Divining with Nest and Egg
Hanging in the Balance
Weaving Order out of Chaos
Divining with Nest and Egg
Hanging in the Balance
Weaving Order out of Chaos
Alicia Hunsicker’s art has a gentleness and a precision that weaves disparate themes and icons seamlessly and with remarkable effectiveness.
We are drawn into a thoughtful world where we are asked deep and meaningful questions and where we are shown the exquisite fragility of life.
Delicate eggs are suspended in perfect balance. Impending movement, breakage, loss and birth are all at play in the still and silent world of her compositions.
There is a delicious mystery and magic to these images.
We are pleased to feature the work of Alicia on Healingwheel this week and invite you to visit her website at http://aliciahunsicker.blogspot.com/.
After spending an afternoon looking at Alicia’s paintings and sculptures we interviewed her to find out more about the visionary young artist and what makes her create.
HW: What inspires you most?
AH: What inspires me changes as my point of perception changes. I try to use what I feel passionate, joyful, and curious about as my guide. As I change and grow my work evolves as well. Currently I am inspired by light, transparency, color, contrast, and multi-layered meaning. I have also been interested lately in the Golden Mean and certain patterns/maps of the physical body that can be transcendent into the spiritual/energetic realm. For example a map of acupuncture points on the human body or a palmistry hand diagram. These are the places where the spiritual/energetic world and the natural world intersect.
HW: Do your paintings exist more in the creation of the art or the viewing of them? To what degree are you telling a story and to what degree are you asking the viewer to interpret their own story?
AH: I am painting my life experiences. At times my own questions are being answered by what results from this process. It is not necessary that the viewer know my own story for the work to have relevance. The viewer brings their own unique perspective to the viewing experience. The symbols I incorporate into my paintings often possess the possibility of multiple meanings. They are in a sense Multi-dimensional and layered with meaning.
HW: There is an otherworldly quality to your work, almost a sort of religiousness. What moves you to create these themes?
AH: I often feel as though I have a foot in two worlds at the same time the spiritual and the natural. The place where the two intersect is where I generate my imagery from. My paintings often have an iconic feel because of the archetypal symbolism I use and from the central placement of the imagery. AH: I do believe that in honoring my own creative divinity and consciously exposing my unique perception of these worlds that a sense of sacredness and authenticity shines through.
HW: Can you share with us something about your own spiritual journey?
AH: I believe we all have a unique divine spark in us that drives us to expression. I believe that we are all connected but are here to expose and share the unique manifestation of the divine source that we carry inside ourselves. We are the leading edge of the expanding universe. We are the hands of the creator. I create art to express this essence, and my connection to it all. Painting is the only voice I have found that comes close. When I hang a painting for public viewing and I feel a sense of exposure, I know I have expressed this and I feel I have accomplished my intention.
HW: You play a lot with balance and with stillness and with suspension. Tell us about the suspense in the suspension.
AH: In this series specifically, I was exploring the concept of the nature of duality although that wasn’t apparent as I first started the work. I was originally interested in exploring light and darkness and realized quickly that there was much in-between that could be addressed as well. I began to incorporate grey into my painting palette and noticing the grey areas in my life where I was not comfortable. The Pendulum imagery was a direct result of that realization. The string is often entering the canvas from the sky indicating that it is being held by something larger than myself, a divine source perhaps. Balance is a central theme in most of my work whether I am exploring the masculine/feminine, light/darkness, earth/sky, micro/macro, internal/external, etc. I am always striving for balance and a connection with the divine source.
HW: Looking at your work invites me to interpret a subliminal message, to read a story that you have written into your work. HW: Your painting, “Duality” seems to be as much a tale of the life experience as it is a painting. Do you consciously set out to deliver these messages or are they subconsciously percolating through your images?
AH: There are elements of my process that are conscious, but the deeper I go into the creative process; the more the subconscious takes over. I don’t set out to deliver a specific message to the viewer, but my choices in the objects that I use for symbolism tend be archetypal and are a result of my life experiences.
I trust the power of the creative process to infuse the work with meaning and that the way the finished piece is perceived will vary from person to person based on their own life experiences.
HW: Where do you see your work going from here?
AH: I am currently working on 2 new series of images. The first series explores the concept of Inherent Divinity. These works are mixed media on paper. The second series which I am in the planning and research stages of will be exploring Orbs. I will be starting this series of paintings during my month long residency at Vermont Studio Center this July.
HW: How has becoming a parent affected your creative process?
AH: While I use images of nests, eggs, and pelvis’ that may be read as birth related, I would say that for me these symbols are not directly related to my experience as a parent. They are more expressive of my interest in the feminine energy and that of creation. Although, I will say that when I was pregnant with my son, I found that the physical reality of carrying a male child and experiencing that connection did change my work. It inspired a new interest in me to incorporate the masculine into my paintings for the first time and strive for a balance between the two energies (feminine/masculine).
Visit Alicia’s blog
Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides;
all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing manifests in
everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the
measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything
has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same;
opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree;
extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths;
all paradoxes may be reconciled.”
(A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece )
Keeper of Cranbourne Chase
2009, graphite and oil on board, 16 x 16 inches
2009, maple, willow, and acrylic, 13 x 12.5 x 9 inches
I was visiting a friend one night and while he was puttering around in his house I sat down and started to draw. I closed my eyes and started thinking of my mom, who had died long ago. I started thinking of how I had visualized her transition and wondering how it would feel dying and leaving ones body to go back to where I believed we come from. I visualized the ties that bind us to our bodies being slowly un-braided and being released, swirling through and guided into another dimension.
It is with some shyness that I find myself at a place where water, ice, and earth greet each other. On a chill morning, it is a quiet place, one that asks little of me. Indeed it is a place that barely acknowledges its own presence – a mere shift of cloud and sunlight would change these elements in profound ways. So I notice, and honor, the tenuousness of this visual moment. It’s what I’ve been looking for without knowing it. Tramping alone, I am cold and glad to be here.
I have been attentive to edges lately, edges and decay and reflections, my old friends. What draws me is the presence of these elements and something that I feel in my heart without concept or words. In this place I am at a borderline, a small, hectic outpost of change. It is inherent in this particular and personal mix of freezing water, earth, branches, leaves, animals, wind. And what attracts me is that in this bustling inevitability there is profound stillness. It resembles moments in meditation when stillness dominates even as action becomes imaginable. I aim to appreciate stillness in whatever form it manifests.
So, our days begin lengthen as they will. We do nothing but notice and are blessed by our knowledge that can bring hints of spring. We know the ice will melt, that imagined action will emerge from stillness. What we may also remember is that our heart need not wait for some thaw, that it might sing, right now, of the flowing even when ice remains solid, when it is cold and far from thaw.
Mark Alvin created this image for license to Sunrise Greetings for use as a greeting card. The theme of transformation is a familiar one with Mark who sees all things as connected.
Mark Alvin licensed this image to the Irish fine china manufacturer, Belleek Pottery for use on their annual collectible plate. The Artist used one of his daughters for the model.
As Thanksgiving approaches, this tale helps me to remember gratitude. Gratitude is a doorway through which the blessings of The Universal Friend flow into our lives.
A Lesson in Gratitude
Part 2 of 2
©2008 Daniel A. Brown
After a shower and some blessed hours of sleep, we joined the family for dinner. To my dying day, I’ll never forget the meal we were served. It consisted of Kraft’s macaroni and cheese, Wonder Bread and “cherry” Kool-Aid. Now, normally, I don’t eat food like this. Wonder Bread is bread in name only, all the nutrients being sucked out of it before being baked into some tasteless white glop. Kool-Aid is basically sugar mixed with red dye #2 that causes cancer in mice and the cheese in the macaroni comes from a fluorescent powder that is probably extracted from a nuclear waste dump. In all, this meal was un-natural, un-organic, and unhealthy.
I ate every bite.
I did so because the meal was offered to us with the purest of love and to refuse it would have been rudeness bordering on blasphemy. Had they served a cake baked with rat poison for dessert, I still would have shared it, convinced that the loving energy in which it was offered would have counter-balanced any potential harm. Thirty years later, I am still thankful for this particular meal.
Over the recent years, I have joined the Buddhist monks and nuns of our local Peace Pagoda on various pilgrimages around the nation. I noticed that, because they depend on the benevolence of strangers, they aren’t picky about the food they are offered. Thus, I have seen them offer prayers of thanks for meals ranging from a bowl of brown rice to a plate of greasy fried chicken straight from Fry-o-lator Hell. It’s all the same to them and they only express displeasure at some of their more spoiled pilgrims who reject a meal because of what is euphemistically referred to as “food issues”. For those of you outside the loop, “food issues” are manifested by people who won’t eat this or that for a long list of real or imagined health or social issues. Being privileged Americans, they are free to accept and reject what is available to eat to make sure that only the purest, healthiest and fair-traded foods enter their delicate systems.
Unfortunately, billions of people in other parts of the world suffer from “food issues” too. If they don’t find something to eat, they and their children starve to death. To me, that’s the ultimate “food issue”.
In retrospect, I try to eat a balanced and healthy diet (as long as it includes pizza and coffee). But I also try to stop and remind myself to express gratitude and thanks for the fact that I am eating and don’t suffer either from physical want or the fear of want. There but for the grace of God go all of us in the shoes of those who are hungry and have little on their plates. They don’t have the luxury of choice. We do.