A Spell for Risk

A Spell for Risk

Spell for riskHere is the final Spell in this series of "Everyday Magic" Paintings, designed to reawaken your sense of wonder and enrich your life. 

Use this painting to create a moment to recentre in your home. A daily check-in to help you connect to something deeper, more powerful and wise within yourself that gets drowned out in the daily grind.

This is a “Spell for Risk”. 8 powerful elements to help you get the courage to take a chance. On the coloured explosion of rich turquoise, blue and gold paint, largely created by serendipity, come controlled observational studies, painted from life. Here’s some magic to to help you navigate risk. Sometimes we need to take a risk to grow, to alter our situations for the better and create positive change. 

Risk can be scary, perhaps even dangerous and the outcome we desire is not guaranteed. Use this painting to bolster your nerve, check-in that you are taking a chance on the right thing and trust that your gain will be greater than keeping the status-quo. 

The fox skull painted in situ at the Museum of Zoology (read more) shows what the pay off is for seizing an opportunity. A touch of the wild in our urban centres, the fox prospers by taking risks and adapts to living alongside us in-spite of a history of being hunted by us. 

YouTube timelapseThe feather, found on a walk, is from a magpie. The cackling corvid, famed for its bold risk-taking and its love of shiny objects and stealing. Traditionally associated with magic and fortune telling, often feared, its plumage which looks black from a distance but is oily and rich with colour up close. Take a pinch of the magpie’s nerve for yourself.

The nettle presents risks of getting stung. You just need to look at it, to feel the danger resonate in your body. Behind its excellent defences, it’s a nutritious and useful plant used for food, fibres and dyes and provides a valuable haven for many butterflies and insects. Its viscous sting incites respect and often creates little pockets of true wildness- keeping humans out. Maybe protecting yourself, like the nettle will help you to take a risk?

The fern fossil was painted in situ at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences (read more). This ancient plant links us to deep time. Before we were around, this plant was already completing its cycles of growth, dormancy and regeneration. Its mathematical fronds offer us a wider perspective on our fleeting human concerns.

The Fox Moth is named for its beautiful foxy colour. Painted in situ at Cambridge Zoology Museum (read more). The male is depicted here; he takes the risk of flying in the daytime, a rapid, zig-zagging, rushing flight, using his giant antennae to pick up the pheromones from females, who are less brightly coloured and nocturnal. The Alder Moth acts as a little visual repose to the tone and intricate pattern of the fern. It has tiny black dagger markings on its wings. It is widespread and accounts for up to half of the moths in London, feeding not just on Alder but a variety of broadleaf trees.

The beautiful furry buds of the Goat Willow, (also known as Pussy Willow, Black Sally, Great Sallow) bring a pop of yellow to fill your heart with courage. Even the wood is acid green, bursting with the optimism and energy of spring, this tree can regenerate just from a twig stuck into the ground. Choosing ditches and damp corners to prosper it grows fast. Tap into its vigorous energy and buoyancy and feel the tactile invitation to stroke its soft bud casings, bringing you back to your senses.

Finally, the piece is threaded through with Lace-Edging of Trolly. A complex lace, made near Exmouth, Devonshire in the 18th century. Created with coarse British thread and purchased to decorate the edges of collars, cuffs and flounces for at least 400 years, trolly lace died out in the late 1860s, victim of the industrial revolution. Connect with generations of women and girls who had agency and poured their skill and creativity into this intricate human spiderweb.

Check out the video of a year's work condensed into less than 5 minutes (link also above).

To receive an invite to the exhibition of this piece with the whole Everyday Magic Collection and for the chance of winning yourself a print of a a different Spell, sign up to my mailing list.

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1 comment

I’m inspired and itching to pick up my sketchbook X

Christine Stevens

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