Sunday, February 5, 2017

Leaves on the World Tree: Brahui Juniper

Did you know that Balochistan is home to some of the oldest Juniper trees in the world?  I've previously mentioned the Zairat Juniper Forest, but they also grow in the Bolan Hills.

This week, I decided to go back to rows of color, and tried out larger salt:

And decided to pair it with cling wrap to draw pools of color as well:

After it had dried, it was ready for the next two layers of color:

Even though I'm left handed, I splatter right handed (:

The finished background:

The juniper is actually Juniperus macropoda, which is native to northern and central Balochistan in western Pakistan, and southeastern Afghanistan.

Like my previous pieces, the plants are painted in all white.  There are seven juniper berries, representing spiritual awakening & the collective consciousness, surrounded by juniper needles, on a background of rainbow colors as a bridge to the world tree.

The twenty fourth leaf in my world tree series, aimed at showing that we are ALL leaves on the same world tree:

"Leaves on the World Tree: Brahui Juniper"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on mini canvas

Prints and other merchandise available at my society6 store

Color Your Year Calendar 2017

In December, I went looking for this year's calendar, and decided I was going to get myself a weekly planner to help me stay on top of things.  While I was looking at Barnes and Nobles, I found their Color Your Year Mindful Coloring Through the Seasons Engagement Calendar.

I had a box of gelpens someone had gotten for me, that I hadn't opened in the last year and decided this would give me 52 chances to practice, and learn how to use them.

And I thought I'd share my progress so far (:

The first page in, finishing out December.

Where I discovered I may well use drawing instead of coloring.

My least favorite one so far to complete-- in part because I was running out of my gelpens already, so my color choices were limited, and in part because of how many small detailed areas there were.  But I completed it anyway, and kinda like how it turned out.

I got new gelpens, including white, and decided that this meant I had the ability to alter the existing image as I wanted, by erasing and coloring as I decided-- this is actually supposed to be a repeating pattern that has 9 toucans in it, that should all look like the one on the lower right (the heads of two at the bottom were turned into leaves and flowers, and the tail of the one on the upper right was also turned into leaves and flowers).
This is next weeks:

I invite you to follow my 52 weeks in progress on instagram @janin.wise if you wish (:  You can also see the inprogress of the previous ones as well.

Part of the reason I'm posting them there is when I found the hashtag #coloryouryearcalendar I found about half a dozen with people doing the same calendar in different ways, which was REALLY cool...but I also noticed that after about 4 -6, they stopped.  If I'm sharing them, it encourages me NOT to stop, not to quit.

And to be honest, I'm looking forward to seeing what I've learned about gelpens after a year of use (:

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lunar New Year 2017

I missed doing 2015's lunar new year zodiac (which I will be shortly making up), but I typically wait a little further into the year before I'm ready to make that year's zodiac.

So yesterday, I completed this year's piece early, only a day after the actual Lunar New Year, as I found myself, and my country, on the precarious balance of hopeful and hopeless.

This year's fire chicken is aptly based on the breed called 'phoenix'.

So today's progress photos and finished piece will also come with a side of American political advise, regardless of which "side" you support (if you'd rather, you can scroll right down to the pictures, but I think the following is worth reading):

Don't just be outraged. Be motivated. I'm about to post a series of links that can help you actually get involved. Because angry fb rants and sharing inflammatory headlines in either direction won't have any real world influences on the politics.

Right now, all of it, ALL OF IT, are bills -waiting- to happen.

So use these tools to find the ones that matter to you, track them, find out who is chairing them, and contact them. Find your representatives and contact them. By phone, by email, by letter, in person, in protest-

YOU decide.

But do the leg work and GET. INVOLVED.

Because IF these bills pass (or don't pass depending on your leaning) and you did not get involved, then YOU are equally responsible for that outcome.

We cannot, and SHOULD NOT treat these headlines like foregone conclusion, because they are not. There are between a couple of weeks and several months (depending on the bill) for us ALL to actively participate in our political processes.

These are some of the tools that will help you do it:…/presidential-actions…/nominations-and-appointments…/find-elected-officials/

And a great place to start, every time you read an article:

Use it to find the actual bill or legislature being discussed if it's not already linked in the article. Read the proposal for yourself. And proceed from there.

Politics have weighed heavily on my mind for the better part of the last six months, and heavier still in the last 10 days.  And so I decided to place my phoenix fire chicken on a page featuring both the words "Hope" and "Hopeless", as it feels like there is a lot of people teetering between the two.

Mixing colors (which I realized while painting that I don't tend to show when I do it).  I'm using atelier interactive acrylic.

After I pencil in my rough shapes, I start painting my basic outlines.  From here, all of the patterns, as always, will be freehand painted.

Initially my colors were very much towards the golden and blue black of the actual birds-- but I increased the red to accent the fire chicken aspect.

Using my 5/0 grumbacher to do the painting.

Once I completed the piece, I realized I was colored (quite literally, in fact) by my politics-- as my rooster is very much Red, White and Blue.

As we are given the choice between hope and hopeless-- I have decided to choose hope.  I know people who choose an intention or a word for their year-- and I believe that hope is going to be mine.

"Choose Hope"
by Janin Wise
6" x 10" acrylic on dictionary page

Prints and other merchandise available at my society6 store

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Birdwhisperer Project 2017: Iris's Messenger

The facebook page Birdwhisperer Project inspires its art members to each create a piece based on the same reference photo, which gives a magnificent glimpse into how different artistic eyes view the world.

This year, I've decided to participate monthly.

To start us off, and to celebrate the one year anniversary of the project, Christopher Martin Photography has given permission for the use of their "Iridescent Raven":

I've always considered ravens a sign of good fortune, so I took it as an auspicious beginning for 2017!

I started by preparing my background.  It's acrylic on acrylic paper, with rock salt:

Then I began drawing in my shapes from the source picture:

Then, using my Grumbacher 5/0, I painted my outlines:

And as I always do, freehand painted my designs:

I even thought I was done:

But I realized it was way too much magenta once I looked at with a little bit of distance.  The middle and tail of the raven blended into the background.  So I traced over most of it with the blue to give it a purpler feel, but something still wasn't quite right, and I realized it wasn't standing out enough against the background, so I gave it a slight whitewash, resulting in the finished piece:

"Iris's Messenger"
by Janin Wise
11" x 14" acrylic on acrylic paper

Prints and other merchadise available at my society6 store

Iris is both the personification of the rainbow, as well as the goddess of the sky and sea, and served as the link between humanity and the gods.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's pieces revealed today as well! (Just follow the tag #birdwhisperer or on facebook @BirdWhisperer Project to see them all.)

Leaves on the World Tree: Beti-Pahuin Dura Palm

Dura Palm are endemic to the rainforests of West Africa.  They feature prominently in the daily lives of many of the Beti-Pahuin.

Unlike most of the trees that I've chosen, there is contention around this tree.  A hybrid of the Dura, the Elaeis guineensis, or African oil palm, is being planted with the hope of bringing an economic boon to the area-- but runs the risk of disrupting and displacing the existing small scale farms.

This time, I've chosen to use the fruit of the tree to represent the over 20 clans of the Beti-Pahuin, and created seven stalks of the palm to represent the collective consciousness and spiritual awakening.  Like the previous 22 pieces in the series, the rainbow background is a world sign of creation, divinity, good luck, hope, potential, harmony, connection, balance and spirituality.

Beginning to add the shapes with my 5/0 Grumbacher paintbrush.

The first layer of white.  I like the transparent feel of the leaves, so I'm going to keep that.

 I've had a couple of pieces spill over an edge or two, but this is the first one I've had that extended on all four sides:

 The twenty third leaf on my world tree:

"Leaves on the World Tree: Beti-Pahuin Dura Palm"
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on canvas

Prints and other merchandise available at my society6 store

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