Anytime I work on something, I like to research it. I am a nerd that way, and now I want to share a little nerdiness with you.
Comparative mythology has different variations of the Phoenix from different cultures. The basic story is that the phoenix, knowing it is going to die, ignites itself turning to fire,and is later reborn from its own ashes.
I was first turned on to the Phoenix in early 80’s by the tv show about an ancient alien accidentally awakened before his time that has super powers, goes around helping people, and preaches about the importance of saving the planet. So many themes from this show have stuck with me, despite its 80s cheesy special effects. It was the first time the idea of interconnectedness of people and nature entered my mind. It also had the ancient astronaut theory woven into the plot, and I continue to be interested in that cultural myth. At the time, it seemed like a really cool show and after rewatching it, I can see where my interest in Comparative Mythology originated. If you want to take a look at The Phoenix, its all its 80s glory, I am sure there are episodes circulating somewhere on YouTube.
I got a little off from my sketch, but since I rarely use sketches, I guess that is ok. The core of this armature is clothesline wire, with the branches wired to them.
The branches may look real but are artificial branches used for floral arrangements. Floral branches are much more flexible and durable than real branches. I purchased these from Michaels, but am working to make my own flexible branches.
Over the past month, I have had extremely vivid dreams. Some of them disturbing, some surreal, some both disturbing and surreal. I believe these dreams are my brain filing away my concerns, anxiety and fears. Early this week I had detailed intense dream of a hybrid creature that was part bird, part plant and part human and on fire. This creature was the least human of the dreams so far and it brought to mind the Phoenix.
This dream gave me a feeling of relief because it gave me hope that, like the Phoenix, there is a possibility to rise from the ashes. I read articles and think a lot about the effects humans have on the environment, leading me to wonder if we will destroy our earth. There are many smart people that believe that humans may come close to destroying this planet, but it is more likely that we will destroy ourselves first. Like the dream, this give me hope that the beauty of our planet will continue even after we are gone. Like the Phoenix, our Earth will rise from the ashes.
Added a lot more feathers, carved, added more feathers, then foliage. Last night I started to paint. As usual, I am struggling with color. I have noticed and affinity towards iron oxides, aqua, bits of yellow oxide and underlying violet in the last few pieces I have made. I think I like them for this piece but I have a way to go before I am happy.
My work is featured on page 66. There is some amazing work in this issue! I look forward to seeing more.
You can see it online here: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/58135800/issue-2-april-2017-
You can download this issue free here:
I decided to use floral branches instead of natural branches because of their flexibility. The armature started with a simple wire cross, with the added wire armature for the legs. I attached the head and the branches next, then started creating the basic form with black Apoxie Sculpt. After the basic form had hardened I started with the wing feathers and tail feathers making and placing each one by one. I sculpted the legs last and plan to give the talons more definition as well as add more feathers. Yes its all about the feathers. You can see Chloe in the corner, always ready to help out by chewing on a artificial branch or two.