This is my new tiny obsession. Ever since the beginning of this year, and the sudden onset of my need to be in my body, {rather than in my head all the time} and more in touch with myself as a woman {even saying that still weirds me out a bit so clearly there’s more work to do here!}, and then after my friend called me Ocean Goddess just in passing, I can’t seem to stop looking for, and stumbling across, examples of the divine feminine, powerful women and general goddessery in art.

I read a book called The Red Book, by Sera Beak, which I highly recommend for a down to earth approach to bringing spirituality and meaning into your everyday life, and in it she talked about, among many other things, the Virgin Mary and the Hindu goddess Kali.

Apparently the real meaning of the word ‘virgin’, according to many Greek translations and interpretations, is ‘one unto herself’. I like this so much I have it written on the blackboard in my kitchen; in this context I’m learning how to revirginise! The idea of being one unto myself is empowering and suggests much potential for bringing a different part of myself to the fore and offering something to the world from a place of inner knowing and grounded stability.

{Virgin Mary by Fra Filippo Lippi}

Kali was new to me; in many ways the complete antithesis of Mary, she wears accessories of human parts, looks aggressive and bloodthirsty, and defiantly sticks her tongue out at us. For me she is a reminder that woman is both soft and strong. She is the goddess of time and change, and as such is also associated with death, transformation and healing.

{Dancing Kali by Aaron Staengl}

I’ve been looking at images of the empowered feminine and inviting that energy into my painting more since all this began. I’ve talked for a long time about introducing a more figurative element to my work, which for me is more about conveying a feeling or emotion than anatomical correctness! And more and more now my sketchbook is filling up with drawings of women, and my mind’s eye is flooded with concepts for paintings of that divine feminine image that lives inside all women {and maybe men too, I haven’t thought about that}.

It seems that this painting marked a turning point for me:

she seems soft and serene and pure but to me she feels more like a springboard into a side of myself I’m not so acquainted with, and I’m really intrigued by that.

Here is some art in this vein that stirs that empowered inner goddess in me and pushes me to explore this whole idea further {clicking on images will take you either directly to the image or to the artist’s website generally if I couldn’t find the specific image}:

{We Are All Made Of Stars by Leah Piken Kolidas ~ one of my favourite paintings EVER}

{Day Dreams by Erin Ashley}

{Jane Desrosier ~ not sure which painting this is but all of hers inspire me anyway}

{Clarissa Porter ~ Madonna of the Pies}

{Mary Ann Wakeley}

{Rise and Fall by Raina Gentry. Oh how I love this.}

{R.C. Gorman}

{Sarah Wyman ~ Island. SO ‘one unto herself’!}

{Anita Klein ~ The Very Starry Sky}

{Yeye Yemonja ~ Charmaine Minniefield}

This barely scratches the surface of this subject for me. I am constantly learning about what it all means for me personally, and I feel it nudging me to express it in my paintings. I was working on a painting last night that seems to be heading in this new direction, although I have a long way to go. But that’s ok, the journey is the best part, right!

What does the divine feminine mean to you? Do you have any favourite paintings that express that feeling to you? Maybe you’ve done a piece of work about this yourself. I’d love to see; it’s all flames to the creative fire. 🙂