According to feng shui, everything in the world is comprised of five elements, usually in combination and always in a state of change. They are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. These elements are expressed in myriad ways. We humans, for example, express as the Fire Element – active, passionate, moving, being, changing, creative — and wow, did I see that creative elemental aspect of our energy at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival this past weekend in paintings, mixed-media works, sculptures, rugs and more. Having artwork in our homes and workspaces is a wonderful way to bring ALL the feng shui elements into our lives. And, having all of the elements in our spaces helps to balance them energetically. My clients often ask me to help them identify the elements in their artwork. Here are some examples of art from the Cherry Creek Arts Festival and how each piece expresses one or more of the feng shui Elements:
This work, by artist Jaana Mattson, is comprised of a fiber (wool) picture embedded in a wooden frame and is a fabulous example of the Wood Element (wood frame, and fiber, made from plants). The green and blue in the fiber picture are the colors of the Wood Element while the white in the clouds balances the piece as the one of the colors of the Metal Element.
These whimsical, square, ceramic plates (below right) made by Nancy Gardner and Burton Isenstein, hold several different elemental energies but are primarily Earth Element, as they are made with clay (from the Earth). Yellow is an Earth color, while blues and green express as the Wood Element and the black represents Water, while white is Metal.
This sculpture (left) says Fire Element with its primarily color – red, and the pointed flower petals. It is nicely balanced out with some Water Element as the flowers are coming out of black (Water Element color) vase. Created by Christine & Michael Adcock.
This vase (below left) features a waterfall made of glass by artist Thomas Spake and it expresses as the Water Element. If used as a vase, it will hold water, creating more Water Element energy.
And, the vase is asymmetrical (the waterfall is only on one side) another attribute of the Water Element.
Artist Jerry Brem paints bookshelves full of books. Books are expressions of the Wood Element (books are made from paper made from plant pulp . . . ) and since there are so many books in each painting, Wood is the primary elemental energy of these pieces.
However, the books are stacked in rectangles and squares and those shapes express as the Earth Element. Plus the books are in all different colors – and those colors express as all of the five elements. One of these paintings would bring a balance of the elements into a space.
This piece, made by artist Anthony Hansen, is made of metal squares and expresses as you might have already guessed as . . . the Metal Element! The white color also expresses as Metal Element. The square shapes bring the Earth Element into the piece and the blues and greens help to balance the Metal with some Wood energy.
Lastly, this sweet sculptural wall hanging (left) is a nice balance of the Fire, Wood and Earth Elements. The owl expresses as the Fire Element (animals are Fire) but it is made with paper and an actual book, which as we know from one of the examples above, are expressions of the Wood Element. The color of the book, yellow, nicely stabilizes the entire piece with its Earth elemental energy.
The art at the festival each year is phenomenal for its creativity and variety and ability to delight, attract or repel! The important issue, for all you feng shui practitioners, to remember is to have art that you LOVE and expresses who you ARE at this point in your life. Now, when you select your art you can determine which elemental energies the piece brings into your space.