I finished this new artwork, called “Wisdom Rests” (above), a couple of weeks ago but held off on sharing earlier because I wanted to look a little more, and be sure it was done… and, yep, it is done! I worked on Wisdom Rests every day for a couple of months, and it took a lot of time to complete, but I am so happy to see the new piece.
This artwork is a companion to another recent work, called “Wisdom Descends“, and both are part of my larger series, “Songs from the Earth“. Below is a little ditty I wrote to go with my newest artwork here:
Through the great Dark and shattered Light, She steps.
Onward, toward Her Sun.
His red roar becomes a background hum.
His orange glow warms Her body.
And She rests.
In my new artwork you see the sun as a lion, and the earth as a woman. I am interested in mythology, and humanity has always placed characters from our various mythologies up into the stars and onto the planetary bodies. I want that tradition to continue in my work, and use historic symbols to represent objects in space. By associating the sun, planets and stars with a human and animal form, they suddenly become much more relatable.
This artwork is available for purchase as a limited canvas print through toddpowelson.com.
The digital painting (above), called “Wisdom Descends”, was a whole lot of fun to make but took me a very long time to finish. Whew, I’m so glad to see it done, and so happy with how She turned out.
This artwork is based on the old Gnostic story of Sophia. I’ll admit, the story has evolved and changed in my own mind and imagination, but its still heavily inspired by those original Gnostic thinkers.
For me, in my own personal mythology, Sophia (a.k.a. Wisdom) has come to represent the spirit and life-force of the Earth. She is the Earth, and the Earth is something Her spirit created and stepped down into. The Earth is Her material body, and Her spirit and soul sleeps and dreams us all (plants, animals, people) into being.
I know it probably sounds weird, but this is also something that makes me very happy to think about.
Visually, I wanted to focus primarily on the figure, geometry, color, and abstraction. When I started this piece, I’d planned on filling the background with a whole lot more geometry, pattern and shapes, but as I continued working I liked the idea of just leaving the background pure white. Representing the light Sophia is leaving, in favor of the earth-tones of Her material body. The sky and cloud colored fabric morphs into a celestial wing, and in the geometry of that wing you can see hints of animal (primarily bird) shapes following close behind (click the image above for a larger view).
You can buy this as a high quality 20″ x 10″ or a 40″ x 20″ canvas print through my website by visiting www.toddpowelson.com
This artwork will begin Chapter 4 of my “Songs from the Earth” series, and you can check out the rest of that series by clicking here.
Late last December I was (once again) walking through the hills in the cold winter dark. After a while, my mind started to drift to a book I had finished the day before. The book briefly went into the Genius Loci, which is the spirit of a specific place. A protective spirit that lives and serves a specific canyon, hill, or meadow. I started to think about the canyon I was walking up, because I know there is something there. I’ve felt it. It is a nice feeling, and I like it a whole lot. In my mind, I began to wonder what that spirit living in my canyon might look like…
And as soon as I had that thought, before the thought had even completely formed, a deer walked out of a bunch of trees about ten feet above me and to my right. We just stood there looking at each other for a long time. She was beautiful, and I told her so. She was a doe, a deer, a female deer, but all of those trees behind made it look like she had this huge and incredible rack of antlers reaching up into the sky.
After what seemed like a long time, she started to move off, and I continued on my way. As I walked on, I kept thinking “Nature looks back at you.” This wasn’t the first time I’d thought and felt that Nature was watching, but I certainly did feel it that evening.
And Nature does look back at you. It looks through deer eyes. Through mouse and snake eyes. Through owl, rabbit and otter eyeballs. Even the trees and plants… they also know and see you in their own way. Just go outside for a while and sit with the biggest and oldest tree you can find, and you’ll see. You may also see that Nature also looks out through your eyes as well. We are all important pieces, helping complete creation.
Anyway, a few weeks later I was in a class doing in a sort of guided meditation. The meditation was meant to help you find/create a totem animal or, more accurately, a servitor that can assist you in some way. I had been struggling with some creative blocks that I felt like I needed help with. As I sat there meditating, my deer started to take shape in my mind’s eye. It was a different season, and it was sitting in the grass, but my deer with tree-horns came to visit me. It was great to see the deer again, and now you can see it too! Yep, right up there at the top of this post
You can also see my initial deer drawing below. I did the quick drawing after my class to help me get the shapes right.
You can buy my “Nature Looks Back At You” artwork as a canvas print through my website, toddpowelson.com. I’ve also just opened up an artist shop over on Threadless, and you can get the artwork to wear over there: toddpowelson.threadless.com