close to the

great simplicity of the people who live in this city. Our way is our own way and I  am

very happy to having  been able to colour the City I love so much with my  palette.

And just to end  this post on a more positive note- It just feels great seeing people taking

photos and selfies with my work. Public art is truly rewarding.

 

 

 

The following videos are a glimpse of the process…

 

Una and the Lion

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Artwork

acrylics, oils , glitter and spray paint on canvas size 200by 200

€7,000.00

 

How did this painting come along?

I have an Italian Gallery  owner  friend of mine, who always comes to my studio and has been telling me- Selina , paint Magic again. Large scale  is your ‘Forte’ , Magic Realism is your Card.

Considering large scale artworks 200 by 200 are so hard to sell on the island , everyone, even local gallerists have been making me forget about the love I have for larger scales. I hesitated for a bit but I decided to listen to his advise.

I spent months walking around Valletta the same path over and over again looking for magic. I knew it had to come from the President’s Palace, I just couldn’t find what or where. I took my son  for a walk for the 1000th time  there and decided to walk into the door to the museum and this time sat down.

And there they lay, those 2 magnificent lions.  Sleeping guarding a door to I don’t know where.

IMG_2547

And it hit me. Valletta’s lion, the spirit animal of it’s inhabitants. The lion king, the symbol of power and truth, which is seen on every emblem on every flag around this tiny city.

Then a few metres away sat a girl reading a book. I closed my eyes and I just could see the lions coming to life  and startle her from the back.

So back home, I sat down and did some research  . In not long I found out about the myth of Una and the Lion and gladly saw that other artists have also painted the subject.

This is a link

https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/5629/una-and-lion

The execution took over 8 months of work and to be able to do it, my son  had to join in for his first apprentice ship.

 

Pricing – How and what to pay for an Artwork.

It is a truth universally acknowledged ( as in the book of Pride and Prejudice) that artwork is expensive. It is a luxury that not everybody can afford.

There are different kinds of buyers and different kinds of art but how to know if you are paying the right amount for a specific work?

To be able to discuss this properly I am going to divide Art into 2 categories. Outsider art and Insider art.

Let us start with Insider art  -These are artists who usually have paid for their education and are formaly qualified as artists.

Outsider and folk art are artists who are not formally trained and usually do art as part of a ritual or  as an obsession  etc…

Before we start getting all pumped up defining which of these 2  categories is the best and most true artist , please lets keep to the point.  We are discussing prices not artistic merit. Therefore one must look into the artist’s background to be able to define the price.  Qualifications alone are not enough to sell artworks at very high prices.

Then we have to look into the artist’s longevity in the business.  How long has the artist been doing art? Has he/ she been doing art for a long time? Are they part of important collections? Have they ever worked with a gallery? If not working with a gallery are they managing on their own?  The most pathetic response by even members of artistic cultural entities  is that they equate an artist as more of merit if he/she lives off his/her art only.  Well that would depend on the individual. I  met artists who go crazy in the studio locked up on their own and have been prescribed to work part time to keep their head in check by their psychotherapists. Not everybody is the same. Generalising is not the way.

When buying artwork from a gallery usually the artist has to pay between 30% to 50%  commission to the gallery. Then there are taxes.

One  also has to keep in mind the price of materials. Has anybody ever tried to walk around an art material store? A stretched canvas can cost up to 500 euros( massive one) and even more nowadays.. Framers nowadays sometimes  feel like they deserve to earn more than the artist himself.

There are some oil tubes that cost around  60 euros (on the average) The brushes can go very high up in price as well. Studio space is usually rented, we have to pay for the electricity used , WIFI and count in the hours.

So basically when asking for the price of the artwork , the artist gives you the list of materials so you can understand what you are buying and how long it is going to last.A painting on linen will last 500 years, on cotton much less.

Also are you buying artwork as an investment? As part of a collection ? or to decorate your house?

Then you have to keep in mind the term- Art dealer and dealing.  Prices are usually negotiated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety for children in an art studio

My parents passed by my studio and showed a little bit of concern regarding my artist materials and the health and safety of my son.

Their concern is totally understandable so I decided to write a post about the health and safety  and  art materials I use around my son so maybe it can help other artist mums out there.

Spray paint-  The best solution is to use Liquitex  water based spray paint . I have checked and it is ideal for educational use , although Montana have smaller spray cans for children which one can see my son play with in one of my instagram videos here

 

This Link here  is about the level of toxicity and safety of Liquitex,

I recommend them strongly if you work inside.

https://liquitex.com/spraypaintfeatures/

The Montana water based spray cans are too small and are ideal only for children not to actually work with although colorfastness and coverage is good  it is not as good as Liquitex.

 

As for paint I am using acrylics.

Acrylics should adhere  to the guidelines of ASTM D 4236 to be safe for children . Most acrylics are but as stated below  in this  health and safety label for Golden-

 

https://www.goldenpaints.com/health-safety-labeling

Children  should always be monitored as they do tend to put everything in their mouth, although I doubt  one will ever eat a whole tube of acrylic paint….when under supervision.

 

Hope  this helps a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The things that really count.

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In 2007,when I had just graduated from Art school ,being selected by a gallery was a dream. So when I was offered a contract by a gallery in London and was flown to Italy to be introduced to  other important galleries  exactly when graduating was , in my mind amazing.10 years on, the thought of dealing with a gallery stresses me out

Why?

Let me explain. We artists are led to believe that we need a gallery and that we should obey them  and bend to all their wishes. It is not like that. The truth is one.  The artist needs to remember that you, the artist are the gallery’s client and the ones who buy the artworks are the Gallery’s friends not vice versa.Another thing to keep in mind is the business plan. Each and every gallery needs to have a business plan and in every country , especially if in other continents , business plans differ.

Another important thing to keep in mind is money. I don’t care how much hate I am going to stir now, but  the truth is , Art is about money, it always was and will always be.The problem is that we artists are too busy thinking up incredibly beautiful things to ever think about money and the asshole rest of the world knows that and abuses us.For us everything is priceless. For the others, we are ‘money making machines’ as one millionaire many moons ago called me. So when we get sick  of the horrid system we try to set up a what is called an ARTIST LED SPACE. It sounds amazing until you try to do it. I tried and the consequences were disastrous. I am way too creative to be able to deal with the monetary side of things  not to mention being the creative person I am I risked  and enjoyed making mistakes and tried to make something out of them, like I do with the process of painting. I can say I had come up with the most incredible business plan with the most outrageous artists.   There was one major flaw in the great scheme of things. I forgot to employ a full time psychotherapist who specialises in creative people. No wonder Van Gogh  had cut off his ear when he had trouble with Gaugin.  Disputes amongst creatives are pretty much what Hollywood drama aspires to be but never will ( Thank God for that)

The latest bit of drama I had to endure  almost catapulted me into a storm between  powerful people. I spent  2 days in a corner trying to figure out why the hell I always let myself into such situations. I was ready to swear on a facebook post to never paint again.  I just cannot believe how naive I can be, or rather how I let my ego and need to succeed  govern my little bit of rationality.

So I decided to post a painting I just finished, with my son next to it.  This photo does not show the painting in it’s glory but it shows the most important  and most beautiful amazing gift I have. I have a son who loves to be with me in my studio whilst I paint.

God has given me what I always wanted, a son, a man to love and a studio. I don’t need anything else.

My season’s blessings to all of you  and a little reminder to  be grateful for all you have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working in silence.

I haven’t posted in a while because I am  currently working on a new artwork . I have been planning it for weeks and now I am executing it. I usually wake up at 5am and spend the next 3 hours painting, and thinking. Those are the only hours I have to myself before my little man wakes up.

I cannot add pictures today, because most of what I have are thoughts, so it would be best for me to just be quiet for a while and in the end post a picture of the new piece I am working on.

May the stars  be with you.