“Visionary” copyright Valerie Sjodin 2011
I’ve been wanting to combine the various ways I paint for some time now. During the past year and a half I have been making more visual journals instead of paintings. I’ve loved it as it allows me to explore all sorts of themes, text, and mixed media in a smaller, low-risk way. But I’ve also missed working on paintings. In addition, a number of people close to me have been encouraging me to paint people again. I used to draw and paint people back when the girls were young children, but then I went back to college, and for about a decade now, I’ve been focusing on symbolism, cosmic paintings, and exploring mixed media. Now I want to pull it all together. This is my first piece of what I hope to be a series of works, somewhat autobiographical, combining the themes and techniques I’ve worked with over the years.
My daughter was the model for the the young woman. “Be Thou My Vision” is one of my favorite hymns and reflects my desire. The olive branch, dove-like bird, heart are all universal symbols. The swirl or spiral is a personal favorite. The trinity symbol is my favorite symbol of God and this one is taken from an illustration I made for a book written by Imago Dei Ministries. I am drawn to the beauty, nature, and mystery of Celtic art and Christianity. Text and lettering have been important to me since I was a teenager. The writing in the background of the circle was taken from one of my note journals.
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
– Jonathan Swift