"Queen of Hearts" - mixed media on cradled board, 6" x 12" x 1.25". Ready for hanging.
It is a rainy holiday weekend here in south Florida. The perfect time to play in the studio! And I had royal company...
This lady is strong willed. She required over a month of painting, revisions, mulling over and painting again. At one point I nearly abandoned her and covered the board in gesso. But something (or someone!) made me try one more time. Today was the turning point. Her personality came through and all tension was resolved. I sighed with relief even as she commanded me to take her picture and start a blog post. :)
She feels like an archetypal figure to me. Strong, capable, determined and intelligent. So that got me wondering...what does the "queen of hearts" mean in symbolism?
"The Royal Queen of Hearts signifies your inner sense of the dramatic, emotional power, and need in self-expression. When you combine your cerebral talents with hard work and creativity, you can unlock this outstanding potential and achieve success" (seven reflections.com). OOOOOH! The trifecta! Thought, physicality and creativity.
Of course, the best known queen of hearts resides in Alice in Wonderland. And she is a nasty piece of work! But I decided to look further anyway.
The queen archetype in general captures the power of femininity. This is something we don't often connect with as modern women, and perhaps warrants further exploration. There is strength in our womanhood - strength in being mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, women. The power of the queen bee ruling over a busy hive of activity, as most of us do in our day-to-day lives. Gracious and loving, wise and just. This is the positive aspect of the queen archetype, and perhaps represents how we operate when we are balanced in our own lives and our personal needs are met.
"The negative aspect of the queen archetype is shown in Lewis Carol’s depiction of the queen in Alice in wonderland. She is dominating, ruthless, given to emotional hysteria and moods, needing everyone to placate her and obey. If not, off with their head!" (dreamhawk.com) Callous and self-serving, vengeful and cruel. This takes the queen archetype to the negative extreme, but perhaps a version of this lady is what we become when we are off balance - tired, hungry, overworked, stressed out.
As I look at my little queen and reflect on these words, I can see she is the positive aspect of the queen archetype, but there is a reminder in her countenance to take care of ourselves in order to remain our royal best.