Saturday, December 30, 2006

Illustration Friday - Phoenix

9x12 - oil pastels, colored pencils, watercolor, charcoal

I have always been intrigued by the story of the Phoenix, a mythical bird that never dies, representative of death and rebirth, and tears that could heal. I had a general idea of the story but I had no idea of the many versions and variations of the myth that surrounds this legendary bird!

After some research, I found out that as early as 500 B.C., people believed in it. It is said that near the end of its life, the Phoenix would build a funeral pyre for itself. As it began to die, it would lay down in the wood which would burst into flames after its' death. A new Phoenix would rise up out of the ashes of the funeral pyre and live on for another 500 years (or more). Only one Phoenix was said to live at a time.

Some of the many cultural beliefs:
- it was thought to be the size of an eagle (classic Arabian Phoenix), a peacock (Chinese - named the Feng) or a heron (Egyptian - named the Bennu)
- many people think it was a bird in flames, while others thought it was a bird of shining colors
- Ancient Greeks thought it lived in Arabia, near a well
- Egyptians depicted it as a bird of brilliant shades of red, making it look like itwas wrapped in fire
- Chinese mythology depicted it as a symbol of grace, prosperity and power, a gentle creature that would eat only dewdrops

I hope you enjoyed this short read - this topic was great, interesting to research and fun to create my interpretation of it.

Wishing everyone a Phoenix-like spirit in 2007: bright, inspiring & enduring!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


ok I'm officially a player...that is, I finally took the leap and joined in on the fun crusades with the GPP Street Team -- a *nudge-you-out-your-creative-comfort-zone* monthly challenge served up by none other than super talented artist Michelle Ward

how it went down: these are just a few sketches off the top of my head, i've been sketching flower thingies for the last few months & have pages of them, they're so fun to draw (!) I also love hearts & birds so that naturally showed up too, the ring tat was a nice surprise.

recap: it was great *inking* up on paper but i still don't think i'm ready to go under the needle anytime soon, i'm just not that brave! altho i am a firm believer in never say never =)

conclusion: if i ever did decide to commit, the thumb tat would be a definite consideration - love the idea of permanent jewelry!

thanks again for the creative stretch Michelle!

(p.s. the DOVE inspired this sketch for another weekly challenge, you can check it out here)
Comments: via email

Laura - this is terrific! I especially love the thumbring....that would be a clever tat! Thanks for playing....and I love that you think the challenges are outside the box, never thought of it that way, but it's cool. I've added your link to the team site. I tried to leave you a comment but it's set to only accept registered bloggers, and I'm not on blogger. Thanks again for playing along!
Cheers! Michelle

*oops - thanks for letting me know Michelle!*

Friday, December 22, 2006

Illustration Friday - Peace

pencil sketch (for mixed media piece in progress)

may PeAce, LoVe, jOy and HoPe fill your hearts and homes this holiday season!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Artwords Topic #33 -"Stripes"

scanned closeup

"Hope is the dream of a soul awake." -- French Proverb

Artist's note: I believe hope can be very strong and powerful and that if we hold it close in our hearts, anything is possible.

Despite a super busy week, I'm glad I made time to create this piece, it provided a much needed creative break!
7x7 - acrylic paint, tissue papers, painted chipboard heart detailed w/ gold pen, metallic doilie piece for corner (doilie was also inked up and randomly stamped on bkgrd) paper text from vintage childrens' dictionary, wings made from vintage wallpaper, real candycane (!) scanned in and added to illustration for her to hold, I also painted her dress out to tone down & mute the colors, striped cardstock for crown/hat is my custom design

May Hope, Peace, Joy and Love fill your hearts and homes this holiday season,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!