Art as Magic

Early this month Aradia and I went to a lovely Kansas City event Known as First Friday. We looked at lots and lots of awesome art, although a great deal of it was not something anyone would actually want in their living room. Onesuch piece – which I would, in fact, not let within 100 feet of my home, no mater how gorgeous it was – also tied in with the evening’s other topic of conversation: using art to work magic.

The particular piece in question was an image of a woman. It was a blue figure on a black field, curled up in the corner of the frame. The frame itself was exaggerated, coming two or three inches from the canvas toward the viewer. A half-dozen chains were stretched across the canvas, mounted to the inside of the frame.

“See,” I said, turning to Aradia. “You paint someone inside of that, and they’re FUCKED.”

“Yeah,” she agreed, aghast. “And so are you.”

“Well, yeah. You’re never going to get anything accomplished until you let them out.”

Anyone who is, themselves, an artist knows how much time, energy, and soul goes into the creation of a piece. You recover, learn, and grow … but you never actually get those parts of you back. Much like big magic.

I recently drew a warding-glyph to protect my car: mechanical pencil overlaid with Sharpee and colored pencil, set off with a little candle magic. I still need to trim and mount it, so it’s still in my altar, but the ward matrix is already laid over my car. You can see it.

A while ago, I drew a meditation on fire: a pencil sketch covered with lots and lots of colored pencils. Some people have trouble touching it.

The interesting thing to me about using art to create magic is the depth and complexity of the intent that can be conveyed through an image, and the amount of refining that you can do over the course of the process. Layers upon layers upon layers of color and focus and power.

Has anyone out there ever tried this? Art as magic?

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