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!

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

very pretty...lovely colors!

12/30/2006 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing illo and post! Thank u, Laura, a bright, inspiring and enduring 2007 to u too :)

12/30/2006 12:43 PM  
Blogger marcisenders said...

Beautiful!

12/30/2006 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely colours and composition (red going up into blue)

12/30/2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger rusz said...

Great use of color

12/30/2006 1:24 PM  
Blogger rusz said...

Great use of colour

12/30/2006 1:26 PM  
Blogger the enigma said...

ho, very romantic phoenix, love it! :)

12/30/2006 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful interpretation of Phoenix Laura! I love the warmer colors turning to cooler ones as it rises up from the ashes.Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy, creative new year!

12/30/2006 7:32 PM  
Anonymous belinda said...

thanks for your kind comments! like your tattoo sketches. and the phoenix if just fabulous! truly enjoyed the reading. i knew some, but not all. happy new year laura!

12/31/2006 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I won't covet your ability to work outside of digital..hehe...I love the colors, I can't get over the smooth feeling....beautiful...
nice to meet you and thank you for the comment on my illo friday....
keep creating,
Tanya

12/31/2006 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lov the way u have it raising up and soaring great use of color

12/31/2006 7:31 AM  
Blogger quiet storm said...

Sweet work -- very communicative of the mythical bird. Way to go!

12/31/2006 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice colors and feel to your phoenix. HNY!

1/01/2007 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful work:)

I don't know if I have already told you but I love your banner it looks so pretty!

Happy New year with faery blessings***

1/04/2007 2:03 AM  

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