Taurus Mandala

Taurus New Moon Mandala painted by Sarah Berry
Line Mandala from Mandala Colouring Book by Barry Stevens
available at http://www.mandalas.freeserve.co.uk/colouringinbook.html

This is the sixth piece in an occasional series written about the expertise of each Sun Sign. I am still looking for the Capricorn who can write a guide to Ambition, and a Libran who can write a guide to Relationships. The articles will be found under the category “Zodiac Masterclass” so that eventually there will be 12 such articles, e.g. “The Cancerian Guide to Parenting”, “The Gemini Guide to Communication”,”The Leo Guide to Leadership” etc. Each article will be written by someone who has the Sun Sign in question.

Here guest blogger Georgie Cowan writes about unearthing the Inner Artist. I have known Georgie since ante-natal classes in the late 1970s and we explored past, present and future lives together until I left Watford in 1992.  Georgie holds an M.A. in Fine Art, and has taught art in schools and tutored individuals in the subject.

A word about the mandala: The line drawing in Barry’s colouring book which Sarah has interpreted in colour was originally painted as a mandala on Mull of Kintyre, around the time that Paul McCartney recorded the song of the same name. Here is a link to some of Barry’s early mandalas – see if you can spot which one Sarah has painted!


The Taurus Guide to the Inner Artist

by Georgie Cowan

The Bull is often perceived as a loner. It is left in a field isolated from others. It is a creature throughout history that has been venerated, feared, tormented and to this day treated as dangerous and unpredictable. But is also very much grounded to the land.

What makes an Artist

Due to an illness at a very early stage in my life I was separated from my family for over a year. A separation at this critical point leaves the individual a vacuum in which experiences are often transmuted. At what point did my imagination take root sprouting into creative thought. I only know that it seemed to have always there. I was given time on my own to escape into my invented world. With each book I read, each story of classical history, each piece of artwork that I was attracted to, with each colour that spoke to me my inner life grew. I remember dreaming and being discontented that the dream wasn’t doing what I wanted and began to change things, heighten colours, change backgrounds. As each fragment informed the next and the next the artist in me began to flourish.

Silences and War

But one needs silence also to have the space to speak to oneself. As a Taurean artist I am in touch with the ability to develop ideas, imagery and form abstract concepts. Like the Bull I can buck and leap to salient points of a developing theme and still have the space in my head to ruminate until the theme is fixed. The artist in me has no trouble relating to this world.

When I am painting I am in this world. I have dialogues with myself. I am at war with my work, struggling against the odds, overdoing certain colours, or the thickness of paint, losing the original theme – finding it again. Within this unpredictability I am looking for the moment of acceptance. Sometimes like the Bull I can be energetic or clumsy but sometimes I can catch glimpses of that ethereal magical world that is called art. And then my inner artist is at rest.

I caught up with Georgie at the British Library to ask her further questions on the subject:

Lana: How aware are you of having the Soul Lineage as an Artist honing your skills through several lifetimes? (my standard question to Artists!):

Georgie: It depends what you call a lineage, but I am aware of a line right through which is the love of nature. Certain lives relate to that in a larger form.

  • My Native American lifetime connected to nature to a great extent
  • The Orkney lifetime (in covered darkness) was blinding to the extent that I couldn’t relate to life on a visual level – I felt that loss very keenly. Eyesight, heart and nature are always there and connected with Vision.
  • My life as Greek ship designer too, connected with the sea and nature

Art has a lot to do with how you relate to a subject matter, and how you approach or manage something.

Lana: How much do you think that Permission comes into being an Artist?

Georgie: Absolutely, it does!

I can think of 2 episodes from my own life which illustrate this.

  • As a child, a teacher was putting me down, because other children imbued me with importance on account of being seen as the best artist in the class. No one should be thought of as superior. Some people feel they need to give you permission – I didn’t need it. I accepted it as a natural thing. There should be no ego involved.
  • At one of my exhibitions an ex-Police Inspector in his early 60s told me that he had always wanted to draw and paint. I asked: “What’s stopping you? I give you permission to go to the nearest Art College and enrol!” You could not believe the expression on his face!

So there are examples of a negative and a positive expression of the Law of Permission regarding the Inner Artist.

Lana: What advice would you give to someone wanting to develop their Inner Artist?

Georgie: The first thing I would ask is “What do you enjoy doing?” And the second thing I would say is that Everyone is an Artist.

To develop the Inner Artist immerse yourself in other artists’ work. Not to copy, but to dip yourself in the essence of what it is to be an artist, or what it means to be an artist.

Everyone is, and you have to decide to be an artist.

The last lesson is to leave ego at the door. It is not about who is best at what, or better than someone else.

If someone tells me “I am not an artist” I start by saying “Can you draw a line? Then draw 2, then 3. Trace over that, then trace over the tracing…” and so the Inner Artist is born, or recognized.

Lana: Going back to your original introduction about Taurus the Bull: how important is the symbolism of the bull in understanding your inner artist?

Georgie: There are times when it has been nearly impossible for the Self to do something, but my stubbornness and need to explore something forces me through a kind of wall, and I think that’s true of a lot of artists. Art is hard work, hard graft. You need a lot of inner strength to survive as an artist. There can be a need to detach, too. I have read a lot of artists’ lives, and often they have to detach from their family or background. That is sometimes very necessary to build up “artistic muscles” and for the imagination to flow independently.

Lana: That I feel leads on to the question of what do you feel about the Archetype of the Artist starving in the Garret. Is it outmoded?

Georgie: Totally outmoded. Art is so universal now – so many millions of people have access to it. Of course the artist in the garret cannot afford the paint…but you can use any materials: objects, newspapers, anything to make Art. How you place the objects in your room is also Art. Bedsits can be Studios.

Lana: Lastly, could you imagine yourself doing anything else in this lifetime? Being anything other than an Artist?

Georgie: No.

I have done other things, but I could never resist picking up that pencil. The eyes are the extension of the Self. The Inner Artist cannot help it!

Lana: As a second part of this question, what is the earliest memory in this lifetime that your Inner Artist surfaced?

Georgie: At the age of two-and-a-half, in the back garden…I came from a large family, and spent hours in the sandpit or building yard making sandcastles. My sisters would jump all over them, but I would be driven to start again with my hands, creating shapes. I was in a romper suit with a teddy design on it, a hood with fake fur…I would be there for hours. They say you can leave artistic babies on their own to play a lot longer.

Lana: Well there you have it, the Inner Artist Child, to coin an Archetype

Note:  Georgie does not currently have her work available to view online, but if at some future date it becomes available, I will post the link