Taking Flight in Fabric

My latest work has been inspired by my friends at  Goose Creek Studio  in Bedford, VA.

Their next challenge show for winter is titled MYTH. And we were invited to produce a piece that is inspired or bases on a myth, but also that is in some way tied into the world and our lives personally. I had several ideas and am working on two. But the piece that has really inspired me is this work in progress “Phoenix Rising.”

The Story of the Phoenix has always fascinated me.

In ancient mythology, the symbolism of the majestic Phoenix bird, which is most often connected with the Sun, dies and is reborn across cultures and throughout time.

Ancient legend paints a picture of a magical bird, radiant and shimmering, which lives for several hundred years before it dies by bursting into flames. It is then reborn from the ashes, to start a new, long life. So powerful is the symbolism that it is a motif and image that is still used commonly today in popular culture and folklore.

The legendary phoenix is a large, grand bird, much like an eagle or peacock. It is brilliantly coloured in reds, purples, and yellows, as it is associated with the rising sun and fire. Sometimes a nimbus will surround it, illuminating it in the sky. Its eyes are blue and shine like sapphires. It builds its own funeral pyre or nest, and ignites it with a single clap of its wings. After death it rises gloriously from the ashes and flies away.

The Grammarist says: “To rise like a phoenix from the ashes means to emerge from a catastrophe stronger, smarter and more powerful. An example of rising like a phoenix from the ashes is someone who opens a new, successful business after his previous business has failed. Another example is someone who builds a new house after his previous house has been destroyed in a tornado. The phoenix bird is a mythical bird from Greek mythology. It was a feathered creature of great size with talons and wings, its plumage radiant and beautiful. The phoenix lived for 500 years before it built its own funeral pyre, burst into flame, and died, consumed in its own fiery inferno. Soon after, the mythical creature rose out of the ashes, in a transformation from death to life.

 

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Step one: coming up with a sketch I like for the subject matter.

In my own life i have on several occasions had to face a type of death: My loss of my voice as a singer; going through a physical transition to become a new person both in my creativity and in my life; and most recently the ending of my 14 year relationship with i man I truly love and thought would be in my life forever.

Like the Phoenix, each time I’ve had to die completely to the old self in order to find a new life, a new pathway.

This week’s posts will be following the creation of the finished piece I will be showing November through December at Goose Creek Studio. It will be for sale.

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Step 2: I know I want a dark background to contrast with the brilliant plumage I intend for the bird, so I choose a mottled black the fades into the ashes of the funeral pyre.
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Step 3: I’ve completed the background area ( the piece currently measures 32″ X 44″ ) and I’ve allowed a few of the “flying ashes” to add more interest in the background.

Tomorrow I begin to sort and add colors for the plumage. I will completely finish the piece as a fabric collage before I begin any thread painting.

 

Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

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