Solve et Coagula; creating a modern alchemical illustration t shirt design

I need more drawing in my life.  I found that the best way to accomplish this is to draw more.  That sounds so easy but when you have a house full of kids and screen printing orders backing up, it can prove to be quite challenging to find time for such things. I feel that putting a resulting image onto a t shirt will prove a good enough excuse to make some new work.  It did.  Here we go… This is a basic overview of the creation of my “Solve et Coagula” modern alchemical illustration t shirt design.

I have often looked at old alchemical illustrations and wondered “what is it trying to tell me?”  It wasn’t until I was aware of a bigger purpose that I realized that the creation of alchemical artwork is part of the transmutation process.  By creating intricate illustrations, the coded alchemical process becomes embedded into the psyche of the artist to bring about the philosopher’s stone.  Transmutation is therefore carried out, in part, by the process of communication about transmutation.

genesis in the retort alchemical illustrations

Drawing an alchemical illustration

This new perspective has inspired me to participate in an old practice and create a basic alchemical diagram.  My intention is to create a t shirt design with the finished image.  I want that image to reflect the ancient alchemical diagrams while still feeling like it is my own true artwork.  The one thing I cannot escape when dipping in to such a project is time.  There is no substitute for the time and patience it takes to make intricate images.  What I will create is not very intricate but will still push my patience (not my strong point).  If you had to pick one over the other, I would say patience is more important in making this sort of art than talent is.

Solve et Coagula alchemical illustration work in progress

Solve et Coagula

“Solve et Coagula” refers to the universal on-going process of breaking things apart and bringing them back together.  It is this natural process in distillation that brings about the purification of a substance.  The physical story of alchemy tells us that the elixir is distilled over long periods of time where it becomes vapor and then condenses into liquid once again.

Solve et Coagula modern alchemy diagram by Scott Myst Solve et Coagula modern alchemy diagram by Scott Myst

Watch video of drawing IN ACTION!

My final alchemical illustration design

solve et coagula alchemical illustration by Scott Myst

Of course, you can purchase your own Solve et Coagula alchemical illustration t shirt from my Etsy shop.  I screen print each shirt by hand with care in my own shop.

Solve et coagula alchemical triblend t shirt

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