Wednesday 1 February 2023

Fun with Zodiac Signs, Colour and Music


Fun with Zodiac Signs, Colour and Music

In 1986 Rupert van Woerkom, the very creative Editor of the Dutch women's magazine Elegance, commissioned me to make twelve paintings (approx. 60 x 50 cm.) inspired by the Zodiac Sign of each month. That was a very good year! I decided to use watercolour and oil crayons on paper and to scribble in some characteristics of women I knew, with their Sign. How did they behave, what colours belonged to their personalities? Which music did they like and how would that influence my choice of colours and design? I found it all great fun - the female readers lapped it up, bought most of the paintings or commissioned more. Of course if you male sceptics find this nonsense, don't bother to read on. 
Here they are:
Aries: March 21-April 19
Bach. Anything he can do, she can do better; action woman; temperamental; independent. The planet Mars. 

Taurus: April 20-May 20
Tower of strength. Nature lover. Don't rush me. 
Aimez-vous Brahms? Sensual. Déjeuner sur l'herbe.

Gemini: May 21-June 20
Words, words; quicksilver; communication; looking both ways at once. 
Schumann. Stravinsky.

Cancer: June 21-July 22
Claire de Lune; Home sweet home; Money, money, money; Nocturne; Debussy or Dvorák?

Leo: July 23-August 22
Sun Queen, Apollo, Hercules, Hair, hair, hair
                    Note: this one is still for sale. 59 x 51 cm.

Virgo: August 23-September 22.
Cool, cool; You got a problem? Intelligence service;
 Spic and span; Impeccable; Dvorák?

Libra: Sept. 23-October 22.
Decisions, decisions; Up and down; common sense; 
charmer; Saint-Saëns, maybe?
Note: this one is still for sale. 60 x 47 cm.

Scorpio: October 23 - November 21
Pluto; complete control; passionate; hypnotic; loyalty;
Tchaikovsky; Paganini.
Note: this one is still for sale. 64 x 52 cm.

Saggitarius: November 22 - December 21.
The sky's the limit; applause please; where did I put my keys? Painfully honest; Jupiter; Berlioz; Beethoven.

Capricorn: December 22 - January 19; 
Queen of the winter; Saturn; control: quiet social climber; artistic; hidden feelings.

Aquarius: January 20 - February 18
Quick thinking; so many friends; intuitive; gone with the wind; marry - are you crazy? Mendelssohn, Mozart.
Pisces: February 19 - March 20
Oh, am I late? Elusive; enigmatic; sense of humour; 
Neptune; Chopin.



  1. These are fabulous Norman. I hadn’t seen them before, pity. Truly shows the depth of your artistic ability . Well done!

  2. Great colours and movement, as with so much of your wonderful work, Norman. Gustav Holst would, no doubt, have loved these too given that my favourite masterpiece of his 'The Planets' is all about descriptions of the personality traits of mankind (and himself) reflected in the astrological descriptions of the planets (as per Alan Leo's various early 20th-century books on casting a horoscope of which Holst was a fan). Personally, I have to admit that I'm somewhat cynical about horoscopes ... but then as a Cancerian, I would say that, wouldn't I!