This painting is all about being brave.

Underneath it all, in layers below what you see here, there is a chicken.  “Chicken” is what you are called if you lack the courage needed for the task.

I consider my paintings to be messages from my unconscious, like dreams; and like dreams, they make sense to me when I interpret them symbolically.

The chicken suggests to me that perhaps there is an area of my life where I am not being as brave as I should be!  Fortunately, and as is usually the case when my painting is on a personal topic, my unconscious also offers me the solution to my problem.  That is why there is no longer a chicken visible in this painting, and why I have felt a shift in my psyche.

Fire-eater by Tracy Algar
FIRE-EATER mixed media on paper, 31 x 21 cms SOLD

The eye – The eye symbolises the wisdom of the universe that we “see” by going inward.

I am not sure whether the reptile in the painting is a crocodile or a salamander, but in the context of this painting I think it’s a bit of both.

Movement rune – This rune (looks like a jagged S) encourages forward movement, in the direction of the sun.

The crocodile – The crocodile symbolises freedom, hidden strength and power.  The crocodile lives on land and in water, so it represents both the conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves.  Something is coming to the surface, a new awareness.

The salamander – Ancient alchemists thought the salamander to be a fire-eater with the power to quench fire with its moist body.  In heraldry, salamanders represent bravery.

Fire – Fire has the power to transform.  It burns away the dust to allow our inner selves to shine.

Fire eating – In this painting eating fire symbolises the ability to control the powerful force of the fire so that it doesn’t consume us.

Fire eater is a powerful painting for me at the moment as I forge forward in my new life in the country. It serves as a talisman, using symbols imbued with power to present and confirm the solution:

Be brave! You already have it in you!  There is so much support and encouragement all around.