Monday, January 9, 2017

Leaves on the World Tree: Bemba Muombo




Imiti ikula empanga which roughly translates, "The trees that grow become the forest of tomorrow." I love this Bemba saying very much as the opening for the next leaf in my world tree series, as it means that the future belongs to those who prepare for it.

The miombo woodlands are one of the largest in Africa.  There are actually several types of miobo, and they can cross pollinate, so there are a variety of leaves.  But the Bemba Muombo very specifically refers to the Brachystegia longifolia.

Since it's fruit bears at this time of year (long flat pods), I decided to represent the fruit instead of the flowers.



The messy process that makes the background.



I've drawn out my rough shapes and added the first layer of white.



Three layers of white to stand out against the colors and almost done.

Since starting this series as inspired by a dream, I've discovered my initial research was off by over 120 ethnic groups, so there are plenty more of these to be done.  All of them have rainbow colored backgrounds, as a world sign of creation, divinity, good luck, hope, potential, harmony, connection, balance and spirituality, paired with seven (either fruit, nuts, or flowers) to represent the collective consciousness and spiritual awakening.

The twenty second leaf in my world tree series, and my first new piece for the year is the Bemba Muombo, may these be the seeds of something great.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bemba Muombo" by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on mini canvas

Prints and other merchandise available at my society6 store



Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 The Year of the Fire Monkey

Right here at the end of 2016, with all it's ups and downs, I was inspired to create a tribute to the lunar zodiac that is currently active:  The fire monkey.



Personally, I've had a lot of joy and growth this year-- I completed 70 new blogs, had just under 200 dreams (that I could bring into waking with me), got my first dream journal almost half of the way edited, made 31 new pieces of art, cleaned up and updated another 20, started a new day job that helps support my art, and still had time to enjoy the periodic pleasures of a good book with a hot cup of tea, the laughter of my kids, the purring of my cats, the antics of my dogs, and the company of friends and family.

This was tempered with things going on out in the world at large.  (I'm not going to list them because I'm pretty sure you've got a list that popped up pretty easily running through your head right now, and that isn't what this post is about.)

Instead, I thought I'd share some of the process in making my last piece for 2016.

I decided on the golden headed lion tamarin and paired it with bonfire salvia.  I chose a dictionary page featuring the word 'marmoset', then drew in pencil the rough outline of the shapes I would be painting.  After that, I painted in the outline using a 5/0 brush and my Atelier acrylic paint.

After I have my outline,  I filled in my flowers and started creating my patterns.  The patterns are entirely free handed in process.







I even made a short video of me painting.  It's only the second one I've ever done, but if I continue, I'll definitely need to look into a better stand than precariously balanced on top of my brush holder (;

If you like, you can watch it here.

And the finished piece, the last piece for 2016:

"Unfettered Possibility" by Janin Wise

Because the year of the monkey doesn't end on 1/1/17.  And we still have time while we're breathing, to reach for our possibilities.

Prints and other merchandise available at my society6 store.






Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Twenty first Leaf on the World Tree: Bashkir Linden



One of the most amazing things is that the Bashkir have been harvesting wild hive honey for hundreds of years.  They've actually preserved the technique and are teaching it to others.


Another amazing thing is that the bees are different from most normal honey bees as well.  They are an endangered, dark European honey bee, called Burzyan wild-hive bees, found in the protected State Nature Biosphere Reserve “Shulgan-Tash”, the regional nature reserve “Altyn Solok”, and the National Park “Bashkortostan”.

Because the wild hive honey is primarily made from the linden tree, I chose Linden as the twenty first leaf in my world tree series.

Seven linden flowers represent spiritual awakening and the collective consciousness.  The rainbow background symbolizes the bridge to the world tree, as part of my world tree series, to show that we are ALL leaves on the same world tree.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bashkir Linden"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on mini canvas

Monday, December 12, 2016

Twentieth Leaf on the World Tree: Bambara Bani (Silk Cotton Tree)

I had a difficult time deciding which tree I wanted to use for this one.  I originally considered the Balanza tree, as it features in the Bambara creation stories-- but it also tends to be considered a tree of misfortune and death, and I don't like the idea of the mixed message.

So I thought about bringing my selection into the present day, and came across the Gliricidia "fertilizer tree", which is a non-native tree that is being used to help fertilize and revitalize modern farm land.

I researched endemic trees to Mali,  I like that African Custard Apple and Hanza are both native, edible, with versatile uses, and support sustainable land care.  And that mahogany is the traditional wood chosen for many of the sculptures and masks.

I even considered the Bambara Groundnut, which is a staple legume, though millet is the primary crop.

Then I came across several references for the Bana tree, but the initial research didn't suggest a particular tree-- more a tree used for ceremonies related to ancestors, which led me to the kapok tree.  The Kapok is suggested to be a symbol of the soul-- but each reference tends to come back to the same single source, and none of these references are African.  Also the kapok originated in South America.

Then I stumbled across the Bani, meaning silk cotton tree, which is symbolic of the ancestors and the path between life and death.  Finding the scientific name Ceiba guineensis (a variety that IS native to Africa) indicated that all 3: Bana, Bani, and Kapok are all the same tree.  Once I discovered that the Bambara also live on a river with the same Bani name, I knew which tree I wanted to use.

I also thought I'd do progress pictures, as I haven't done that in a while (:



The background is already composed of 4 layers of paint.  After drawing my Silk Cotton Tree, I started to outline in my white.



Entirely outlines, including the leaves that come from off the side.


Filling it in the first time.  I'm using my 5/0 paint brush.


Capturing the difference in layers.  By the time I've finished going over it in white, there are 9 layers of paint on this little 3" x  3" space.


Practically done.  But it still needs the final touches:






Did you notice?  It's the single line outline to differentiate the edge of the white from the edge of the color around it.  Even on the edge.

Leading to the final piece:

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bambara Bani"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on mini canvas

Prints and other merchandise available at my society6 store

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Nineteenth Leaf on the World Tree: Amhara Wanza



The Wanza tree is native to Africa and frequently used to shade crops like coffee, or planted near homes or monasteries, so it's not as frequently subjected to the kind of deforestation that has affected so many other trees.

With seven white wanza flowers representing spiritual awakening and the collective consciousness, on a rainbow background symbolizing a bridge to the world tree, the nineteenth leaf in my world tree series is the Amhara Wanza.

"Leaves on the World Tree:  Amhara Wanza" by Janin Wise
3 " x 3" acrylic on minicanvas

Prints and other merchandise available here


Leaves on the World Tree A Brief Review

Today I find myself contemplative and remembering why I started this series.  I know I mentioned in the first post, but I haven't mentioned it since, and it's been several months.

The leaves on the world tree began as a dream in June, and waking to the resounding question, "What am -I- doing to help the world tree flourish?"

Six days after I had this dream, there was the Pulse shooting in Orlando.  And that helped solidify my decision to use a rainbow background.  There's never been any hiding that I am an ally.  And it served as a catalyst to stop contemplating, and to start doing.

I wanted to create a series that individually, people would be able to identify with-- to look at the trees I've researched and think, "Yes, this is one of the symbols for me, for where I come from."  And I've had people reach out to me to let me know that this is -exactly- what's happening.

But I also want to have them seen in a larger context, to be understood that it is, that earth is, where we ALL come from-- that we have so much more in common, regardless of geographical location, ethnicity, gender, or any of the other ways we can choose to divide ourselves.

That our differences should be celebrated as larger parts of the same diverse tapestry.

So before I do the next post with the nineteenth leaf, I wanted to create a montage of the leaves I've done so far:


I'm still working my way to the original 30 I had planned.  I'm just under 2/3 of the way there.

But when it's all said and done, I look forward to the day that the montage contains over 200 leaves on the world tree.  I hope that you do as well.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How I Became an Artist and Other Things I Don't Regularly Think About

This morning, I had someone ask me how I became an artist, storyteller, and dreamer, and it was more in depth than I was prepared to answer, so I turned to my blog, where I like to think (especially when I plan to share those thoughts with others).

To me, it all kind of rolls together.

I was seven years old when I first taught myself how to lucid dream (control and direct my dreams while sleeping).  I hadn't planned it, researched it, nor even knew it had a name.  It came about because of two things:

First, when I was six, I used to dream about -exactly- my days.  At six, they're pretty predictable:  wake up, dress, eat breakfast, go to school, sit at my desk, write, do math, eat lunch, out to recess, come home, have a snack, go outside and play, wash up for dinner, eat dinner, take a bath, get ready for bed and go to sleep.  I was constantly having deja vu, and lost track of the days/ couldn't necessarily tell when I was sleeping, and when I was awake.  I -literally- dreamed exactly my days, complete with going to bed and then waking up into reality.  Moving to Germany helped break the loop because that was something that ONLY happened in reality.

Second, I had a recurring nightmare.  It was being chased by Freddy Krueger down a long hall, while he scraped his creepy metal nails along pipes, and fires sprouted all over the place.  I would wake up sitting bolt upright in bed, cold and clammy and afraid.  I didn't actually manage to use my lucid dreaming to stop this nightmare until I was 12, when I stopped running, turned around, pointed at the flames over his left shoulder and said, "You need more flames to make it believable" and he vanished.  I had this nightmare for five years, at least twice a year until that moment, and haven't had it since.  But waking up from it (and that first year, I had it at least once a month), I would lay back down and think myself back to sleep -away- from the nightmare-- and could eventually control my dreams.

I don't do it so consciously as an adult.  Now, I typically let me dreams go as they will, or have been lucid dreaming for so long, it's entirely automatic and I don't even notice it anymore.

Also in this same age range, with my mother in the military, my sister and I lived with our grandparents for a bit.  My Grandma Betty was incredibly crafty and creative!  She had coloring books and tracing paper in her buffet.  That way, all of us grandkids could trace the one we liked, and color it to our hearts content.  We could trace and color the same one differently, over and over, if we wished.  Or we could ALL color the same one if we wanted to.  Plus hand tracing it meant that we also practiced concentration and hand eye coordination, though that wasn't something I think she was consciously doing.

I'm going to take a moment here and tell you about family reunions (lol).  Each year, my husband's family has them.  The first one that we went to happened in West Virginia-- they set up a different tourist friendly location every year-- attractions for the families to see, as well as a variety of golf courses for the Uncles to play.  It's a week long adventure of catching up and seeing the sights together, with card games at night, some mild gambling, and lots of eating together.  After we got home, with wide eyes, I told my husband I'd very much enjoyed his family reunion-- but that they were -nothing- like my family's reunions.

Ours revolve around weddings and funerals.  They're a weekend at longest.  Getting ready for the event, attending the event and then going to my grandparent's house afterwards.  And afterwards would be filled will singing, either accompanied by Grandma Betty on the organ, Aunt Karen on the piano, or any number of family members on the guitar.  While the grown ups talked, the kids went outside to run and roll down the hill, play tag, explore the creek and the critters in it, toss horse shoes, and play tag or hide and seek.  At dinner, my Momma and her sisters would help my Grandma Betty cook, and they'd help to clean up together afterwards, complete with singing in harmony (though not necessarily on key!).  After dinner, we'd gather for stories.  Some of them were memories shared, related to the reason we were all there.  Some of them were stories about catching up with each other in the time since last we'd been together.  And some of them were actual stories-- humorous joke stories, ghost stories, and (my favorite) fairytales.

And between staying with my grandparents and how my family would interact, we have the recipe for both a love of arts and crafts, as well as a tradition for stories.  My Grandma Betty taught me how to draw some of the things I saw in my mind.  And when my sister and I were coloring our traced Barbies-- and lamented that they didn't have a skin color crayon that looked anything like our tan-- she taught us how to blend colors to make our own.  We made posters and banners and went through miles of rolled blank news print or brown craft paper and worked on projects for days, sometimes even weeks.

Like most little girls, my sister and I loved horses, and would beg my Momma to draw them-- she made this adorable horse head and taught me about drawing eyes as seen from the side (as opposed to putting forward eyes on a profile)-- she taught me to SEE.

And from this young age up, I kept a dream journal, worked my way through a constant supply of paper and crayons and pencils and colored pencils-- well into my teens.

But after third grade, I didn't actually want to take any formal classes in art.  I can remember the exact moment.  We were in art class learning how to do potato prints.  I made a spiral and had purple paint.  And I covered my paper in awesome purple spirals.  But I had a second half of a potato, and what I really needed to finish my painting would be orange stars.  But when I went to make the second potato stamp, the art teacher rushed over and took the potato, and told me to just put more purple spirals on my paper.  So I did.  Unhappily, I did.  I basically made the entire piece of paper purple with overlapping purple spirals.  And at the end, she said, "Good" and I knew that it wasn't and decided I didn't want to take any more art classes if it meant I was going to have to do what someone else told me and make ugly boring things.

So we fast forward to the eleventh grade, when I've been drawing, and coloring, and making, over all these years on my own because, as one of my favorite college professor's Greg Skaggs says, "Makers are going to make", and I my favorite history teacher, Coach Nichols, decides to offer a painting class.  He introduced me to oil painting and I enjoyed it-- but more importantly, I realized that I had progressed as far as I was going to on my own, and maybe it would be a good idea to actually get some formal training.

In my twelfth grade year, I have the opportunity to either leave after my 2 mandatory classes, or take 4 electives.  We're at my third high school, and I've always loved learning, so, to the utter disbelief of the guidance counselor setting me up for classes, I chose option number 2.  I was only required to have Chemistery and English.  I also signed up for psychology, library studies-- and with the permission of Mrs. Hardwick, the art teacher, I skip Art 1 and take both Art 2 and Art 3 instead.  I just brought my portfolio (though I didn't know that was what it was called-- it was just the collection of my art) and showed it to her, and asked to skip the first one.  I learned SO MUCH in her classes and was introduced to all sorts of mediums and techniques!  And I knew that art -had- to be a part of my life.

So when I went to college, it was no surprise that my majors were Art and History.  But in that first semester, it turned out that pretty much ALL of my friends were theatre majors.  And they talked me into auditioning for a show.  I climbed through the center of a chair and did the monologue of "Mouse's Escape from Aquilla"...  I'm just going to leave it at that (lol).

I didn't get the part, but I did enjoy theatre and very much enjoyed getting to see the show, especially since we were reading the play in my literature class.  If you're curious, it was Lysistrata (;

So by my second semester, I was majoring in Theatre and Art.

But life doesn't always go the way we think it's going to-- and I did not, in fact, graduate from my first college.  Instead, I married my best beloved and started a family, and bought into the unspoken, but mostly assumed thought that becoming a wife/mother/ grown up meant getting a day job and giving up my arts.  The whole idea of putting away childish things, yes?

Except that when I look back on it with near perfect 20/20, I can see that I didn't really put them away.  I just changed their focus.  Instead of writing poetry-- I made up songs and stories to entertain my children.  Instead of drawing or painting, I created projects to do with my boys, or made house decorations or gifts to give to my friends and family.  I was always putting on some sort of entertainment for my kids-- and used my sewing skills to make them costumes, or curtains, or... well, whatever I needed to make.

But that hindsight was almost 9 years in the making.

When I went back to college here in Alabama, my very first semester, I was worried that I had lost it.  That art and creativity were something that went away entirely without use.  And I was truly blessed to have Skaggs and Larry Percy as two of my instructors.  They inspired me to find my own artistic fingerprint and eased my fears.  And working on my senior thesis, I finally accepted that I -might- be an artist.

But most inspirational of all, to keep making art, was was when our Senior Thesis director Pamela Allen advised that most college artists (over 80 percent) never make another piece of art after they graduate.  In that moment, I decided I wanted to accept that challenge and not fall into that statistic.  So I signed up for my first non-college art challenge with Leslie Saeta.

As for the dreaming, I started using my personal facebook as a quick journal because I could swype, and record it from bed, right when I woke up.  I had friends who started commenting on my dreams and encouraging me to continue sharing them.

I like to think I'm just starting this journey into being an artist and a storyteller.  I've already made several hundred pieces of art (though not all of them are good enough to be in my portfolio).  I'm in the process of editing the first 365 dreams and am looking foward to getting it published.  And I'm already over 200 dreams into a second book (though I'm editing this one as I go this time!), because just because I was ready to turn it into a book didn't change the fact that I'm a vivid dreamer.

And still, I continue to work towards the goal of eventually living by my arts.  I think -that's- when I'll really consider myself and artist and a storyteller.

(If you'd like to follow the progress of my art, or read my dreams the morning after I have a new one, I regularly update here.)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Eighteen Leaf on the World Tree: Akan Nyame Dua


The eighteenth leaf in my world tree series is the Akan Nyame Dua, which is the both the symbol in the center (a symbol of holy presence and protection, for purification and blessing) as well as the leaves of a Ficus Capensis (fig tree), which is one of the three trees I could find as representative of Nyame Dua.

One of the hardest parts is that I'm not entirely clear if trees called Nyame Dua are actually a specific type of tree (I came across several references for this type of fig tree, as well as a single source suggesting Alstonia gongensis, and a single source suggesting date palm), or if it can be any large tree assigned as a place of communal gathering and spirituality for the community.

Like my previous pieces, the rainbow background serves as a bridge to the world tree.  I chose to use the four central pieces of the Nuame Dua symbol as part of the fruit of the tree, and added 3 figs so that are seven fruit in the leaves, representing spiritual awakening and the collective consciousness.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Akan Nyame Dua"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on mini canvas

Prints and Other Merchandise Available HERE



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Seventeenth Leaf in the series "Leaves on the World Tree: Acholi Yaa"



So my world tree series did not, in fact, get to have 30 paintings in 30 days to get it started, BUT, the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge DID get it started.  And that's really the point of the challenge-- to have fun, to experiment, and to get back to painting.  As long as I -keep- painting, then I'm going to chalk it up to win.

I will provide a little back story on the delay though-- the important part of which was that as I prepared for the original 17th piece, my notes didn't give me quite enough information to get started, so I went back to my original sources and discovered that there were actually even more major ethnic groups than my original research provided.  In fact, I discovered that if I was working my way alphabetically through them, I had already missed -8-.  So I updated my list and dove into the research for the skipped groups.

The Yaa is more commonly known in the west as the Shea Nut Tree-- for Shea Butter (moo yaa in Acholi), though it has several names.

It originates in Africa and can take up to 50 years to mature and begin producing nuts.  There are several trees that could have been chosen from the endemic preserves around the source of the Blue Nile, and the Shea could (and may still) be used as a recognizable tree for several locations, but I have chosen it as the seventeenth leaf in my world tree series for the Acholi Yaa.

Like my previous pieces, the rainbow background serves as a bridge to the world tree, and there are seven nuts in the leaves representing spiritual awakening and the collective consciousness, as well as the current seven districts of Acoli.

 "Leaves on the World Tree: Acholi Yaa"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 16: "Leaves on the World Tree: Circassian Cork Oak with Mixed Fruit" Study




This piece started out looking -very- differently as I was experimenting with under painting and splattering again:



I like this technique, but I'll still need to refine it if I'm going to try to create a rainbow with it.

Today, I chose the cork oak, in part because the oldest tree in Circassia is an oak, but also because there's an entire cork oak grove.  There are twelve cork oak leaves to represent the 12 tribes of the Circassian people.  And then, instead of acorns, there are mixed fruit: an apple, pear, cherry-plum, apricot, cornel, walnut, and quince, to represent the Ancient Circassian Gardens, that were created over 150 years ago with hardy fruit,nut, and berry grafts into the native trees.

The sixteenth leaf on my world tree is the Circassian Cork Oak.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Circassian Cork Oak with Mixed Fruit"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 15: "Leaves on the World Tree: Chuvash Tree of Life with Oak and Hops" Study



But Janin, it's Day 22!  You are most correct.  I fell behind by a week, but I'll do my darnedest to catch up on Saturday.  I spent a good portion of this morning gessoing the next batch, so even if it takes me slightly longer than 30 days, there will be 30 paintings (;

The fifteenth leaf on my world tree is the Chuvash Tree of Life, paired with 3 leaves from an oak, and a pair of hops with hops leaves (giving me 5 leaves and 2 'fruit' for a total of seven).  The Churvash tree of life is a motif that shows up in their embroidery and represents the people.  I chose leaves from an oak tree to represent the oldest oak tree in Chuvasia, that is 362 years old and a natural monument.  (Also, on a slight aside, I learned that there are over 600 kinds of Oak trees!)
And I paired it with hops because they've been producing beer for centuries and provide over 80% of the hops used in Russia.


"Leaves on the World Tree: Chuvash Tree of Life with Oak and Hops" 
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas


PRINTS AND OTHER MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE HERE

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 14: "Leaves on the World Tree: Catalan Pine" Study



I've been very loose and general in my rainbows, so I wanted to try being more specific.


It's an interesting pattern, but I think it detracts from the vegetation on top of it.  Pine needles don't cover as much space and you can clearly see the background.  Unless I try again with all thin lines, I don't think I'll be using this style of background again.  Or maybe alignment-- if the thin swirl had been in the upper right hand corner instead of having the branches on top of it, it would be less distracting.  I may end up repainting this one after the 30 days.  But I do like the way the pine cones are accented in the color.

There are 7 pine cones, representing spiritual awakening and the collective consciousness, and 3 separate branches of pine, to represent the Catalan Pi Jove de les Tres Branques, the young three branch pine.

The original Three Branch Pine, a Scots Pine, took root in the 1630s, was (and is) a cultural meeting place for the Catalan people as a symbol of their unity.  The original tree died in 1915, and has been vandalized several times both before and since, specifically because it is a symbol of the Catalan people.  A short distance away is the young three branch pine, considered the original's successor, and is also classified as a monumental tree by the Catalan government.  The younger pine is still at least 200 years old and gatherings are still held at the site of these trees.

The fourteenth leaf on my world tree is the Catalan Pine.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Catalan Pine" Study
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 13: "Leaves on the World Tree: Bulgarian Granit Oak" Study


Oh my goodness this background gave me such trouble today!  I like to use a little bit of splatter to change up some of the accent colors and wondered if I could splatter an entire painting background.  So I was back to experimenting.


Not bad.  Too wet.  But I can roll with it, right?


No!  Abort! Abort!  What did I DO?!?  My canvas looks like it's bleeding.  And old blood at that.  Yuck.

So I bet you're wondering how that turned into the first picture.  I'll not lie, I tried fiddling with this mess twice more before I decided I just was NOT going to be able to fix it like it was.  So I painted it over with a thin layer of white and let some of it creep through as background shapes and shadows, then painted an entirely new background on top of it.  It gives it a darker, deeper feel.  Before I even added any vegetation, this painting was already six layers deep.

But I think it turned around well.  It's not my favorite pattern, but it's an interesting experiment and I certainly learned from it-- let layers dry or you very quickly get mud.  And yes, it's entirely possible to splatter an entire canvas...but I'll need way more practice at it to make it look any good.

Today's tree is the Bulgarian Granit Oak, and may be the oldest oak tree in the world, thought to have germinated in 345 A.D.

I was certain I would be doing my second date palm before I was doing my second oak, but I was mistaken (;  I'm pleased that they don't look the same, even though the backgrounds ended up being similar.

Continuing my theme of seven, there are seven acorns and seven leaves.

I also realized today that people may be wondering why I'll share links to tell you more about the vegetation, but not about the people.  There are two reasons:

First, when I'm making these pieces, I want them to mean something to the people, the ethnic group, represented.  I want them to be able to look at it and say, "Yes.  I can see us in this."  And second, no matter how many links I could attempt to list-- you can't actually sum up -any- ethnic group with online links.  You can hint at their struggles, their history, their traditions-- but as an outsider, I fully accept that I'm not qualified to tell you about them.  But I can hope that if you follow the links to learn about the vegetation, maybe you end up curious about the people, and the land, and that it inspires you to search for yourself.  Some of them are inspiring.  Some of them are heartbreaking.  And quite frankly, all of them are fascinating.

Who knows, maybe one day, this project will culminate in a world trip, to see and experience in person all the leaves on my world tree (both vegetation and people).

So the thirteenth leaf on my world tree is the Bulgarian Granit Oak.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bulgarian Granit Oak" Study
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas

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30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 12: "Leaves on the World Tree: Bosniak Pine and Golden Lily" Study



This was one of the harder ones to do, because, like the Assyrian, the Bosniaks don't have a mortal national tree.  They're the first group that identified more with a flower: The Golden Lily.  Which is why I didn't finish it yesterday.  It needed extra research.

I considered painting just the lily, but decided to pair it, instead, with Pinus heldreichii, in part because it's a pine native to the area, and in part because it's also two of the oldest trees in the world, though not in their area:  One is located in Greece and is 1075 years old and is thought to be the oldest tree in Europe, and the other is in Bulgaria and is over 1300 years old.

I painted six lilies to pay tribute to the Bosniak flag, and scattered the seven pine cones among the needles, as scattered as the trees and the people, through the Balkans and the world.

The twelfth leaf on my world tree is the Bosniak Pine and Golden Lily.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bosniak Pine and Golden Lily"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on minicanvas

FIND PRINTS AND OTHER MERCHANDISE HERE

Sunday, September 11, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge: September 2016, Day 11: "Leaves on the World Tree: Bihari Peepal" Study


I absolutely loved the background on this one today.  I played with the plastic wrap again.




Love the geometric feel of the first layer!  But for this series, that's still too much white, so I added an additional couple of layers and then began adding the Peepal leaves and figs.  The oldest documented human planted tree is a Peepal, also called the Sacred Fig, and was planted in 288 BC, making it 2,304 years old.


Because of the brightness of the yellow, I actually needed four layers of white for each leaf today.


I like that the leaves on the bottom wrap around the edge of the painting on this one.


My handy dandy 5/0 brush as I was working on the leaves.  I continued my use of the number seven in the number of figs and the total number of leaves to represent spiritual awakening and the collective consciousness.

The eleventh leaf on my world tree is the Bihari Peepal.

"Leaves on the World Tree: Bihari Peepal" Study
by Janin Wise
3" x 3 " acrylic on minicanvas

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