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Embracing the Crone: A Journey Towards Self-Acceptance through Connecting with the Crone Archetype.

"Shrouded in Stars" and "Winter and Death" are being featured in two exhibitions during March 2023 for Women's History Month. Please sign up for my newsletter to receive updates when prints are available in my shop.

Feminist Experience Exhibition

March 3, 2023 – March 31, 2023

Opening Reception: Friday, March 3rd, 5:00-8:00, pm.

Spokane Art School

503 E. 2nd Ave, suite B

Spokane, WA 99202


Online Jurried Exhibition: "Visions of Self"

March 2023, Women's History Month

Yosemite Sierra Artists


Artist Statement

These images began with a photograph I took of myself. Through a process of digital painting and manipulation, I intuitively experiment with colors, textures, filters, and patterns, not knowing the final outcome. It's a process of exploration, experimentation, and discovery that allows my mind to wander and process my own thoughts and feelings. Each image takes hours, or even several days to complete.


So often society, and art, focuses on youth and beauty. In the past my own self-portraiture works erased my aging face, not so much deliberately, but for the sake of creating an image deemed beautiful and by using textures and filters, my age unintentionally melted away. In this series I wanted to focus and reflect on societal norms surrounding aging for women and my own journey of self-acceptance as I age.


While creating this art, I also reflected on the role of women as nurturers, wise elders, and connectors between the generations. As I worked on the series, two faces emerged – those of my grandmothers – as well as my own face as an elder woman. Through these images, I aimed to celebrate the wisdom, compassion, and nurturing spirit of older women and their invaluable contributions to our lives and communities.


Through this process I found a level of awe, beauty, and self-love I didn’t have for myself before. This personal connection highlights the idea of healing ancestral trauma and acknowledging the beauty and gifts inherited from our ancestors that contribute to who we are.


The artwork is also influenced by the myths, legends and folklore of the crone, the relationships with elder women in my life and the loss of many of our elder population due to COVID and the loss of their wisdom, stories, and the link they provide to our ancestors.


My hope is that my artwork inspires others to explore their own relationship to the aging process and to consider the role that death and transformation play in their lives. By breaking down societal norms and stereotypes surrounding aging, I aim to promote a message of self-acceptance, love, and celebration of the wisdom and beauty of our elder women.


I hope to add more to this series in the future as I am moved to do so.


The first two images, "Shrouded in Stars" and "Winter and Death" are included in the juried online exhibition, Visions of Self, put together by Yosemite Arts. The online exhibition begins March 1, 2023 to coincide with Women’s History Month. I am incredibly honored to be included in this exhibit for a third year alongside so many other talented artists.


Below are the images in this series, Embracing the Crone, and my thoughts about them.


Shrouded In Stars

Shrouded in Stars: Mixed Media Digital Art: Karmen Naccarato © 2023

"Shrouded in Stars," explores the concept of the crone as the bridge between life and death, the familiar and the unknown. The artwork is divided into three sections, each representing a different aspect of this concept. The left side is filled with vibrant colors and patterns, symbolizing the messy and chaotic nature of life. It represents the full range of human experience, including the challenges and sorrows, as well as the triumphs and celebrations. In the center, the crone is depicted with a shroud of stars, representing her role as the guide through the great mystery of death, through her wisdom and compassion. On the right side of the image, the composition is made up of primarily purples and blues and uses fewer, more simple patterns, representing calmness and the Otherside. There is a touch of green and yellow-orange peeking through, along with a glowing red orb that represents transformation and the spark of rebirth.


Winter and Death

Winter and Death: Mixed Media Digital Art: Karmen Naccarato © 2023

She is Winter, when we can visit her for a short time during the dark time of the year and then becomes Death when we take our last breath. Welcoming us to her Quiet Realm of Holy Darkness. Here we can unburden our heart, set our worries down, resting next to her glowing fire where she shares with us her wisdom wrapped up and woven into stories. The old, ancient stories, stories that have yet to unfold. Stories of our ancestors and of our own life. Stories of the great mystery, what lies beyond this life, and stories of transformation and rebirth.


“Winter and Death” is a powerful representation of the crone archetype that creates a sense of the vast unknown, connecting to themes of the dark time of the year, winter, and death. The crone welcomes the viewer to her realm, offering a peaceful, quiet space to unburden their hearts, to set their worries down as she shares her wisdom through ancient stories, stories of our ancestors, stories of our own lives, our sorrows, our joys, and the stories that can only be told after our death. The black shroud over her head blends into the darkness of the vast unknown, representing the great mystery of what lies beyond this life, and the stories of transformation and rebirth. This image also represents the transience of life and the fact that death is an inevitable process, but the crone archetype, being the symbol of wisdom, guides us through it. This piece invites us to explore the wisdom of the crone archetype and the transformative power of the unknown.


Crone Time

Crone Time: Mixed Media Digital Art: Karmen Naccarato © 2023

“Crone Time” is an intriguing image that explores the archetype of the crone and the guidance she provides, as well as her connection to the wisdom of aging. The autumnal colors of oranges and browns in the background represent the natural cycle of life and death. The black shirt adorned with stars symbolizes the vastness of knowledge and the mysteries of the universe, while the crown of leaves represents the connection to nature and the earth. The gold accents throughout the image represent information, stories, and the value of wisdom and knowledge that the crone imparts. Through her encouragement, we find our authentic voice, so we are empowered to speak up for ourselves, others, and the Earth. She shows us how we can be clever and reminds us to experience joy. This piece is a reminder to call our power back to ourselves, to face challenges with courage and to trust ourselves, building our confidence and strength.


Ancestral Alchemy

Ancestral Alchemy: Mixed Media Digital Art: Karmen Naccarato © 2023

This artwork is a depiction of an elder woman, embodying the crone archetype, with wise eyes and a gentle smile. The hood with faint stars represents the connection between the earth and the stars, the connection between us and our ancestors, the connection between this life and what comes after. The balance between brightness and darkness, asks us to consider that both are crucial for creation. The lines in the piece symbolize the flow of consciousness and information that we can receive from connecting with our ancestors and the universe. The triple spiral on the crone's face symbolizes the bridge between the present and our ancestors' ancient pathways.


The use of colors like yellow, orange, and vibrant pinks convey optimism, hope, energy, playfulness, and happiness, while light pinks symbolize softness and calm. Earthy greens and browns suggest grounding and a connection to the earth, reflecting the idea of connecting with our ancestors' earth-honoring traditions. The darker blues, earthy purples, browns, and orange convey depth, wisdom, and mystery, with stars symbolizing a connection to the cosmos and the spark of creativity within us.


The orbs in the artwork depict various circular images and spirals, reminding us of the cyclical nature of life and the eternal flow of information. This serves as a reminder of the rich heritage and insight that our ancestors have to offer and encourages us to seek out and embrace the wisdom of the past, our own innovations, and the wisdom of our own hearts to create a brighter future. Through this process, we not only heal ourselves but also heal the lineage of our ancestors, shaping the path for future generations, and ultimately contributing to the healing of the world around us.


Artist Bio

Karmen Naccarato is a multi-talented artist with over 30 years of experience creating in a variety of mediums, including photography, painting, mixed media collage, mixed media digital art, and jewelry. Karmen graduated from North Idaho College in 2000 with an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design, and has since been featured at numerous local and national galleries and events, including the Yosemite Sierra Artists show and Visions of Self 2021-2023 and the Square Foot Show at MicroCoSM Gallery in New York. In 2018, Karmen showcased a retrospective of her art spanning two decades at the Spokane Public Library.


In addition to her art, Karmen has deep roots in North Idaho, with her family having lived in the area for three generations. When Karmen is not creating art, she enjoys gardening, learning about plants and herbalism, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

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