Note: For the life of me, I cannot get a good photo of this piece. My apologies!! This is one you really need to see in person.
Other views of this piece: [link] [link] [link]
Acrylic paint and gels (which is like sculpting with Elmer's glue: sticky, runny, messy!!), real oak leaves, genuine opal eye. Special metallic and interference paint used throughout the painting; it shimmers as you walk past.
12" x 16"Story:
I had a dream about painting this piece... the shape, the colors, the phoenix rising from the canvas, and the leaves. When I woke up I knew I had to try and create it, but was stumped over what to make it out of. I wanted the phoenix in relief but I also wanted it to be semi-translucent, like white frosted glass. Since I know of no clays that are translucent, I opted to try and create this piece in acrylics and acrylic gel. Acrylic gel is just very thick acrylic paint. I figured I could sculpt with it a little. I was right and wrong. It didn't hold details and so I decided to make it somewhat earthy and rough looking. I painted the entire thing with my fingers instead of brushes. It worked, but it doesn't look how it was in my dream. It's as close as I could get though.
The leaves are very important.
Back in 2005, the area of Western NY state that I lived in was hit by a freak thunderstorm that had straight line winds in access of hurricane force winds. It took down one of the largest, most spectacular and beautiful oak trees I've ever known. It was very, very sad... the tree was healthy and ancient. Here's a photo of myself next to the tree after it fell; for scale, I'm 5'11". [link]
I had saved, pressed and dried several leaves from the tree. I had no idea why I did that, but I guess I wanted something to remember it by, some sort of testament to it I guess. Well, in my dream I had an answer, two years later. I used several of the leaves I saved in this painting. Instead of shedding flame, this phoenix is shedding leaves, a sign of rebirth and great symbolism.
For those attending, this piece will be at the Dragon*Con art show.