Friday Art Feature – Mickie Mueller

The holiday season is in full swing and it’s been a busy day.  Let’s take some time to unwind and meet our Featured Artist 

Mickie Mueller


Artist, Mickie Mueller

Your fantasy art is beautiful. Where did your love of fantasy, myth and the mystical begin?
 
As a child I loved fairy tales and fantasy as early as I can remember. My mom used to read to me from Alice and Wonderland, and I loved the poems of Robert-Lewis Stephenson, they just seemed like real places to me, I was just certain that they were.  I think some people have a very strong wall between the “real world” and the world of magic, and some just have a rickety fence between those worlds so that they can bleed into each other, my fence is really rickety!    I’ve always had this really vivid imagination, so that was naturally going to find its way into my art, I guess I always looked at the world through a different set of eyes that many people.  I used to get in so much trouble for daydreaming; now it’s just part of my job, take that, math teacher!

Lunar Eclipse by Mickie Mueller
 
Where do you get the inspiration for a painting? Do you see a vision of it and create true to that vision, or does the art change and flow as you work?
 
I often get an idea for art from something I read or something I see in nature. There are these magical worlds that really do exist, but not on the physical plane, and that’s where I get many of my ideas for art.  Inspiration comes to me not exactly from what I see with your eyes, but what I find with my heart when I’m  in the woods or even in my garden, or what I imagine when I’m reading or listening to music.  Often just researching information about a plant will show me visions of a faerie that lives near that plant, or reading about different aspects of a Goddess will bring pictures into my mind and I can see her.  Sometimes when I start on a piece of art, I might have a firm idea of how it will look, but that may change as I go, I like to allow the beings I’m drawing to reach across to me a guide me to a certain degree.

Lady of The Forest by Mickie Mueller
Whenever I’m outside I look for faerie folk and spirits of nature everywhere.  I ask myself, “What spirit lives in that tree, how do they relate to this little corner of the earth, and what do they look like?”

Crimson Wings by Mickie Mueller
You created a celtic divination oracle named, The Voice of the Trees. This was a huge undertaking. Could you explain what a divination oracle is, for my readers who don’t know, and tell us about your deck and the process of creating it.
 
The Voice of the Trees is a re-imagined presentation of Celtic Ogham which is an old Celtic alphabet and divination system.  I began studying Celtic legend and the Ogham years ago, and found it to be a beautiful and fascinating system, but it was difficult for me to commit to memory because it’s just a set of figures made from very simple lines, but represent a tree and specific teachings.  I got the idea to create an illustration for each symbol so that when the viewer would see the image it will tell the story behind each ogham stave or symbol.  This made the divination and lore much more accessible to modern seekers. I drew upon the Ogham teachings, ancient legends of the Celts and tree lore, magical for inspiration to bring the Ogham teaching into a format for modern practitioners to use in intuitive card readings, meditation and ritual.  It was a real project of the heart, from doing research to illustrating the cards and writing the accompanying book, every step in the process was a joyous project.  I really put my heart and soul into it.  Each card shows the Ogham stave and each tree is presented as it interacts with Iron Age Celts and animals of the Celtic regions.

Voice of The Trees by Mickie Mueller
This is so interesting.. You give a class on your Celtic Tree Calendar Series, both online and live. What is the Celtic Tree Calendar? What do the classes include and where can we find more information?
 
My approach to the Celtic Tree Calendar as a working model for a year of magic is based upon the tree calendar as it was first suggested by Robert Graves in 1948 as a modern inspiration based upon the ancient trees.  He studied the Ogham and I learned more about his work while researching Voice of the Trees.  Graves noticed that the trees in the ogham line up in an interesting way that corresponds with the seasons, legend and lore.  While the idea of the Celtic Tree Calendar itself cannot be claimed as a historical ancient Celtic calendar, the Ogham and the lore of the Celtic trees are historical, giving this system much spiritual relevance for many people working within modern magical practices. Working with the Celtic tree calendar is a very peaceful and magical way to align with natural energies of the earth and specifically trees. Tree magic can help you find balance in your life and many people have found that working magically with trees is like working with herbs but on a different level.  I have more information about my Celtic Tree Calendar Classes available on my Voice of the Trees website  http://www.voiceofthetrees.com/Celtic-Tree-Calendar-Class.html

Aspen by Mickie Mueller
I understand that you also design statuary and jewelry. What lead you into these crafts and where can we find them?
 
I met representatives from Peter Stone Jewelry and Sacred Source Statuary at INATS (International New Age Trade Show) many years ago and was fascinated with the idea of having my two dimensional art turned into statuary and jewelry.

Triple Goddess Peter Stone by Mickie Mueller
I had to look at each image differently to make it into jewelry or statuary.  With jewelry you have to design it so that it has balance and a graceful flow, I was very excited to see my designs become actual sterling silver jewelry.  With the statuary, I had to think of how it could be turned into something three dimensional, then I create a black and white design, send it to them and their talented artisans do the rest.   I never thought about what my art would look like if you stepped into the piece and saw the back, so that was an interesting challenge.  I really had fun designing the ones with candle holders in them; I love things like that for my home, so I hoped others would too.

Altar Set by Mickie Mueller

Rowan Fae Wall Sconce by Mickie Mueller

We also started making jewelry ourselves in our studio using our dye sublimation equipment.  We use a special dye to print the image which is then transferred to specially coated mother of pearl or crystal glass pendants using high heat and extreme pressure. The image is fused into the ceramic, making it waterproof, full color jewelry.
Bridget Mother of Pearl by Mickie Mueller

Mother and Child Fae Crystal Pendant by Mickie Mueller

My Sterling Silver Jewelry from Peter Stone is available at http://www.magicksymbols.com
My line of Statuary is available at Sacred Source http://www.sacredsource.com/
The jewelry we make in the studio is available at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MickieMuellerStudio
 
Do you have a favorite artist(s)?
 
So very many!  My old standard favorites that have influenced my own work include Alphonse Mucha an amazing illustrator for the 1800’s whose beautiful and decorative Art Nouveau style has always captured by imagination.  I have Mucha’s work all over my living room.  I also love the art of Maxfield Parrish, painter and illustrator who did amazing work at the turn of the century and is well known for his whimsical scenes and luminous colors, even having a color named after him, Parrish Blue!  I also love Waterhouse’s magical Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces, and for current artists, I guess my favorite would probably have to be Brian Froud, his glimpses in the the world of faeries are amazing, I would love to meet him some day.  I also grew as up a big fan of album cover artist Roger Dean, another artist I would swoon to meet in person.

Heather by Mickie Mueller
What do you enjoy doing when you are not painting, designing and giving classes?
 
Fortunately, my husband Dan and I really love each other’s company because we currently run our home business selling my art on gifts and my online classes.  We’ve had such a busy year; we don’t actually get out much!  Now I’m going into overdrive on my latest publishing venture, illustrating Mystical Cats Tarot which is planned for a 2014 release from Llewellyn.  It’s a project I’m working on with wonderful author Lunaea Weatherstone and promises to be a very cool Tarot deck, can’t wait to show you!
 I do occasionally have time for other activities though, Dan and I both love gardening for one thing.  Last year was our biggest garden yet, some decorative flowers, herbs, and lots of vegetables.  I really love being outdoors, whenever I can, getting in touch with nature is one of my favorite things.  My latest fun thing I’ve been doing is learning to play the ukulele, (thank you Heidi Swedberg Ukulele instructor, performer and guru) it’s such a happy instrument, pretty easy to learn and it relaxes me, plus my little grandkids love it!  I also love to cook.  My family is all pretty adventurous when it comes to food, so I love trying out new recipes for Indian food, traditional Irish dishes, even totally made up dishes or trying new techniques. It’s just magic isn’t it, taking a pile of ingredients and making something wonderful out of it!

Please visit Mickie’s links:
Mickie Mueller Studio Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MickieMuellerStudio
Voice of the Trees Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/voiceofthetrees
Mickie Blog “Tales from the Old Wooden Art Table: http://mickiemuellerart.blogspot.com/
Follow Mickie on Twitter @mickiemueller
Thank you Mickie, for taking the time to do this interview.  I’ve enjoyed seeing your art and getting to know you.  Please feel free to grab the badge below for your website or blog.   It’s also available on the side bar with the code already done for you.

Drop by every Friday to meet more fabulous artists.  Next week I’ll be featuring artist, Leanne Wilson.

 
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