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