Saturday, August 15, 2015

For Love of Art and Symbolism

Indie publishing is a wonderful thing. Twenty years ago there was no opportunity for me to hold a book in my hand that was all about my artwork. Wow. It has been a long road of 59 years.
Me at 2 1/2 with my chalk board.

I started drawing when I was two.  By nine I was hooked on black and white, and by eighteen I was teaching others pen and ink technique. Graphic art and teaching became a serious pursuit, and I did both for many years. Decades later, while researching symbols and images throughout history to decode them, I realized that I had always used symbolic imagery in my art. 

In 2001 I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. I was determined to continue doing what I loved. I even had a newspaper article about my struggle. The MDA accepted one of my pencil drawings into their national collection. Since teaching children would become difficult, I pursued higher education in the only thing I knew. Visual language. 

Now, a postgraduate degree and five books later, I find there is no end to the deep well of symbolic imagery used by humans, or the rest of nature for that matter. A cat leaves marks or spray on a tree to say "mine." How is it that they know to do this, and understand another's mark? Birds make nests without instructions, a one-celled paramecium knows what its food is. Our own homeostatic physiological (whew – big words) systems such as PH know how to adjust when straying from normal. The big question is, once above or below normal, how does it know where normal is, so that it can return? 

Dreams happen even when you don’t remember them. Nightmares frighten young children, and even adults when we will admit it. Some even have prophetic or lucid dreams, a subject worthy of a lifetime of study just on its own. Dream imagery is symbolic, yet not created in the physical world. This brings up a very important point. Symbolism is the language of the mind. What we can construe from this truth is astounding: 

The language of symbols begins in the genetic construction of life. 

 The instructions for building a nest are in the code which makes birds birds. A paramecium can recognize food because it can see – which means it has a brain connected to an eye (Duncan-Enzmann), and a program which translates what it sees into what that is. Genetic memory is a fascinating field of study. This is the foundation of archetypal images. Something that is seen (or even a behavior) for generations, for hundreds or thousands of years, becomes part of the genetic code. The sun, mother and child, danger, all are experienced by everyone that lives. These experiences are logged into the genetic code. The study of symbolism leads to the study of genetic imagery. 

I began by expounding upon the benefits of indie publishing. And herein I have used one to share the depth and breadth of the subject I have dedicated my life to. For without someone to share knowledge with it becomes useless, and crumbles to dust in someone’s attic. Knowledge of truth enables enlightenment, personal victory, and better vision for the future. Truth cannot be obtained through contrivances or deconstruction of history; but we can find it in the symbols that record our ancestor’s lives – symbols that have survived thousands of years of natural and human destruction. To make sure what I have been blessed to know is available to others I write - this blog, a monthly newsletter, books, and curriculum which I teach. 

Symbology: My Art and Symbols is a fun, lighthearted, big pictures less writing coffee table introduction to the fascinating world of visual language.  eBook fans will love Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids, and introduction to the lost civilization that left us most of this magnificent picture language, and Symbology: World of Symbols for much more information. For a more academic publication, Symbology: Decoding Classic Images has five-star reviews. And then for the child in all of us The Lost Unicorn, an original fairy tale inspired by my research into the symbolism of the unicorn and of the princess (print and eBook). 

The effort to produce information continues: I am writing another fairy tale, and another book on decoding images. Most importantly, a reference on the language of our ancestors is being released this month, Ice Age Language: Translation, Grammar, and Vocabulary, by Robert Duncan-Enzmann, translator, and J Robert Snyder, editor. This information is fundamental context for symbolism research. Another Indie publication. Wow. 

So be excited about the world of indie authors. Support us. We are the modern purveyors of Oral Tradition, the record keeping system of the most ancient peoples. Many have wonderful imaginative stories to tell, many have great information to share which can enrich our lives and make them easier. Buy an eBook, or a real paper book, feed your brain and their families. 

The Elf, accepted by MDA for national collection
About Symbologist Michelle Snyder

Michelle is a professor of mythology and symbolism, fairy tale author, blogger, and geek. She earned her post-graduate degree at the University of Wales decoding prehistoric images, working closely with Duncan-Enzmann. She is also a publisher, artist, and teacher. Her artwork, inspired by her love of symbolism and folklore, has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.
     Books by Michelle, available at Amazon:

    Symbology series:

Symbology ReVision: Unlocking Secret Knowledge  
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: My Art and Symbols 
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered 
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images 
Symbology: World of Symbols  
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Fairy Tales: 

A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book One - The Lost Unicorn
A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book Two - The Lost Mermaid
The Fairy Tales: Once-Upon-A-Time Lessons First Book

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