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.
I’m a pretty big mythology nerd. Always have been, I guess. Even now it informs how I understand the world around me and my place in it. Mythical stories often present us with the personification of different aspects nature and natural forces, and I relate to that very well. Not because I take myth for literal truth, but because I believe myth can point us toward elusive “truth”, and help us understand nature and our history a little better.
I’m a bit of an animist too… well, more than just a bit… I walk through the world and see everything is alive and part of a vast living system. We’ve been taught in this post-Newtonian world that we live in a giant clock-work. A vast and complicated machine, and in a lot of ways this modern world wants us to believe we are also just some sort of bio-machines as well. But I don’t see it that way at all.
I look up to the Sun and see this giant living being. Different than me. Incomprehensible maybe, moving through and interacting with the larger Universe in a way I’ll probably never understand, but still alive.
That’s what my artwork here is trying to show. This is Sól, Helios, or Ra… a.k.a. the Sun. And like Ra was known to do, the Sun helps create and nourish all life here on our living planet Earth.
It’s the Sun, but the firebirds are also an important part of the image. Maybe they are souls and spirits being forged in, or maybe simply passing through, the Sun. New life traveling from the Sun out into the larger solar system. I do know that the firebirds, together with the Sun, also represent the seven classical planets of the ancient world to me. And for me, that is The Eighth World.
My artwork (above) will be hanging in the Springville Art Museum’s upcoming 30th Annual Spiritual & Religious Exhibition. The show opens this week on November 18th, with an opening reception that same night from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, and will hang until January 12, 2016.
My piece is pretty much based on the old Norse myth of the great wolf Sköll eating the sun. I’ve thought a bit about that story over the years and mulled it over in my imagination since I first read it as a little kid. This is also the first piece from my series, Songs from the Earth.
The Wolf Was the end and a beginning. Running free and wild, He leapt and grabbed the Sun between His fierce teeth. Laughing as He chewed, flames flutter. Firebirds spread their wings, Streaking like comets Across the sky.
I guess I did this artwork in part to remind myself that an act of destruction is also an act of creation. Not only out in the cosmos with the sun and stars, but also on a personal level. It’s hard to remember and see that, but I hope so.