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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Earth and Sea Goddesses

Diosa de la Tierra
Diosa del Mar
Earth Goddess and Sea Goddess by Tanya Torres
Acrylic and water soluble crayon on canvas
12" x 9"
2012

Available Options for Sea Goddess


Available Options for Earth Goddess


Reproductions and Greeting Cards available in my Etsy Shops: 
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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Cacibayagua

Cacibayagua por Tanya Torres
Cacibayagua por Tanya Torres, oil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2012.

"From Cacibayagua came the majority of the people who settled the island." Fray Ramón Pané 

The very first poem of Marianela's book Diosas de la Yuca, contains this quote. 
I thought the cave Cacibayagua, from which the original taínos of La Española, sister island of Puerto Rico, are said to have come, might be a place of earth and river water from whose veins flows life.
I was sitting in a church, listening to a group of monks sing. A group of nuns were sitting next to me praying and adoring the Eucharist. While meditating, I saw in my mind some paintings like this one, but much bigger, and depicting the whole body full of flowers and creatures and plant life. Although they look nothing like the Virgin Mary, I know she is present in them.
Don't most of the miraculous images of the Virgin Mary appear by water? Isn't she the Star of the Sea, Stella Maris? Don't people go to her shrine in Lourdes to bathe in the blessed water of her grotto and heal? Water, cave, virgin goddess, like the ancient Goddess.
As writer Marion Zimmer Bradley would have said, "all goddesses and all gods are as one." The Taíno had their own. My european ancestors had theirs. I honor them all.


***
I hope the images of Heaven and Earth will help bring more peace, love and joy into our world through a different viison of the old ideas that grow out of the human heart, and are ever present in our perception of the world as human beings.



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Friday, April 06, 2012

Atabey Gives Birth to the Coquí


Atabey da a luz al Coquí por Tanya Torres
Atabey Gives Birth to the Coquí by Tanya Torres, Oil on Canvas, 20" x 16", 2012. 

I wanted to paint Atabey, Taíno mother of all creatures, earth goddess, mother of the god, giving birth to the coquí, the most representative creature of the island of Puerto Rico.

But she began looking like the Ánima Sola or Lonely Soul, a Catholic image brought from Europe that has evolved in America to become syncretized with some of the native and African religions. She has become a sort of goddess of love spells.

My Atabey passionately loves the earth, life, birth. In Taíno mythology, she gave birth to the "main god" Yukiyú or Yucahu. And so, she is the Mother of God, and the mother of all creatures. How might a goddess give birth? A fire that does not burn, a light that does not blind, but imparts life.

Her little child still sings for us every evening, reminding us of who lives within our own heart.

Common Coquí © Public Domain






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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Inriri

Inriri por Tanya Torres
Inriri by Tanya Torres, Oil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2012.
 
"They searched for a bird called inriri (woodpecker), and before was called  inriri cahuvayal, which lives in the trees, in our language it is called pico. Those persons without male or female sex were taken, their feet and hands tied, and the mentioned bird was tied to their body; the pico, believing that the people were tree trunks, began its accustomed work, pecking and making a hole where you can ordinarily find the nature of women."  Fray Ramón Pané
And so I found that the Taínos, the original inhabitants of the island of Puerto Rico, had spoken to tell me how the nature of women was created.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Mary Magdalene of the Burning Heart

María Magdalena del corazón ardiente por Tanya Torres
Mary Magdalene of the Flaming Heart by Tanya Torres, Oil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2012.

It took me a long time to finish this painting, which I published as a work in progress last year for Mary Magdalene's Day, and completed some months ago. It was a starting point for the paintings I wanted to do for Prague. I see it as the center, or centering, piece of the series, somewhere between Heaven and Earth, holding in her hands the burning heart of wisdom.

Mary Magdalene taught me (the readings, the thoughts, the synthesis extracted from all the wanderings) that the heart is the center of wisdom, of truth. Not the actual heart, but the spiritual heart. When we accept its wisdom, our whole being becomes harmonized and synchronized with the rest of the body as well as other beings.

Science  has found that the heart orders other body systems to act, just like the brain does. But it feeds on love. If there is no love, it becomes out of sync and causes everything else to do the same. At least that is what a Dr. Patrick Drouot, a professor in La Sorbonne, as well as other scientists say. I guess this is what Mary Magdalene has been trying to tell me all along!

With this knowledge of the heart, Earth begins.

***
Mary Magdalene of the Flaming Heart  is sold as well as Mother and Child. Thank you M.S. and S.T. for your support of my work!



Reproductions and Greeting Cards available in my Etsy Shops: 
Greeting Card: https://www.etsy.com/listing/102962322/mary-magdalene-of-the-burning-heart
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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Yulian, Guardian Angel

Yulian, Ángel de la Guarda por Tanya Torres
Yulian, Guardian Angel by Tanya Torres, Oil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2012.

Some of my friends already know that back in November, I began writing for About.com, a company of The New York Times, for their new site in Spanish. I am always writing, so I decided to write more formally, but the only topic that interested me was Ángeles y milagros, angels and miracles. I don't have any formal education in these themes, but I had studied so much while painting Mary Magdalene, that I decided to try and apply. The angels liked me, which means I am now a guide and write at 2 a.m. about inspiring topics that I hope will bring smiles, hope and knowledge to whoever reads my articles. So far so good. It is inspiring and it informs my art. Especially when I practice what I preach...
I was writing about "El Ángel de la Guarda" or Guardian Angel when

Monday, April 02, 2012

Whispers of Heaven

Susurros del Cielo por Tanya Torres
Whispers of Heaven by Tanya Torres, Oil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2012.

"Love surrounds us, holds us, makes us free to love and be loved..." 

Fr. Frank Sabatté's words seemed to define my view of God, and inspired the drawing for this painting. I was creating Life, Art and Letters at the time, with the poems and other writing I found in my friends' websites (with their written permission, of course!) Father Frank is an artist and Catholic priest I met a couple years ago whose view on spiritual matters was surprisingly similar, if not identical, to what Raquel and I were formulating with our Mary Magdalene works.

How does Love look? The words "Love surrounds us, holds us, makes us free to love and be loved..." made me think of doves whispering truths, or kissing one's hair and face as a blessing. This is the kind of love that unites all creatures, all creation.

The birds are freedom, the face is the human being, the colors are the light and warmth of Heaven. It is the right of every human being to be free, but for most of us, a terribly difficult task. Part of the quest is to listen to the messages of the Spirit, and accept the guidance of Love above all matters.


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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Mother and Child

Madre e hijo por Tanya Torres
Mother and Child by Tanya Torres, oil on canvas, 12" x 9", 2012.

I had previously posted this painting, but part of the purpose of publishing them here is to organize my thoughts about them in order to be able to talk about each. I simply think much more efficiently when I write!

This was actually the second painting I finished, and which I did before the Tree and the Heart. The story of this painting is that, as I was watching a video of a bunch of priests fighting with brooms in Jerusalem, an image of the Virgin Mary with the Holy Child caught my eye. I looked it up and remained with the impression until I was able to begin drawing it. Here is the original drawing: