Sunday, September 4, 2016

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, September 2016, Day 4: Leaves on the World Tree: Assyrian Tree of Life with Jasmine and Barley Study

Today's background was actually inspired by a piece that my friend Jessica Wine King made, what feels like, a lifetime ago (:

It's a silk screen painting of the day she and my husband drove down the mountain and through a rainbow.  And I wanted to see if I could emulate the silkscreen feel of the colors on canvas.

And was pleased to see that the answer to that question is 'Yes!'

I absolutely adore the background on this piece!  I think it's my favorite rainbow so far.  (To read about how I chose my theme of rainbows and world trees, please see the first 30 in 30 painting challenge.)

Today, alphabetically, the next ethnic group is Assyrian.  If you do any searching at all for Assyrian and trees, you cannot avoid the ancient tree of life.  And I was hesitant to use it, because I'm looking for connections with the modern ethnic groups.  But then I remembered a couple of things from my previous research-- first, this is not the first group where a tree of life is easily identifiable as the national tree.  And second, I don't have to constrain myself to strictly recreating it.

So I did some further research and decide to combine the ancient Assyrian world tree with barley and jasmine.  The largest group of Assyrians today live in Syria, where the unofficial flower is jasmine. In the spring, there is a celebration called Kha b-Nisan, which is the New Year Festival and typically happens around April 1st, and the spring equinox.  Historically, it was also associated with the planting and harvesting cycles of barley and wheat, two primary crops in the region.  So on one side, I have the planting and growing of the grain, and the other, when it is ready to harvest.

The Assyrian Tree of Life is the 4th leaf on my world tree:

"Leaves on the World Tree:  Assyrian Tree of Life with Jasmine and Barley" Study
by Janin Wise
3" x 3" acrylic on mini canvas


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