Category Archives: Column: Pagan Artist of the Month

Every (first of the) month we try to interview and present a pagan artist to the world.

Featured artist – Katherine Soutar

Katherine 3Katherine Soutar is an artist who has been well known in Pagan circles for some time, for her gorgeous unicorns and dancing cats. She has recently created an extraordinary set of covers for a county by county series of books on the folktales of the British Isles.

Katherine Soutar’s work for the History press is a unique collaboration between illustrator, storytellers and publisher. She reads the entire manuscript of each folk tales book and crafts the perfect cover image based on its content and her own extensive research.

Katherine 2She has supplied the cover artwork for every title in the Folktales series, now at over 70 books and still counting, she is also responsible for the covers for the newly commissioned Ghost tales series.

Katherine Soutar (Caddick) lives in Shropshire with husband Bill Caddick who is a songwriter and musician and son Tam, an aspiring writer. She is a member of the Association of Illustrators and has been working in collaboration with storytellers and musicians turning their words into images for many years.

Katherine 1She also works in an academy school part time, introducing students to warm glass techniques, animation, illustration and printing

‘Transforming words into pictures is what I love to do most’

Katherine said, “I have recently started to think about some of the universal stories that appear in many different cultures across the globe and ways that I could explore the connections between us that we so often miss whilst we are focusing on our differences, I would like to produce some work that expresses this and see this as a project I could perhaps work with international storytellers on. Watch this space.”

Katherine 4You can read a Folklore Thursday interview with Katherine here – http://folklorethursday.com/creative-corner/interview-katherine-soutar

Facebook: Katherine Soutar Caddick Artist

Twitter: @kate_dancingcat

website: katherinesoutarillustration.com

Jacqui Lovesey – Artist and Illustrator

Our featured artist this month is Jacqui Lovesey, whose work features witches (of all sizes), magical hares and an enchanting, animistic sort of reality

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Happy sun-turns! A beautiful new addition to the family….. 🙂 # family

A post shared by Jacqui Lovesey (@jacquilovesey) on

I have been working as a self-employed artist for the last thirty years in many different media.  I am not ‘formally’ trained, but have drawn and painted for as far back as I can remember, starting as a child, keenly sketching birds, animals, flowers and insects… My father was passionate on nature and instilled in me that same  lifelong love of the natural world from an early age.  However, having been brought up on a 1970s estate, I also longed to grow up, leave home and find somewhere in the contemplative quiet of the countryside in which to live and work.

And so my travels began…leading quite a gypsy life, moving many times but always finding each place had something new and inspiring to offer, an excitement I was keen to pass down to the younger members of the family.

But that’s not to say that it’s all been idyllic! Working as an artist has its ups and downs, mostly the making-ends-meet part, the main, familiar problem for most self-employed creative folk!  However, for me, the ‘ups’ easily outweigh the ‘downs’. Most importantly, you’re more or less continual master of your own destiny – who knows what amazing project or idea is just around the corner?

Then there’s the ‘motivation’ question I’m often asked – where do I get if from? I always reply bills are a pretty-good motivator – and that there are never enough hours in the day!

At present I am illustrating the Matlock the Hare trilogy of books with my husband Phil, a writer.  It’s been a four-year project of blind faith and dedication, only made possible with the support and loyalty of our many ‘Saztaculous Matlock folk’ who keep us going by buying the artwork, supporting our kickstarter projects and providing endless valuable enthusiasm and encouragement.  The books feature a green-robed majickal-hare who lives high in the Derbyshire Peaks, and have been a joy to illustrate, as I can create the images totally from my imagination – always fun!  Phil and I work well together, neither of us getting in the way of the other, as we have own roles within it. Besides, I’m dyslexic, and he can barely hold a paintbrush without breaking it, so it’s probably better we stick to our own skills!

With two feature-length novels in the trilogy already published, and the third and final instalment due out in October this year, it will soon will be time to put down the brush and go out blinking into the light with our  ‘baby’  and say to the world, “Hey! Look what we’ve done. Now you can all share this too!”  As an artist this is always the hardest part, as we’re almost always happiest creating, not promoting, and this awkward transitional time leaves you wanting to pid-pad in the other direction entirely. However, it’s  a vitally important part of the process and putting on a coat of creative armour to face any critics and naysayers is a given. However, at the end of the even’up you can always go to bed knowing that, if nothing else, your brush and pen are already waiting for you to take them up again all too soon!

Who knows what’s next? That’s always the most exciting part!

Happy hoppy Easter all!!!🐇🐣🐇 #easter #eastersunday #hare #art

A post shared by Jacqui Lovesey (@jacquilovesey) on

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You can see more of Jacqui’s work and discover more about the ‘saztaculous’ world of Matlock the Hare at www.matlockthehare.com

Or, please follow her Instagram account for latest progress on her current artworks, exhibitions and forthcoming publication days at

https://www.instagram.com/jacquilovesey/

 

June: Pagan Artist of the Month: Willow Arleana

Interview by Brandi Auset

Willow - Fairy Tree

Willow Arleana is an artist, healer, energy psychotherapist, and proprietor of the Dancing Willow Tree Mystery School. Her artwork can be found in metaphysical shops and galleries across the country, and she is the co-creator of the immensely popular Tarot of Transformation. You can view her portfolio HERE.

I had an opportunity to connect with Willow, and discuss the beauty and wisdom behind her art and practice.

Brandi Auset: Are you Pagan? Do those beliefs inspire your fabulous art?

Willow Arleana: I believe that all spiritual traditions can lead to an experience of the divine, so in that sense, I am a Universalist. I spent many years in the Buddhist tradition, and a result of all that meditating was awakened to the life force flowing through nature, and to the intelligence of the beings of nature. I began to channel nature spirits and do energetic healing with nature spirits. This led me to research Pagan mythology, particularly of the goddess traditions. Currently I am writing and illustrating a book on The Seasons Around the Tree of Life based in the lore of the goddess. It will probably take me 3 or 4 more years to finish it. Many of my images are inspired by the beauty and wisdom of Nature. If I had to define my spirituality, I would say I am a Universalist with a strong Neo-Pagan/Buddhist focus!

Brandi Auset: Could you tell our readers a bit more about the book you are working on?

Willow Arleana: The working title is SEASONS AROUND THE TREE OF LIFE: AN ECLECTIC JOURNEY ROOTED IN THE GREAT GODDESS TRADITION. For many years I have lead rituals following the Celtic cycle. For these rituals I began researching goddesses from around the globe. At one point I realized that almost all god and goddess archetypes emerged from the energy of nature. When we look at the world’s religions from this point in time, they all look very different from each other. If we look at them from their origin, they are all quite similar: they all grew, like branches, from a culture’s relationship to the natural environment around them. In addition, every tradition that I explored had a myth about the Tree of Life, that is every tradition had myths about the mystic center and the life force emerging from it, usually symbolized as a tree. Likewise, every tradition experienced the cycle of the seasons and other cycles. Even traditions based in the tropics or desert where the yearly cycle is not so pronounced worked with the lunar cycle and the daily cycle. I came to the conclusion that the expansion and contraction of the flow of life force energy, which cycles around the mystic center, and one’s relationship to both the cycle and the mystic center, are the fundamental concerns of religions. My book will be a user’s manual for people to find a greater attunement to the seasons. I describe goddesses from numerous traditions, as well as significant god archetypes that emerged in the pagan world and grew in prominence dung the patriarchy. I also provide meditations, awareness practices and journeys for each season.

Brandi Auset: When did you first discover your talent?

Willow Arleana: I knew if fourth grade that I was going to be an artist. I have been an artist in many past lives and mastered many artistic skills then.

Brandi Auset: What is the process behind most of your art? What mediums do you use?

Willow Arleana: I have worked in many art and craft media, including watercolor painting, fiber wall hangings, costume making, mask making, and jewelry making. I have always been interested in ceremonial or mythical content. For the last 20 years or so I have used acrylic painting as my primary medium, embellished with hand-made paper collage for the textural element. It took me many years to develop my painting technique that utilizes layers of translucent paint.

Brandi Auset: What artists and or musicians–and songs– if any, inspire you and why?

Willow Arleana: When I was first developing my art I wanted to incorporate the fluidity of Van Gogh, The transparency of various mystical artists, and the decorative design of ethnic art. Later I added the feminine line quality of Art Noveau. As far as musical inspiration, I tend to listen to mellow New Age or World Beat music. Lorena McKennit or Snatam Kaur are often playing in my house. I like music that sooths my nervous system and creates a sense of flow that I can ride upon as I paint.

Brandi Auset: If the world was created in the image of your imagination, what would it be like when we woke up tomorrow and seen it with new eyes?

Willow Arleana: The world would be luminescent with high-frequency colors and shimmering light. Objects would be transparent, because they are more energy than matter. Spirit beings could be seen. The sound vibrations emanating from life forms would create rippling patterns through the colors.

Brandi Auset: If someone would like to commission your talent, where can they find you? What are you open for—Book covers, Graphic Novels… what?

Willow Arleana: All of my images and contact info is on my website . I am open to book covers, divination sets, mystical logos, soul paintings, etc.

Brandi Auset: You also run the Dancing Willow Tree Mystery School in Colorado. What exactly is a Mystery School, and how did the project come about?

Willow Arleana: In ancient times spiritual practitioners would gather in schools to study and experience the workings of subtle energy and other dimensions of consciousness. These mystery schools were highly secretive, or esoteric, because their knowledge could be dangerous in the wrong hands. In these times this esoteric knowledge is available for all that are interested. I started my school because the many offerings I provided could fit under the umbrella of a mystery school. I offer local and long distance psychic readings, Archetypal Energy Psychology, coaching, various energy awareness practices and other related mystery studies. For more information about DANCING WILLOW TREE MYSTERY SCHOOL, visit www.designsbywillow.com

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Everyone at the Pagan & Pen would like to thank Brandi Auset for another fabulous interview AND Willow Arleana for taking time out of her very busy schedule to be our June 2010 Pagan Artist of the Month. Through this month, we will be showing sample works by Willow Arleana –here or there—with out daily Ancient Calendar posts. So make sure to keep a look out and be ‘wowed’ by her wonderful talent!

For more Pagan Artists, check out: Artists of the Month

May: Pagan Artist of the Month : Russelle Westbrook

Interview by Brandi Auset

Scherazade_small

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Artist Russelle Westbrook of California is creating beautiful pieces of feminine art. Her website “The Forgotten Goddesses”  is a splendor of color, imagination, and magick. ___________________________________________________________________

Are you Pagan? Do those beliefs inspire your fabulous art?

R: First, thank you for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated. I try never to label myself in any way.  I have always been interested in the whole of humanity: our diversities, our moral concepts and compasses, and how we define our senses of personal integrity.

When did you first discover your talent?

R: Pretty much everyone in my family has been artistically inclined as it runs in our genes. I discovered my own personal voice in 2004 when I started painting for myself instead of painting for others. I discovered that in being true to my own inner voice – others responded.

What is the process behind most of your art? What mediums do you use?

R: Aside from the fantasy portraits that I do, I am not sure that I have a “process” anymore.  Since I paint for myself, I may be inspired by a suggestion from a friend, a concept (such as “The Scared Heart”), or a simple blank white canvas.  A sunny day will inspire me to take my paints outside and start painting.  If there is anything that defines me, it is my attention to the eyes, the “windows of the soul”.  I start there first, and if I don’t get what I want I scrap the canvas.  I work outwards from the eyes, and most of the time finishing the rest of the painting is the process.  As for my medium, it’s oils.

Your work focuses on women, goddess, and the Divine Feminine. How do you feel your subject matter reflects/affects society?

R: I know my work has a profound affect on women for which I am incredibly grateful. As mentioned, women really respond on an emotional level to my work and are not at all put off by the wounds and the scars. Women seem to instinctively understand that I am painting from the inside out. As a woman living in a Patriarchal society, I am fascinated by the way most women, myself included, subjugate themselves without even knowing it, in almost all avenues of their lives, but especially in regards to their relationships. I am also fascinated by the differences in how women and men deal with matters of the heart. Grief. Anger. Wounding, past and present. Of interest, is that my male friends appreciate the visual imagery in my work almost exclusively, but are most often puzzled and/or frightened by the wounds. These differences fascinate me also.

What artists and or musicians–and songs– if any, inspire you and why?

R: The visual artists that inspire and guide me most are the Pre-Raphaelites, my favorite being William Holman Hunt.  I also enjoy, and look for guidance, in the works of Mark Ryden and Kinuko Craft.  I have all my old fairy tale books and re-read them regularly. I also look to them for reference.  Writers give me sustenance and inspiration as well.  I have about two thousand books and re-read them all the time.

If the world was created in the image of your imagination, what would it be like when we woke up tomorrow and seen it with new eyes?

R: A world where everyone treated every living thing as they would themselves be treated.

If someone would like to commission your talent, where can they find you? What are you open for—Book covers, Graphic Novels… what?

R: I would love to do book covers, tarot cards, graphic novels, a line of furniture, woman oriented home / sanctuary accessories, a women’s clothing line, children’s books…..

Any new projects in the future or plans?

R: I am currently working on several fantasy portraits, a “Hel”, a “Lilith”, and “The Snow Queen”.  I am also currently working on a series of paintings dealing with Mary and “The Sacred Heart”.  I collect old lithographs of Mary with the Sacred Heart, mostly European, and am fascinated they the image of the heart with the flames and the sword passing through.  Purity and Sacrilege all in one image.  I am always fascinated by dichotomy – and how we manage to live with it.

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You can find Russelle Westbrook’s work on her website http://www.theforgottengoddess.com. All her prints are available to order, and Ms. Westbrook also works on commission in addition to helping children find their artistic talents.

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See more articles by Brandi Auset

April: Pagan Artist of the Month: Margaret Shaffer

birds in flight

April’s 2010 Pagan Artist of the Month is Margaret Shaffer.

The picture to the left is called Birds In Flight. The piece of art made Today’s Best Award for 1-22-10 on Zazzle.

Margaret seems to have a story behind every single one of her pieces of Art and she was a joy to interview. So please keep reading so you can discover Margaret’s talent through her eyes the way I did.

The Interview with Margaret Shaffer…

C.H. Scarlett: First, welcome to The Pagan and the Pen and thank you for agreeing to be our April Pagan Artist of the Month.

Second, tell us about the Pagan that lives inside Margaret Shaffer and do those beliefs inspire your fabulous art?

Margaret : I personally follow a path based on a blend of Greek and Celtic wisdom. I follow the Greek Pantheon but incorporate elements of Celtic traditions to honor my ancestry.

Yes, my beliefs inspire my art but I find my self trying to find the words to explain how, so I will try by explaining the samples I sent to you.

My “Birds in Flight” piece is an illustration of how beautifully birds coexist with the element of air.

“Dragon Smoke” is an ode to my totem animal. I choose a dragon because it symbolizes wisdom and all five elements working in harmony.

“Moonlight Dolphin” is in tribute to the sea goddess Amphitrite

C.H. Scarlett : So with so much spiritual/magical/symbolism and intent pouring into your creations, whoever buys and or wears your art might bring a little bit of that to them, correct?

Margaret : True, but it also boils down to what the symbolism means to the individual. For example Moonlight dolphin to any one else could represent any other lunar / sea deity, childish whimsy, or a dolphin totem. Like the old saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and so is the power of the symbol.

C.H. Scarlett : Your art being something like Kitchen Witchery, except where they work with food and herbs, you work with art and the supplies to create it. The designs and drawings themselves have deep meaning, therefore, something like a spell, that meaning is blessed to the purchaser. Would you agree?

Margaret: I never thought about it in that way but yes I agree. When you combine any symbol with the power of colors and positive thought then yes you are creating a talisman.

C.H. Scarlett: When did you first discover your talent?

Margaret : To be honest I have always drawn but I usually just shoved it in a box or threw it a way. The only reason I decided to do anything with my pictures was because a friend caught me throwing some of it away and he dove in to trash can to rescue it and lectured me about wasting my talents. With a lot of encouragement from my husband I entered a few pictures in the art show at a Sci-Fi / Fantasy convention and over heard a professional artist complement my style. That was the boost of self-esteem I needed to motivate me to share my art with the world.

C.H. Scarlett: It’s amazing what we don’t see in ourselves, yet someone else can home in on it right away, especially where talent and such exists.

Margaret: Well as my husband is always telling me “The artist is their own worst critic”. For this reason I make him help me pick out what pieces I make public because where I see flaws he sees a masterpiece.

C.H. Scarlett: What is the process behind most of your art? What mediums do you use?

Margaret : Well I usually start by staring at a blank piece of paper till I get inspired. I then sketch it out with a pencil and then go over it with a Sharpie marker, but some of my best work starts out just doodling with a Sharpie. I just love the sharp contrast between paper and ink. After the art is done I scan it in and touch it up using an art program called Gimp.

C.H. Scarlett: What artists and or musicians–and songs– if any, inspire you and why?

Margaret : Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh is my primary inspirations, but I am also fond of Celtic Knot work and Tribal Tattoos.

C.H. Scarlett: If the world was created in the image of your imagination, what would it be like when we woke up tomorrow and seen it with new eyes?

Margaret : It would be a lot closer to D&D.

C.H. Scarlett: Very cool. So tell me a normal day if the world reflected something of Dungeons and Dragons. What sorts of creatures would I meet when trying to hop over to a grocery store, or would there be markets for bartering and so forth?

Margaret : Well you first would get up in the morning and converse with your familiar about how much it wished it had thumbs so it could make its own breakfast so he would not have to wait on you. After breakfast you two go to the local market to do some shopping. On your three block walk there you pass by a poster advertising a griffin race this weekend unfortunately you can’t go because of your job helping an elderly dragon write his memoirs.

When you get to the market your cat reminds you that you promised him trout for dinner. So you make your way past the venders selling fresh vegetables, bolts of silk and magic items to find the fish venders. On your way you stop by a merchant selling scribe supplies because you need some new quills. You decide to splurge and buy a beautiful pale blue one made from a Pegasus feather.

C.H. Scarlett: If someone would like to commission your talent, where can they find you? What are you open for—Book covers, Graphic Novels… what?

Margaret : I can be contacted through my Zazzle web site http://www.zazzle.com/magikosstudios

The few things I have been commissioned to do in the past were tattoo designs, but I am open to expanding my horizons.

C.H. Scarlett: Any new projects in the future or plans?

Margaret : I am currently focused on scanning in and touching up a pile of art that I’ve create over the last five years.

We’d like to thank Margaret for allowing us to peek into her world. It was a honor having her here at The Pagan and the Pen.

C.H. Scarlett

March: Pagan Artist of the Month: Nix Winter

When I first met Nix Winter, I knew him as an Author, but slowly, I began to realize that’s not his only talent. Then, once someone suggested I contact him for the Pagan Artist of the Month, I became floored—literally—at just how much of an Artist he is! Nix Winter is an artist by natural means (drawing, painting, etc) but also, a photographer, a photo manipulator, and a digital master.  So this month, I will be proud to show off Nix’s talent (his many pictures) in our Pagan Holiday posts…so make sure to catch those as we move towards April.

 

The Interview:

C.H. Scarlett: Tell us about the Pagan that lives inside of Nix and do those beliefs inspire your fabulous art?

Nix Winter: Labels are so limiting. They give us comfort as they define our world like borders on a map. I started my spiritual path as a Christian. It was so constricting, so linear. There is so much guilt in my experience of that path anyway. I found a book by Starhawk and my life opened up!

Over the nearly two decades since then, I’ve found I don’t believe in a particular deity. I believe in a connection to the universe, to energy that binds us all together. What brings me good, is good for the community. When I give to the community, it comes back to me.

Lately I think.. that I am a song, my being physical and soul, the path of my life. All the parts, living brings forth a kind of song, like whales or the harmony of stars.

C.H. Scarlett: When did you first discover your talent?

Nix Winter: I don’t know that I’ve discovered something within myself that isn’t with anyone I just love trying things, seeing beautiful things. Maybe there’s something in all of us that strives be bright and vivid so that other people can see us.

C.H. Scarlett: What is the process behind most of your art? What mediums do you use?

Nix Winter: My process is incredibly varied. At the most basic, I’m just looking for some way to say what I need to say. As for mediums, I use all different kinds. I’ve enjoyed photography, digital art done in Photoshop, Painter and Manga Studio. I work with acrylic, water color, pastel, Copic markers, colored pencil, ink and brush, and even a little air brush.

For me creating some visual representation of an idea or a feeling is about trying to be one with it. I guess I’m trying to turn my soul inside out, leave a print of it like with Silly Putty getting an image off of a cartoon strip. It’s really easy… just put color to surface, let it tell you where it should go.

C.H. Scarlett: What artists and or musicians–and songs– if any, inspire you and why?

Nix Winter: Oh I love art! I love Georgia O’Keefe, Degas, Monet, Kishimoto, and Clamp. I saw an exhibition of Micheal Angelo at Seattle Museum of Art. Amazing stuff, not because it was so perfect, but because it was pretty normal, way been than I can do, but still sketches. He tried to burn up all his sketches and drawings at the end of his life to help the myth that his work was inspired by God.

I saw this amazing piece by Yoko Ono that bent my mind. It was so simple. Just a block of wood, a hammer on a chain and a bowl of nails. The art formed as viewers took a nail and banged it into place. It was ever changing, always unfinished. All art, if we know it or not, is like that…. we make something and we show it to the viewer and in the viewer’s mind new concepts, meanings, understandings are added, deleted, shifted.. and this piece of art becomes born a new for each person that internalizes it.

I love Japanese art a lot and I listen to mostly Japanese music. Sometimes music gives me ideas for stories or art, but mostly it’s my buffer, my protector.

C.H. Scarlett:  That’s awesome. I haven’t heard anyone mention Georgia O’Keefe as being an inspiration in forever. I adore her work too. Everyone you mentioned, is fabulous—and sadly, some are not spoken of so much anymore with artists. Refreshing.

Now, tell me, if the world was created in the image of your imagination, what would it be like when we woke up tomorrow and seen it with new eyes?

Nix Winter: Oh goodness! You’d probably have to read my books for that. It’s changing, growing. Sometimes my imagination is pretty dark, so it might not be so nice. I think the world we’ve got is very fantastic and we don’t use half of what we’ve got!

C.H. Scarlett: If someone would like to commission your talent, where can they findhousesilver you? What are you open for—Book covers, Graphic Novels… what?

Nix Winter: I do a lot of book covers 🙂 I used to have a commission page up on my site, but I don’t now. I work mostly through loveyoudivine for cover work, but I’ve done one cover for Freya’s Bower too. If someone did want art from me, they should write and ask. 🙂

C.H. Scarlett: Any new projects in the future or plans?

Nix Winter: Oh yes! I have a cover I’m working on for Jaime Samms. I need to finish covers for Cain and Shelly, The Pet 11. I want to work on a graphic novel and I have so many candidates for what I should do. I just got my copy of Immortal Fire. I was really proud of that project. I did all the covers and wrote a short story for it as well.


www.transformation.com
My work: www.nixwinter.com

 

 

 

I would like to thank Nix for allowing us to show him off!!!

C.H. Scarlett 

February: Pagan Artist of the Month: Neil Geddes Ward

Interview by Bryn Colvin

neilB&W

Neil Geddes Ward is an artist whose work has inspired many a Pagan along the way. Talking to him raises some interesting questions about how we use ‘Pagan’ as an artistic definition. There’s a great deal of spirit in his creations. Is it the artist, the audience or both who decide what any given image means?

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Bryn : Tell us about the Pagan that lives inside of Neil and do those beliefs inspire your fabulous art?

Neil: There is no pagan in me, haha! I tend to think that I read a lot, and think a lot, and then have an opinion. That does not make me Pagan, I think, but more a person who is interested in paranormal things and where that might take us, and I think if you say you are a Pagan it can limit your experience, and I would rather say, I have a common interest in things that folks who call themselves Pagan might have. I do not worship any Goddess or God, but tend to think more of the overall picture. If that makes me Pagan for some people, then that is fine with me, but I am not totally saying I am!! Now that, that has confused you!!! But I do get ideas of what I want to do in my art through Pagan channels and also other areas too, and also I am inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites too!

Bryn: You describe yourself as visionary – it’s even in your email address. Can you expand on what that actually means for you?

Neil: Now what do I mean by visionary?? Well hard to explain but I would say, going beyond what we see to expand our minds a little more, open to more possibilities etc, to see things in new ways and to try to think outside the box a little more! Better to think like that than just accept the world the way it is!


Bryn: So is it more about giving people opportunity to find their own meaning and resonance in your work?

Neil: My work tends to be cryptic, some of it is very clear to me, and others are more like dreams that fade with mornings first light! So a lot of people find their own meaning in my work to an extent, I certainly don’t send out explanations with every print I sell!  Some people just like the look of something, some people choose a certain image because it reminds them of a spouse or something, and some like it because of the moon or the owl or some other element that my paintings contain. We all free drawn to something special that resonates and I guess many of my paintings resonate with some people to some extent or another.

Bryn: When did you first discover your talent?

Neil: It was not a case of me discovering my ‘talent’ but more of discovering other people in my class at school could not do what I did! So I guess I took it for granted that everyone could draw or paint! But not so, and I guess others with other talents would say the same thing. I did know something different from others, in the fact that when I was at school, when I was very young, I would always paint the sky all the way to the horizon whereas other kids my age just painted a blue band at the top of the paper. I guess I was actually looking out of the window! In fact I tended to look out of the window a lot at school! I was told I was too much of a day dreamer! haha!

Bryn: What is the process behind most of your art? What mediums do you use? Gallows wake for the web

Neil: I paint in Oils and also draw in pencil. I find Oils are very flexible and a lot easier to use than water colour or other paints. Oils have a slow dry time which helps me greatly in blending colours and tones! I also take many reference photos of models to help get the look just right!

Bryn: What artists and or musicians–and songs– if any, inspire you and why?

Neil: Brian Froud, for his vision of faeries, the Pre-Raphaelites for their genius and ability! I admire Rush, the Canadian rock group for their excellent songs and musician ship. I play bass guitar too, so I know what standard they are!!!

Bryn: If the world was created in the image of your imagination, what would it be like when we woke up tomorrow and seen it with new eyes?

Neil: Oh blimey!! Well there would be no money to argue over and no wars and no murder, pollution, or wrong doing. Hmm, is this called Heaven?? I think we all blame everybody else sometimes and sometimes, you have to take responsibility for your little corner of reality, whatever reality is, if there
is a real world out there at all!! More acid Vicar??

Bryn:  If someone would like to commission your talent, where can they find you? What are you open for—Book covers, Graphic Novels… what?

Neil: People can view my art on www.neilgeddesward.com and email me at neil@geddesward.co.uk and also find me on Facebook, Neil Pagan Artist . I do take commissions, so long as are serious ones, in the sense that people will really want them!! I will be happy to consider most projects, books, portraits, etc so give me a call!

Bryn: Any new projects in the future or plans?

Neil: Currently working on a children’s novel proposal for publication, me doing the illustrations and also basic plot lines. Will be featuring Elves and Orkney! Aim to get that to an agent in the New Year! fingers crossed!! Plan to do more pagan conferences, so if anyone needs a speaker, please email me, and I would be happy to discuss. neil@geddesward.co.uk

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A huge thank you to Bryn Colvin and Neil Geddes Ward for putting together a fabulous interview. And don’t forget….we will be featuring some of Neil’s art with our Pagan Holidays throughout the month. So be sure to check his web site out and consider him for any ‘art needs’ you have in the future!

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