Sunday, May 18, 2014

Prehistoric Art Swap

   I have a friend who is a very talented artist named Amelia Sherritt. I mentioned her work in another post, but what she does is she makes beautiful art out of wine foil. It is not only an amazingly clever concept, but the result is just gorgeous. She has some work that is more design inspired and some that are more illustrative. She is certainly not limited by her medium! In some ways the limits of the wine foils pushes her to even higher levels of creativity within her compositions. Because of her medium, her art has this extra dimension of texture not experienced with most 2D art. This also means that pictures never do her art justice. The photo's of her work always look beautiful, but it is nothing compared to experiencing it in real life. I have been admiring her work for a long time! Much to my delight, Amelia wanted to do an art swap! What we did was chose a topic. We are both animal nuts, so this narrowed it down enough that we knew it had to be animal themed. After further contemplation, we decided our theme: Prehistoric Animals! This was a fun theme because it was broader than choosing a specific animal like a whale or a cat. I didn't know what animal she would choose and I got to play around with different ideas before I settled on my prehistoric animal.
For Amelia's animal, she chose the brontosaurus. The picture is called 'Lost Land.' I love it!

   Right now I have it hanging up in my living room above the TV. So when I am reading on the couch, I can look up and see it. But this location is limiting because you can only get so far away from this wall before crashing into the wall across from it. Another thing I love about Amelia's art is that it looks different close up versus far away, like with pointillism. So I want to move it to a wall where I can get a good view from it both far away and close up.
  I love dinosaurs and especially the brontosaurus, so I am very happy with the subject matter and with the result. Some of my favorite parts are the little details, such as......

The jaunty palm tree bending toward the river:

The way the wine foils wrap around the edge of the picture:

The volcano with the lava and the smoke rings:

And my favorite, the smile on the brontosaurus face!:

  I recommend you all check out Amelia's website to view more of her lovely work. Here is a link to her webpage: Also, Amelia has a facebook page! Like this lady and her art here!

  For my prehistoric animal, I chose the woolly mammoth! The Picture is called: Ariel Accompanies the Elephants on their Journey to Visit the Grave of Their Long Departed Ancestors: The Grand and Mighty Woolly Mammoth.

   When Ariel was born, she did not cry like most humans. She wiggled her feet, clenched her fists, and opened her mouth, but no sound came out. Her family surrounded her with concerned expressions, but as time went on, it became clear that Ariel was mute.
   Her community tried to treat her with kindness, but Ariel’s silence made everyone slightly uncomfortable. What was she thinking behind all of her silence? So most of the time, Ariel was alone. She spent her lonely childhood learning musical instruments. Because, even though she could not speak, she could hear. Nothing delighted her more than having the power to make sound. Plucking a string and hearing the strum reverberate around her was a delight. Having her own breath blast sound through a horn was exhilarating! So, instead of speaking, she made music.
   Although her musical talents garnered admiration, it did not encourage any friendships. Now Ariel wasn't just quiet, she was loud. She rumbled around the town with a guitar slung around her shoulder, plucking and strumming while everyone else murmured in stifled voices. Still alone, she spent much of her free time wandering the forest. She would find a comfortable spot… in a fairy ring or in a tall tree, and play music. One day while she was playing her trumpet, she heard a cheerful “toot, toot!” in return.
   “How delightfully mysterious!” Ariel thought. She blew her horn, and once again she heard a returning toot.     The source of the sound was revealed when from the woods emerged a herd of friendly elephants. They had their gray trunks pointed toward the air as they created jaunty tunes. Together, Ariel and elephants made a song. They were like a troupe of jazz musicians!
   Soon a grand friendship blossomed between Ariel and the elephants. But it wasn't just music that Ariel enjoyed with the elephants. She enjoyed deep conversations, for the first time in her life. She learned the language of the elephants. She knew what different toots, hoots, beeps, and blasts meant. She know how to say ‘Hello my dear friends.” and “ This day is wonderful,” or “this day is horrible.” And she knew what it meant when one of her elephant friends hoot, hoot, hooted with his long trunk.  It was so grand to finally experience the joy of a good conversation!
   It wasn't long before Ariel felt more elephant than human. At home, while having dinner with her family, she daydreamed while they chattered. Sometimes, when humans spoke to her, she could no longer even understand them. So when her elephant friends told her that they were going on a journey to pay respects to their ancestors, Ariel knew she had to join them. After all, in a way, the elephants ancestors were her ancestors too.
   At the woolly mammoth cemetery, the elephants and Ariel gathered around. Because of  their collected chattering, tears, laughter and flower petals, the ghost of one of their woolly mammoth ancestors emerged! Being in the presence of the woolly mammoth ghost was the most amazing experience that Ariel and the elephants ever had. It made them realize how young the earth is and how old the earth is all at the same time. It made them realize that everything that has been alive has really been alive and everything that once lived still remains in bones and memories and fallen leaves and dust filled footprints.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Tailor from Bird Village Brings the Lady of the Lake her Disguise for the Ball

 Here is an illustration I made for David's birthday, which was in March. It was made with Gouache, Acrylic, Tea, and pen.

     Every Spring, an annual ball is held deep in the woods. All of the kingdoms most revered wise people must attend. Among these important dignitaries are: The Tree Mistress, The Mountain Man, The Cloud Twins and of course the Lady of the Lake. For three days and three nights, the wise people dance. On the fourth morning, they gather around a grand table to discuss important issues of their world. These issues include mundane questions such as: should the elves or water nymphs host the flower day parade this year? Or more serious questions, such as: will the cave ghosts return this year to once again wreck havoc, and if so, how best to discourage their rascally ways?
   The Lady of the Lake has attended the ball for five-hundred years and always wears the same gown. A green gown made out of lily pads and sewn together with thin strands of lake weed. But one day, while wandering along the shores of her lake, she met a most interesting gentleman. He was a spry, bearded man with nimble fingers and kind eyes. He sat at the edge of the lake, sewing together feathers to create a wondrous coat.
  "What is that you are making?" The Lady of the Lake asked.
   The man, startled by her voice but pleased with the company, explained he was creating a jacket for his great-great-great grandfather, who traveled back to their world from the afterlife every Spring. "Every April, he stays with us for a month. But he is always so cold. Sometimes we cannot even understand his words because his teeth chatter so much. So I am making him a coat to keep him warm before he must return to the afterlife. I am a tailor by trade, and create all of my clothing from feathers. I am from the Bird Village and feathers are an abundant resource."
  The Lady of the lake was fascinated by the Bird Village tailor.and he was equally fascinated by her. For hours they talked and laughed. But when The Lady of the Lake noticed the orange and pink hues blushing the sky, she realized the day was almost over.
  "Oh! There is still so much I must do to prepare the lake for night! I must be off!" The Lady of the Lake sprinted away from the tailor and back to her lake.
   Throughout the week she thought often of the tailor, wishing they could meet again. She wanted to hear more about his life in the Bird Village. She wanted to see more of his feathered creations. So when she realized that the annual ball was only weeks away, she had the perfect excuse to commission the tailor to create a dress for her. Her frog servants traveled to the Bird Village to speak to the tailor, requesting a gown for their revered Lady of the Lake. The Lady of the Lake did not reveal the real reason she was so eager to see the new gown.
   Now, as she sees the tailor drift toward her on his coot stead, she tries to keep a stoic expression, but she can feel her heart flutter like a bird in her chest.