Blessed Realm mural

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Eruannlass
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Blessed Realm mural

Post by Eruannlass » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:24 pm

Suilad ~

In October of 2011, Rowan and I began designing and painting a mural in our bedroom that includes the places named in the Lore and that we've seen on our journeys that have the greatest meaning to us, both individually and together. Last night, after we completed the section of wall behind our altar, this project was officially done. Looking at the entire 'picture,' we both realized that it something about finishing the last image made for a strong alignment to the Blessed Realm. It was like the last piece was lowered into place.

Below are the pictures I've taken along the way, from when this was just some lines and blocking on the wall until it was fully finished. Our intention from the beginning was to always work on this together, so that every idea, brush stoke, and even the messes and delays would be shared. This is the end result, which we view as a gift to the Valar first, and then to ourselves.

Within this apartment, our bedroom is a haven away from the busy speed of the world around us. It's here that we share everything from the silliest day dreams to the greatest of our intimate affections. It's from here that we embark together to journeys to the Realm, and what you see is what we see there. A number of these images are ones that I said I would either draw or paint, and then share here on the Forum. We both hope you enjoy seeing these pictures of this labor of love.

Eruannlass
I Aear cân ven na mar ~ 'The Sea calls us Home.'

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
~ e e cummings

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Eruannlass » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:38 pm

The altar corner ~
The circle is the setting sun. We used a compass to determine 'true west,' which is at the center of that circle.
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After the blue was put down. The original idea was that this would be a beach on Imbar, looking to the West.
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The full scene. While detailing the beach, we decided that this would be the 'Plane of Union.' From there, I got the idea to paint the view from the Bluff ~ the place where almost all of our Imaginal journeys begin.
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A different angle, with a better view of the edge of the Bluff itself.
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The finished sun. The colors are red, the natural color of the setting sun, copper, which comes through to me as aligning with Iluvatar, silver for the Eldar, and gold for the Edain. These colors are also reflected in the water. Note the gradually brighter stars above the sun.
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This is how it looks with the altar candles lit. Their light makes the painting look almost real. It's quite transcendent and beautiful.
Image
I Aear cân ven na mar ~ 'The Sea calls us Home.'

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
~ e e cummings

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Eruannlass » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:56 pm

The first layout for Corollaire. The pillar-like thing was initially meant to be a small tree edging the window, but as we progressed through this, it felt more and like it didn't belong in the scene.
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After the sky was painted in around the shape of the Mound. This is on the same wall as the scene above, just on the other side of the window.
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The silver and gold 'coronas' of the Trees. We applied these by pouring a big blob of the paint onto a rag, and swiping it in several ovals, starting near the center of each Tree's space on the Mound and moving outward. We did the silver first, and then the gold, in order of the Awakening of the Eruchin.
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The Trees ~ before we painted the foliage. In addition to seeing here a connection to the Eldar and the Edain, we also felt the masculine and feminine energies coming through. The intertwining roots allude to both ideas, as well as our personal Bond.
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After the leaves and flowers were added. I thought of white pinecones while we worked on Telperion's blossoms, and the flowers of the Laburnum tree for Laurelin. Below the foliage on each tree, you might be able to see the streams of silver and 'gold rain.' When we sit on Corollaire, we almost always get showered with this raining dew.
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Telperion's leaves and flowers ~
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Laurelin's leaves and flowers ~
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I Aear cân ven na mar ~ 'The Sea calls us Home.'

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
~ e e cummings

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Eruannlass » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:48 pm

The southern wall above the bed. This is the centerpiece of the mural, and was the part that took the longest time to paint. The original idea was that this would be the Western shore of Aman, the way that we see it on our journeys. We believe that we see what it looked like before the Pelori were raised to obscure the entire coastline, and that's what we wanted to paint.
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Rowan's initial sketch of the stair/road from Kôr, passing between the mountains. (Sorry if it's hard to see...)
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Laying out the Sea, shore, and the mountains. The tree is there to mark a 'break' in the scene, where the perspective shifts. This became the 'Gateway Tree' that grows in Lorien and marks the entry to the Grassfield that Lord Irmo gave to us as an inner sanctum within his garden.
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The detailed outlines of the road from Kôr, the houses of the Solosimpi, and the Beacon of Kôr. The base of Taniquitel is on the right. this is just before we added the 'serious white' of Kôr itself, and the snows on the mountain. This is also a good picture of the ceiling, which is the same blue as the walls. The silvery stuff you see up there is 'ceiling glitter,' which made a wonderful representation of Varda's stars.
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The finished shoreline ~ we made sure that Taniquitil was the tallest object visible, and painted this as though we were looking at the shore from the deck of a ship. It may not be easy to see here, but Menelmakar, Helluin, and the Remmirath are in the sky to the left of the city.
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Detail ~ Kôr and it's beacon. Rowan wanted to paint this from memory as much as he possibly could. I remember being there for it, but it was his hands guiding the brush to portray his memory. He loves this "white, shining city." ~~ On the tallest tier, beneath the light tower are the houses of Finwe and his sons. Finwe's is built on a tall 'dais,' with ~ in order from left to right, Finarfin's, Fingon's, and Feanor's houses built around the dais. While painting this detail, Rowan commented on how Feanor's house is the farthest to the north, closest to the direction most associated with the presence of Shadow.
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Detail ~ The stair road from Kôr. The fire shines blue from the glass within the lights, and the Trees are depicted on the city gates.
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Detail ~ The houses of the Solosimpi. We took a bit of artistic liberty here, because this village is quite farther away from the beacon than what the painting implies. This is where we have met Lord Gelion when we journey upon Tarnin Austa. Each house is painted to resemble a pearl, and all the colors are actually found in nature. :yes: The shape/design of the houses are true to what we've seen in journey. We have always arrived to this place at night, so the structures may or may not be these colors.
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I Aear cân ven na mar ~ 'The Sea calls us Home.'

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
~ e e cummings

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Eruannlass » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:07 pm

Beyond the Gateway tree. This is where we painted the Grass-field. The trees on the east wall are the one part of this that comes from my childhood. When I was 10, a row of trees that looked a lot like conical aspens grew outside my bedroom. Whenever it was warm enough, I would open my window at night, and fall asleep to the sound of the wind whispering through the leaves.
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A detail of the trees before we added the leaves. Down where the grass stops in this picture, you can see a streak of red. This lines the horizon along these two walls. We see this red light whenever we visit Lord Orome, and it is visible in the Grass-field as well.
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Detail ~ The leaves of the conical trees are visible on the left. This is the Grass-field. It may be hard to see, but we painted a soft blue wash over this part of the sky, to indicate how it's hidden within Lorien. The contrast is more apparent compared to the sky in other pictures.
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Across from our altar, to the east. This tree's branches hold Yavanna's picture.
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I Aear cân ven na mar ~ 'The Sea calls us Home.'

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
~ e e cummings

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Ellenar » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:43 am

WOW! Awesome work, Eruannlass! It looks great. I can imagine that your bedroom has a totally realigned vibe, flowing through it. I am very impressed. I like the candle lit exposure, as it creates the perception of the walls opening up unto the scenes that are depicted upon them.

One question, does using your bedroom as your working space interfere with your sleeping patterns? I'm curious, as I cannot even put a television in my bedroom, for that very same reason. I have a prayer shrine in there, where I commune in prayer on Sunday evenings; several hours before I plan on going to bed. The bedroom has a very warm, thick feel to it (similar to being within fog) afterwards, that takes a few hours to dissipate. So, there is no way I could relax, let alone sleep in there beforehand.

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Lúthien » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:55 am

Good Heavens!
I say, that's quite a remarkable piece of work :)
By Aulë, I'm impressed.

Good thing you recorded the process as well.

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Calantirniel » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:30 am

What a beautiful spiritual creation Eruannlass! :-) I was thinking like Ellenar, perhaps it would be hard to get sleep - but then it might be easier to sleep in peace with all that beauty around too! I often do my best spiritual work while I am asleep so maybe it is a great idea to have a "painted altar" in the area you sleep, making your own Este-inspired sanctuary! This really is lovely!
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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Eruannlass » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:36 pm

Suilad ~

Thank you, everyone, for the responses to this project. :)

To answer the question of sleep, the artwork, and ritual space in the bedroom ~

The painting, for all it's 'energy' and detail, doesn't interfere with my sleep at all. It's the opposite, rather, because when I'm having trouble sleeping, I can look up at the ceiling and immerse myself in that sky, or look over at the Trees, which are beside the head of my bed. If I am more comfortable facing east, that's where the trees that were once outside my bedroom are painted, and that invites sleep as well. We both felt that the most visually active, light-colored area should be above the bed, where I wouldn't see it while trying to sleep.

I read in some Feng Shui book or another that if you can put your bed in a north-south position, you're putting your body in line with the earth's natural magnetic field, and it helps you to sleep. Since moving a bed is free, (and that's the way the room is set up, anyway) I rolled with that idea. It does seem to have an aligning feel to it. If that's something you can do, Elennar, it might help, especially if you can put the head of the bed in the north, so your feet are pointing south. To me, it doesn't seem to matter, as I've had headboards pointing in both directions between this apartment and the last one.

Another benefit of this is that the dark blue absorbs a lot of light. There is a two-story tall street light with an orange-yellow bulb about 20 feet from my bedroom window. It stays on all night. I've never been a fan of thick curtains, because while they block light at night, they also block the light of dawn. To me, that upsets the natural sleep cycle, and staying with that is important. When the walls were white, the entire room was reflecting this nasty yellow-orange, and that did keep me awake. I noticed an immediate difference just by painting the blue on the ceiling. The glare was reduced by a good 30%. Now that the walls are mainly blue and deep green, it's a lot more sleep-friendly. It's still somewhat noticeable in winter, when the light shines off the snow, but nowhere near what it was when I first moved in.

So far as having my altar in my bedroom, holding ritual and journeying within this space does not affect my sleep. Energetic cats and a disrespectful upstairs neighbor do more to rob me of sleep than anything related to my spiritual practice ever could. I also sometimes have upsetting dreams that pop up while my mind tries to reconcile the traumatic events that went down during my 'marital decline and end' years.

But as far as ritual goes, I feel that it and Imaginal journeying have an opposite effect ~ energy is grounded and focused where it needs to be. It might be because I don't do a lot of energy raising in the space. For one, it's a small area, not well-suited for dancing and spinning around and so forth. I rarely even drum in the space, preferring to use rattles and bells. In the time that I've journeyed to the Realm, I feel I've just been intuitively guided not towards activities that raise energy so much as focus it towards a specific intent ~ namely, entering the Imaginal and then the lands of the Realm. I'm brimming with energy already, so I just need to calm myself and focus.

Prior to embracing this path, I explored ones that included spell-work ~ both as part of ritual and as a means for obtaining desired results in life. By the time I began an active practice complimentary to being in IV, I realized that for me, spell-work was not necessary. The casting of spells is essentially thinking of a goal or desire, raising energy, and then releasing it into your space and beyond, in hopes that what you want will then manifest. It is a very direct practice, that can attract energy the way lights attract moths. Since I do not do spells, I don't experience those types of 'power surges.'

The lower level of my altar has several natural rocks and semi-precious stones on it, which may enhance the grounding nature of the space. A lot of the polished stones are said to have calming and healing properties; some I have because of that, but mainly because they're pretty. Blue lace agate, Chalcedony, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, Lapis Lazuli are all believed to enhance calm and healing, and the clear quartz cluster I have would then amplify that, according to the alchemical and metaphysical theories about the stone.

The activities that would bring more active energy to the space are ones that Rowan and I usually do outside. Blessing Sun-stones and Moonstones, for example. Another reason why I don't feel overloaded by having my physical spiritual epicenter in my sleep space is because I have always felt that an altar should not be in plain view of people entering the house. I have always just felt that it belongs in the most private area, and that's the bedroom. As a result, the energies that do manifest there harmonize with the room's other natural/intuitive uses. I've always been rather guarded of my spiritual practices, and events of the past 5 years (some very recent) affirm that it's a good idea.

Eruannlass
I Aear cân ven na mar ~ 'The Sea calls us Home.'

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
~ e e cummings

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Ellenar » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:52 pm

Thanks for the explanation, Eruannlass. :) I'm always curious about how others' practices, experiences differ from my own.

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Calantirniel » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:46 pm

Indeed, I can see how this would be a soothing influence Eruannlass, but having the detail to explain it is really cool! As for your noisy neighbor, make an energetic "wall" with an imaginary mirror on his side to reflect back ALL of his stuff right back where it belongs - on him! You won't believe how much that works hehe! Use aura-building and protecting plants if needed (like Yarrow) and even Black Pepper in your work, and whatever symbol means protection and defense and it doesn't even have to be physical, just intended with focus. Tell us how it goes! ;-)

Energetic cats - been there, done that ;-)
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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Lúthien » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:02 pm

Eruannlass wrote: The painting, for all it's 'energy' and detail, doesn't interfere with my sleep at all. It's the opposite, rather, because when I'm having trouble sleeping, I can look up at the ceiling and immerse myself in that sky, or look over at the Trees, which are beside the head of my bed. If I am more comfortable facing east, that's where the trees that were once outside my bedroom are painted, and that invites sleep as well. We both felt that the most visually active, light-colored area should be above the bed, where I wouldn't see it while trying to sleep.
I understand this very well. When I was a child I went through a period in which I had trouble falling asleep because I "could not stop thinking"; or that I would become scared of the thought that "in some more minutes, I will lose my consciousness! And maybe I will have a scary dream!" (I never had this fear of falling asleep in the morning though. Somehow the idea of sinking back into sleep after having woken up felt very different. I still don't know why.)

My father then taught me a trick, or a technique: to imagine a very safe and friendly place, a place where I would love to be; and then travel there in my imagination. This worked wonderfully well because it took my attention away from whatever I was worrying about. It also had a relaxing effect, and i usually fell asleep very soon.
I usually imagined my bed to be a sort of airplane or flying carpet, and I could peek outside looking at the landscape from under the blankets.

Anyhow, this mural reminded me of that. I can only imagine that it works in a positive way because it links you to a place where you love to be.
Eruannlass wrote:Another benefit of this is that the dark blue absorbs a lot of light. There is a two-story tall street light with an orange-yellow bulb about 20 feet from my bedroom window. It stays on all night. I've never been a fan of thick curtains, because while they block light at night, they also block the light of dawn. To me, that upsets the natural sleep cycle, and staying with that is important. When the walls were white, the entire room was reflecting this nasty yellow-orange, and that did keep me awake. I noticed an immediate difference just by painting the blue on the ceiling. The glare was reduced by a good 30%. Now that the walls are mainly blue and deep green, it's a lot more sleep-friendly. It's still somewhat noticeable in winter, when the light shines off the snow, but nowhere near what it was when I first moved in.
Actually, dark blue or even indigo is the best colour to choose in this case because it is the colour negative of the colour of sodium lights (in RGB it's #FFB74C and #4785F7)

Image

this is of course just an approximation, made by inverting the hue of the sodium lamp colour. But that shade of blue should appear black in sodium light, because it absorbs that yellow hue perfectly.

Incidentally, there are special "haze" filters for stargazers in urban areas that have this same sort of blue colour. When you put them in front of the eyepiece of your telescope, it absorbs the light pollution of the sodium street lights. In this way you can view faint nebulae etc. a lot better.

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:27 pm

Lúthien wrote:[...] Incidentally, there are special "haze" filters for stargazers in urban areas that have this same sort of blue colour. When you put them in front of the eyepiece of your telescope, it absorbs the light pollution of the sodium street lights. In this way you can view faint nebulae etc. a lot better.
Do you by any chance happen to know...where Mr. Garibaldi might be?

-- No, wait, what I meant to say was: do you know if they make these sodium spectral filters in the form of wrap-around "sunglasses"?

As I'm big fan of naked-eye celestial observations, that would be great if someone did.

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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Calantirniel » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:25 pm

Meneldur, OMG that WOULD be great hehe! Even an astrologer would agree with that! Have loved the full moon setting while Jupiter and Venus are rising at around 5am right now - beautiful! The energy is intense right now (especially for Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), but still beautiful hehe!

Luthien, I had the SAME problem as a child! My mind would totally go on overdrive in every way about every single detail of everything right when I was supposed to go to sleep. I thought it happened to everyone haha! I just dealt with it well into adulthood, although NOW I know a bit more about why that happens. I guess it was my way of "dumping" mundane stuff before I would sleep (and then astral and work like a crazy person in that realm haha). I always woke up tired. Again, I thought everyone did that but I discovered they just didn't sleep - I did but it didn't matter. Now I know I really do in many ways have 2 lives and most often there is NO memory of it in this life, only glimpses through dreams occasionally. My dreams would only be stressful - not nightmares, but rarely did I have good dreams. It seems like I was always solving problems that were seemingly futile and I would wake up frustrated. Not all the time but darn near! I have come to accept this now.

I did figure out a way to calm that chatter-mind thing though when it is really bad: Passionflower Tea!! It works REALLY well and is not expensive at all! Other things that are supposed to work (Chamomile, Hops, Lemon Balm, Catnip, even some Valerian) helped, but not nearly enough (and Hops is not my favorite, rather nasty hehe). Wild Lettuce actually also helps when I am having pain and can't sleep. But the mind chatter is totally Passionflower - try it if you have had "one of those days" hehe! It is not addictive either - it works when you need it and you can leave it alone when you do not. Good stuff!

P.S. Didn't realize those colors had a somewhat opposite effect, that is cool, really! :-)
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Re: Blessed Realm mural

Post by Eruannlass » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:01 pm

Suilad ~

Quote from Meneldur ~

-- No, wait, what I meant to say was: do you know if they make these sodium spectral filters in the form of wrap-around "sunglasses"?

As I'm big fan of naked-eye celestial observations, that would be great if someone did.


Some months ago, after Luthien mentioned the astronomy filters, I actually found an astronomy web page that sold them in the form of an adhesive film that could be cut to fit whatever you want to attach it to. I am pretty sure that I bookmarked it, because I was planning on buying some for my windows. I really like your sunglasses idea. Rowan and I like to go around the corner of my building to stargaze. It's a nice, open spot, with a good view of the Lore's most prominent stars and constellations, but there are 5 of those blasted sodium streetlights within about 50 feet of it. I swear, America is collectively afraid of the dark. I usually hold my hand in front of them, but that only does so much. Rowan says that there is so much more out there, and I really want to see it one of these years.

I'll poke around through my bookmarks at the first opportunity (which may be after 7/23. because my apartment is getting inspected...again...), and see if I can find the page. I'll link it here when I do.

Eruannlass
I Aear cân ven na mar ~ 'The Sea calls us Home.'

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
~ e e cummings

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