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Forest Phoenix by Nambroth Forest Phoenix by Nambroth
Technical info:

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"


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.
Add a Comment:
Keplilly Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I remember seeing this piece in person at Dragoncon. It is awesome! Sadly someone beat me in buying it but it is a fantastic piece.
Marahuta Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
Moving from 2D to 3D...You're evolving :O
UpsideDownCross Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is such a cool technique! what gels do you use?
Nambroth Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Professional General Artist
Liquitex and Golden. :)
CryWolf96 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is a truly amazing piece of art. i rarely comment on peoples art unless its like, truly truly amazing and captures my heart. this is an amazing work of art, :D great job!
matthew974 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
i love how you made this in 3 D i love everything about this i am speachless
tsubame-33 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
everything about this is too awesome for words. I just wish I could see the 3-D look for myself.
b3bitte Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
At first I thought it was only a painting, but a really beautiful painting.. And then I see it's in 3D! Wooow, Magnifique!
siIent-cacophony Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2010
this inspires me so much. its beautiful
OneRealityOver Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That is beautiful!
FedersStrich Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Great work! I love this:love:
b-o-o Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2010
This is piece is as amazing as the other, in its own way.
TijonWolfsMajesty Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010
This is truely beautiful. That is all i can think to say.
Ladoncyan Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010
I can't think of anything good enough to say. There's only "Beautiful" and "Absolutely amazing."

The tree will live on, I'm sure. Just awe-inspiring.

I'm going to shut up now, before I hurt myself thinking.
mrs-matsuyama Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
love the colors and very cool idea with the leaves
A-lie134 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009
I think this is my favourit work that you have done!
Its just Amazing!!, and when I saw the other pictures I was like: og my God its not just a painting, its in 3D!
Man you did an incredible work!! :D
ladyarah Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome job! I just wanted to let you know that I featured this in "Realms of Fantasy and Myth: Week 18 - Phoenix", you can find it here: [link]
freimund Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2009
looks a bit like the cover of a book or something. its nice^^
orangenewt Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009
This is outstanding!
Your imagination is boundless!
And I know how you feel about 'your' oak tree.
I have been watching the slow death of my favorite
tree for the past few years from strong storms.
This may be it's last summer.
Your oak was amazing! I linked to your photo!
Ririko Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009  Student General Artist
This is such a moving story...
It seems like the leaves were foresahdows for this wonderful piece of art...
I wish I will have such a dream one time too!
Ivy-Redhead Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2009

Next time, try Transulcent Sculpety 3 mixed with a little bit of White Sculptey 3.
Nambroth Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
Actually I just tried translucent sculpey and I hate it! It's not translucent at all. When I make these, there is a lot of very transparent depth, so it didn't work for me.
Ivy-Redhead Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2009
I find that translucent sculpey is great for making the clay "strech" a bit more. Not as much waste.
Nambroth Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2009  Professional General Artist
No clay was used in this piece. :D
Ivy-Redhead Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2009
Spyroflamesredsbum Featured By Owner May 10, 2009
eeee its sooo great!!! FAVE FOR YOOO C:
WONDERFULL JOB ohplz this rox ;)
yozegami Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009  Student Digital Artist
wow, stunning! great work! :+fav:
Auralous Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2009
That's extremely stunning... I wish I had that talent and ability.
Cacodaemonia Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, this really is an amazing piece, particularly because of the sentiment behind it. It's a lovely tribute to that beautiful old tree.
gnomecatcher Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009
WOW! :wow:
boy do I want to try this some time :D
it looks...grueling though. I definitely like this one more than your second piece. the leafyness makes it all the more symbolic ;)
although the second one seems to me the more "all out" one, haha
silverlve70 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
This is extremely pretty! Great work.
Rujin85 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2009
veronique72 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2008
wow, love the texture....keewwwl
Visadharah Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Twilightwind Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2008  Student Writer
This is truly great and incredible and the fact that it has come from your dreams has made it all the more fascinating. I am in love with this. great job.

btw that tree was huge and I'm so sorry what happened.
bearkin Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2008
you have an amazing skill, this is a very skilled and beautiful peice of work. (i feel sorry for the tree, it isn't often you can see a tree that awe inspiring, but at the risk of lameness, this piece is moving to the point of embodying the cycle of life, even if that cycle is that of a tree) great symbolism, great skill. and as evidenced by the second pheonix you have done, your skill has grown even more >jealous of you so much< Keep making art, through you your pieces add a little something special to life. ;)
copperarabian Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2008  Student Photographer
I like your story :)
pseudometry Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2008   Writer
This is very beautiful also. Green and Blue phoenixes, I will add them to my Green and Blue collection.
IceburgDockOne Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2008
Beautiful!!! O.O
LovelyLadyGray Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008
This phoenix is quite breathe-taking since it is raising from the greenery. Instant :+fav:.
UniquelyYours Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2008
This is amazing! I had to put this on full-view before I could tell it was a sculpture. Great movement and energy!! I hope you don't mind, I featured this in my journal about a day in San Fransisco. [link]
lost-in-a-current Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2008
i can't even describe the emotion this depicts for me .
theangelswhitewolf Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2008
stunning is the only word for it
Cygam7 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2008
Wow, stunning and magical. **fav** :)
bleedingbird Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
I'm glad you linked to the other photos; without those, I wouldn't have realized the the phoenix is 3D. Incredible work; I've never seen anything like it.
ForGivingHeart234 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2008
*drops dead from its amazingness*
emberleo Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2008

That's a new one on me. I can't believe you sculpt with those materials. Amazing!
MrLlamaMan Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008
I didn't reaalize how far the bird stuck out until I looked at one of the other views
medeaggd Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is absolutely stunning. I love the story behind it, it just makes even more emotional a tale.
schermanfreak Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2008   Writer
I LOVE LOVE LOVE how the tail of the phoenix has the veins of leaves. I LOVE that sooo much.
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Submitted on
July 24, 2007
Image Size
146 KB


39,001 (1 today)
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Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/600 second
Focal Length
11 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jul 24, 2007, 10:35:03 AM