ACRYLIC PAINT ON PAPER

"The Lockdown Series" 2020

 

I feel very strongly that both painting and dreaming need to be taken seriously as ways of gathering information. I attend "The University of Dreams"!

- Imelda Almqvist

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

During Lockdown I started working with acrylic paint on black paper and really enjoyed the results!

It is often claimed that all taboos in art have been broken by now (think of a banana duct-taped to a gallery wall or pickled sharks) but I do not agree with that.

A huge taboo remains in force when it comes to Sacred Art, art made in partnership with Spirit, art made from a place of non-egoic consciousness.

Religion and spirituality remain no-no topics in contemporary art practice (something the upcoming Goddess Now Show will change!)

Another taboo is painting anything that looks too pretty, too enchanting or (heaven forbids) resembles an illustration from a picture book for young children!

I am 53 years old and I am in Lockdown with my beautiful family. I gave myself permission to 'run wild' and paint exactly what asked to be painted. This page shows the results (and how much fun I am having!)


 

 Fox - My Twin!   (60 x 42 cm)    NOT FOR SALE

 All paintings on this page are in acrylic paint on paper unless stated differently!

The Moon Nursery of the Owl Mother (60 x 42 cm)  SOLD

 

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

 

Birch Tree Birthing Chamber  (60 x 42 cm) 

SOLD  (but I am looking into having Giclee Prints made!)

This painting created itself and along the way I learned that birch trees were used, once upon a time (and the memory lives on in mythical time!) to create chambers of (or huts for) initiation. Most likely for girls and young women - as we know for a fact those evolved birch trees. A structure was created, a dream incubation chamber resembling a ribcage. A person would sleep and dream there and birth their new selves into this world. Silver Birch, Owl and The Full Moon were allies for this process.

Birthing our new self is of course a good activity for pandemic times and Lockdown!

 My Witch Ancestors  (60 x 42 cm)   £195

This painting is titled "My Witch Ancestors". If you look closely you will see some "Witch Descendants" as well! The word witch has been on my mind in recent years. I call myself a teacher of Sacred Art and Old Norse Traditions/Seidr, whenever a brief bio is required. However, one of my deepest green dreams is to be a Forest Witch, working with plants, trees, animals and bones in my beloved forest in Sweden. Not "a practitioner of witchcraft" but a witch, actually walking in the footsteps of my spiritual ancestors and carrying forward their work, their lineage, their "botekonst" (medicine or healing arts)! To do so I feel strongly that I need to claim for myself a title that many lost their lives for. The Northern European Tradition does not make a distinction between shaman, witch, healer or prophetess!

 

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Sitting In Council with Animal Gods: The Monkey Mother  (60 x 42 cm)   £275

I recently wrote a blog titled "Sitting In Council With Animal Gods" and there was a Monkey Goddess in particular I locked eyes with. I told someone who said: why don't you paint her?

Here She is!  

I invite you all to connect to the Monkey Mother Goddess!

THE BLOG

The Dandelion Mother  (60 x 42 cm)   SOLD

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour."
-William Blake

This painting celebrates animism, honoring the in-dwelling spirit in everything. When we see the world through this lens of perception we cannot exploit or abuse fellow creatures or natural resources. Dandelions are abundant in many Northern Hemisphere locations right now - I invite you to go out and meet The Dandelion Mother!

 In The Sunflower Forest (60 x 42 cm) SOLD

For me this painting is not about dislocation, - as some people have interpreted - but about "being more and larger and more multi-dimensional" than my everyday awareness allows. Meaning that I am both the woman who (sometimes) wears a bear mask or bear suit (which I often do) and the bear who has taken human form to experience how humans perceive the world. In doing so , there is the possibility of reclaiming a huge chunk of power and authority over my/our own life.

MASKS - A CREATIVE APPROACH

 The Forest Cellist (60 x 42 cm)  NOT FOR SALE

This painting is personal and I cannot bear to part with it! I like playing the cello in the forest. One day I did (in Dorset UK) and a deer arrived with her fawn. For a while they stood listening very nearby. There is a mysterious connection between music, soundscape and animals. There appears to be a frequency or vibration where the division between sound/music and animal language dissolves. This is undoubtedly why tribal shamans have always worn animal costumes and masks. And also why they make animal sounds while calling in their spirit helpers. I would love to see more research in this field, a scientific investigation into human-animal communication.... 

 

 

 The Milk of Symbiosis (Mother Amanita)   (60 x 42 cm)    £275

I am a great admirer (across Time) of the Swedish artist John Bauer, who had a deep love for the Forest and painted from a place of seeing what remained hidden to others. The Forest is my greatest teacher and the place where I do my deepest dreaming and visioning. 

John Bauer and his young family died tragically as a ship sank in a storm on Lake Vattern in southern Sweden in 1918. His work remains in print and continues to delight (and transport) many people to the Land of Tomtar and Trolls!

 The Hedgehog Goddess   (60 x 42 cm)   £275

I first encountered The Hedgehog Goddess, in a book by Marija Gimbutas about the deities of Old Europe. I asked to dream with her and this is how she appeared: nurturing and protecting all life forms in their embryonic form. I did some research to unpack her teaching: unborn babies do not acquire skin colour until the third trimester of pregnancy. We all look the same in the womb, and the earlier stages of development an embryo passes through resembles stages in animal gestation - meaning we honour our ancient animal ancestors as we grow a human body and along the way we briefly resemble a fish or a lizard...

 

 

 The Goddess of Our Solar System   (60 x 42 cm)   £225

The astronomical summer solstice is on Saturday. I will work with this deity, seek her guidance on what is unfolding on her blue-green emerald planet and reflect deeply on finding the balance, walking the continuum between day and night, wound and blessing, healing and cure, procreation and hibernation, life and death, obligation and the sheer joy of being - and much else.

And I invite you to join me, if you wish! Approach her with reverence - She is powerful!!

 "Witte Wieven" - Wise Women (Birch Tree Forest)   (60 x 42 cm)   £185

Birch Tree Forest where the spirits of the trees appear as otherwordly wise ladies.

Rune Bjarka is the rune of the Birch Tree. In magical work Bjarka/Birch is associated with feminine power. It was traditionally used in healing ceremonies for women and girls. It also appears as one of the key ingredients in Old Norse Love Magic!

this is that linguists connect the Russian word for birch tree to a verb (“birch” >  beryoza)  –and that verb means to keep safe

 

 

Barn Owl Dreaming   SOLD

For a few nights running Barn Owl Woman appeared to me just before I fell asleep. She sat in a corner of my bedroom and appeared to watch over me. Owls have a mixed reputation in myth and folklore. Seen by some as wise and as a bird of Darkness and Omen of Death by others. They are associated with both witchcraft and healing

Throughout history and across many cultures, people have regarded Owls with fascination and awe. Few other creatures have so many different and contradictory beliefs about them. Owls have been both feared and venerated, despised and admired, considered wise and foolish, and associated with witchcraft and medicine, the weather, birth and death. Speculation about Owls began in earliest folklore, too long ago to date, but passed down by word of mouth over generations. The barn owl ( Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed species of owl and one of the most widespread of all birds.

 Swan Maiden in her Fertility Manifestation   (60 x 42 cm)   £185

The first Iron Age people venerated a goddess, whose main form was the White Swan. In her role as patron of childbirth she was associated with the Milky Way where the celestial swan flies (Cygnus) and her mark was the bird’s foot (forerunner of the Algiz rune!) Scottish Western Isle people perceived whooper swans (also greylag geese), migrating North to their breeding grounds in Iceland, as carrying the souls of the dead to Heaven, which lay “North, beyond the North Wind”. Should a person be alive when the birds depart, they will be free of death for another year. - Is this how the circumpolar star constellation Cygnus came to be viewed as a Swan, linked not only with the journey of the soul to the Afterlife but also because it was seen as flying towards the celestial pole? If so, this connection might have begun when Deneb occupied the position of Pole Star in c. 15,000 BC. Among the people of the Baltic, the Swan replaced the Stork as the bringer of new-born babies....

 Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

 

Meilikki - A personal interpretation of the Finnish Mother of the Forest 2020 

(60 x 42 cm)  £255

Mielikki is a Goddess of the Forests and the Hunt. She is said to have created the bear (the brown bear, not polar bear as depicted here!) . She is the Forest Healer who heals the paws of animals who have escaped traps and she rescues chicks that have fallen from their nests. Her name is derived from the old Finnish word mielu which means luck. She is also known as Metsänemä, Mother of the Forest. Brown bears were the most sacred of animals in Finland. Her husband is the forest god Tapio.

 Let's Talk Across The Bones of Our Common Ancestors 2020 

SOLD

Just as we travel today (pre and post Covid-19 that is!), our ancestors have always travelled vast distances (in a far more adventurous way than we do!) Geneticists tell us that we truly are One Human Family - we are all related (with different degrees of separation) to all other people alive today. The Ancestors are, in a very real and biological way, the ancestors of ALL OF US, they are OUR ANCESTORS. That is the healing story (I think) our world needs to hear and absorb today.

 

 

 SOCIAL DISTANCING - A CAPE MADE FROM STINGING NETTLES! 

(60 x 42 cm)  £265

 BADGER FOUND A BALL! 

(60 x 42 cm)  £225

 

 Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

The Woman Who Lays Frost Flowers On The Graves of Dead Poets  2020  (60 x 42 cm)  SOLD

This painting was inspired, as many of my paintings are, by a vision or dream of a an icicle woman laying frost flowers on the graves of dead poets. I was actively working with Rune IS or ISA that week. The vision was so striking, and moving, that I felt compelled to paint it.

When in Sweden during wintertime I am an active 'hunter of frost flowers' and I take many photographs of them. To my eyes their intrinsic patterning contains poems, stories and the wisdom of the universe!

 In The Realm of Baba Yaga  2020  (60 x 42 cm)  £265

Lockdown 2020 imposed restrictions on our freedom of movement and interaction. This made me reflect, deeply, on how elderly (disabled) people feel, facing restrictions, lack of mobility and lack of social comprehension of those daily challenges, all the time. I decided to actively work on welcoming and accepting my aging body and Crone Self. Baba Yaga is a role model for me: fierce and frightening, said to live in a Forest Hut on chicken legs, she appears to carry all the fears younger people project onto old people. I decided to actively work with her and accept her teachings about decay and my personal death.

 

 Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

 London Birds  2020   (60 x 42 cm)   £295

During Lockdown I have paid far closer attention to birds and their calls have reached all the way into my dreams. I have been shown how even the tiniest of birds contributes to the vibrational structure that is Our World, Our Universe. The green parrot may seem like an anomaly or red herring - but actually South London has a lively feral parrot population! A flock of them usually has their morning assembly in the tree in front of our house - so I listen to the Bird Parliament before I start my own day....

PS The title of this painting has been contested. My friend Susan Rossi has a parrot (who likes impersonating a crow!) and the following memo arrived: "The title of this painting is London Birds and One Beautiful 

THE BIRDS OF PALAMEDES

 Stone Age Bird Goddess, Ancestor of Valkyrie and Swan Maiden  2020 

(60 x 42 cm)  £245

This painting was inspired by a lightbulb moment, one of those unexpected 'flashes of insight', where I realised that the Neolithic Bird Goddess (as described by Marija Gimbutas in her books) never disappeared. As the times changed, she shapeshifted into both the Norse Swan maidens, Mother Goose and the goose-like aspects of Frau Holle and Perchta. 

I am currently writing my fourth book, about the pre-Christian spirituality of The Netherlands. One whole chapter is dedicated to Frau Holle! 

FRAU HOLLE