Spirit, the evolution of a painting

18 10 2010

When I paint, I forget that stuff goes on around me.  People I’ve known my entire life barely get recognized and I just zone out.  They call and say “whatcha doing?”  “I’m fucking painting.”  “OK, go do that.  Love you.”

This time, I’ve tried to keep (and sorta failed) in touch through facebook with the progression of the painting.  Ah well.  People who know  me know that when I paint, know that at least I’m being quiet and staying out of trouble.

So, here’s the progression of Spirit – 36″ x 24″ mixed media on canvas.

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No, it’s not done.  I’m going for a graphic novel style and decided that the text area needed to be redone.  Also, the photos are out of order, but you’ll figure it out.

The background is an oil wash.  The blue dove motif is acrylic.  The main structure of the white dove is done in Sharpie oil paint pens then I switched back to acrylic for the shading.  Most of the detailing and border is done with paint pen.

Soon… my little dove.  We’ll work together again.

shredded paper

29 07 2010

I’m feeling a little more chipper today.  Thanks for the emails and prayers, guys.  I need to forgive myself more for being a mere human and find the joy in the tiny things.

Like Nola impersonating the sand monster from Dune when I put some lotion on her really itchy snout.  It’s a great visual!

I finally emptied the birds’ nest after they abandoned this most recent clutch.  There were about 15 unhatched eggs in there and it was getting really ridiculous.  As soon as they’d incubate the eggs and realize they were infertile, they’d build another nest on top of the existing nest.

Last time, I had given them some straw and dry grasses from the pet store to use for the nest and they wove it endlessly.  Doves are terrible at making nests so endlessly means that they’d get pissed off at each other and throw the other’s work out of the nest and then spend hours guarding “home base.”  On a whim, I added some thinly shredded card stock and they LOVED it.

This time, instead of the straw I just put in a handful of thinly shredded unbleached paper and they’re having a ball.  They’re still fighting like crazy but it’s easier for them to pick up and manipulate.  I’m trying to avoid them with the camera because they get all freaked out and Pete’s been attacking me with his little beak.  It feels like getting tapped very lightly with a toothpick.  It just pisses him off all the more that it doesn’t bug me at all.

My birds are crazy creatures.  Otherwise they’d really hate living here.

Rising from the ashes

20 06 2009

I woke up today headache-free!  Yay!  After a week of waking up with that “it might be a migraine” feeling, I’m actually up and moving.  This last bout of migraines started last weekend on Sunday when we went to Target to get a Wii for the kids.  I don’t know why the electronics department is always 20 degrees hotter than the rest of the store, but I got to feeling like I was going to fall out in the middle of the aisle.  I’m going to blame it on the increased electromagnetic energy coming from all the displays and tell Shaun I can’t window shop for TVs with him because I’m allergic.  What do you think?

On the rising from the ashes idea, it amazes me how many people think my tattoo is some perverted form of the phoenix, because it’s a flaming bird pointing DOWN.  The common thread seems to be that I think I’m on the fast road to hell… um… or something.

It’s actually the Pentecost Dove.  It has nothing to do with the phoenix other than the fire part.  Acts 2:1-4 from the Message Remix –

When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force – no one could tell where it came from.  It filled the whole building.  Then, like a wild-fire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

From the NIV:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

It goes on “wow, everyone is like wtf?”  then in verse 13 it says “other joked that they were drunk on cheap wine.”

Oh, ok.  The dove is the Holy Spirit and it’s on fire because of the tongues of fire that set men to testify in other languages.  Got it.

Here’s where I get universal WTF?  Behind the dove, the tattoo says ARSON.  Arson is the first crime the HS committed on Earth at Pentecost.

I live in the Bible belt, so the reactions go something like this:  THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT COMMIT CRIMES, BLASPHEMER!

Um, yeah, actually social disobedience is a crime and was a crime especially in first century Rome.  Jesus wasn’t the only Jew crucified during that time period.  The crosses lined the streets and people who were in the secret cult of Christianity could be executed without a trial.  Many people were.  To flagrantly go out with flaming beacons and declaring in every language that you were a member of this cult and hey, you should be too, was a crime punishable by death.

There are many places in the world that you would be shot on the street for being openly Christian.  Americans and Europeans have it so easy these days – they don’t have to think about risking their lives for a belief system. They just believe because their parents believed and that’s how they were raised.  They’ve never faced persecution and fear of death.  They walk around in their snarky t-shirts from Lifeway with their cross rings and necklaces, toting their Bible in a cutesy cover and scorn people who don’t go to church on Sunday.  They listen to Christian radio and only know gospel songs.  We have entire generations of idealists who have never confronted the gray areas of life without dismissing it with a “tut, tut, that’s bad.”  The closest they’ve come is reading The Voice of the Martyrs.

It’s arson because the HS set men’s hearts and tongues on fire for God with a unlimited potential for spreading.  Fire spreads where it finds fuel and it can’t be contained once it’s let loose.  It’s purposefully set with the idea that once it gets going, it’s gonna do a lot of damage before it can be put out.

If we’re all little candles with little lights that shine a little, then the Holy Spirit was the proverbial napalm bomb, except no one yelled GRENADE! before it hit.  Think of all the sayings that have to do with fire:  light a fire under someone’s ass.  Burning up with an emotion.  On fire for a cause.  I’ll show you light if I have to burn the whole city down.  (Fallout Boy reference) and then what actually inspired this train of thought:  We are the arsons who start all of your fires.  We are the arsons burning your city down.  (Glass to the Arson by Anberlin)

I love symbology and theology, if you can’t tell, and this tattoo just fit me.  Since I’ve gotten it, my husband has too and we are constantly asked about them.  I’m not looking to evangelize through my body art but I am looking to show off my “stained glass” in my temple.  Sometimes you have to shock people out of their comfort zones so that they’ll be ready to go out and look it up on their own.

The only two people who have automattically understood it were a women who was raised Catholic and a Lutherin.  Everyone else goes for the perverted phoenix or thinks that I like to go around starting fires in real life.  It’s fun to educate Christians on their own religion.

If you want to go hardcore with pissing off people in the Bible belt, tell them that you can prove Jesus probably had a small penis.  That gets em going EVERY time.  Don’t believe me?  Read the prophecies about Jesus in Isaiah.

Arson tattoo

6 06 2009