The Ninth World

"The Ninth World" by Todd Powelson

“The Ninth World” by Todd Powelson

First there was the Monad, alone, filling all space and time. The Monad divided itself in two, and became the Dyad. The Dyad would divide again, and again, an infinite number of times. Eventually creating the whole material universe we see now.

This is, basically, the creation story the Pythagoreans tell, and it seems like a good one to me. One singularity, filled with potential, exploding outward and becoming everything. It sounds pretty similar to the Big Bang to me. But instead of a fiery explosion, I personally tend to think of it more in biological terms… a good metaphor might be a single cell dividing itself over and over again to eventually become a larger organism. A larger universe?

This was on my mind when I created my newest artwork, shown at the top of this post. But I suppose I had more on my mind too…

I was also thinking of the Hindu god Brahman. Brahman contains everything: creation and destruction, male and female, good and evil, movement and stillness. Brahman is in you, and in me (in the individual, Brahman is called the Atman), and also in everything we can see. Brahman is everything, but is also known as the Trimurti, moving through the universe wearing one of three cosmic forms. Those three forms are Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.

I suppose I was also thinking about sounds and words. In many many creation stories, the very first universal event was a sound. A word. This sound has always made me think of wavelength… a sound vibration which creates geometry, a.k.a. cymatics. And I can’t say or write wavelength without thinking about the subatomic particles which create the geometry of the material world. Maybe that seems like a stretch, but it makes sense to my mind and imagination, and that is also why I added the sort of script-type-shapes into my artwork here as well.

And all of that together is the Ninth World.

You can buy this as a high quality 24″ x 16″ canvas print over at toddpowelson.com, or by emailing me at toddpowelson (at) comcast.net .

This is part of my “Songs from the Earth” series, and you can check out the rest of that artwork by clicking here.

Hello! I Luv U

Untitled-1

This year Sapphron and Scout wanted to give Warm Winter Wishes…

Happy Holidays!

Winter Trees

treeface-01

Walking up in the hills at night a week or so ago, I decided to sit down on a large tree that had fallen over. My knee starts to get a little sore after a couple miles, especially in the cold. An old injury. I was looking at the the trees standing up in front of and across from me, and I swear three of those trees kind of merged together and made a face that seemed to be looking back. I had to blink and look again, and yep, it was still there. I got up and walked around, but that giant face kept a-looking on… it seemed clear as could be to me.

It had something to do with the moonlight shining down on the light snowfall, combined with the way the branches were weaving together into each other and the dead leaves, and the rocks and bushes peaking through the negative space. Merging into a giant tree face that looked back at me.

I’ve gone back to that spot a few times since then, but whatever that face was has gotten up and moved on down the road. The moonlight is different now and its been slightly overcast, plus some of the snow has melted. The shapes in the trees are all different and no more tree-in-the-face.

Except for here in my drawing. I was working on some other project and wasn’t able to get to it for a bit, but I did want to spend a little time and draw my moonlight buddy. I finally did, and here it is.

The Eighth World

"The Eighth World" by Todd Powelson

“The Eighth World” by Todd Powelson

I’m a pretty big mythology nerd. Always have been, I guess. Even now it informs how I understand the world around me and my place in it. Mythical stories often present us with the personification of different aspects nature and natural forces, and I relate to that very well. Not because I take myth for literal truth, but because I believe myth can point us toward elusive “truth”, and help us understand nature and our history a little better.

I’m a bit of an animist too… well, more than just a bit… I walk through the world and see everything is alive and part of a vast living system. We’ve been taught in this post-Newtonian world that we live in a giant clock-work. A vast and complicated machine, and in a lot of ways this modern world wants us to believe we are also just some sort of bio-machines as well. But I don’t see it that way at all.

I look up to the Sun and see this giant living being. Different than me. Incomprehensible maybe, moving through and interacting with the larger Universe in a way I’ll probably never understand, but still alive.

That’s what my artwork here is trying to show.  This is Sól, Helios, or Ra… a.k.a. the Sun. And like Ra was known to do, the Sun helps create and nourish all life here on our living planet Earth.

It’s the Sun, but the firebirds are also an important part of the image. Maybe they are souls and spirits being forged in, or maybe simply passing through, the Sun. New life traveling from the Sun out into the larger solar system. I do know that the firebirds, together with the Sun, also represent the seven classical planets of the ancient world to me. And for me, that is The Eighth World.

You can buy this as a high quality 24″ x 16″ canvas print over at toddpowelson.com, or by emailing me at toddpowelson (at) comcast.net .

This is part of my “Songs from the Earth” series, and you can check out the rest of that series by clicking here.

The Wolf

by Todd Powelson

by Todd Powelson

My artwork (above) will be hanging in the Springville Art Museum’s upcoming 30th Annual Spiritual & Religious Exhibition. The show opens this week on November 18th, with an opening reception that same night from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, and will hang until January 12, 2016.

In addition to myself, there are many other talented artists who will also have their work hanging, like my sister and brother-in-law, Tonya & Steve Vistaunet, Jeffrey Hale, Brian Kershisnik, Justin Wheatley, and many other artist that I look forward to meeting. I’m happy to be included. Stop in and check it all out!

My piece is pretty much based on the old Norse myth of the great wolf Sköll eating the sun. I’ve thought a bit about that story over the years and mulled it over in my imagination since I first read it as a little kid. This is also the first piece from my series, Songs from the Earth.

The Wolf
Was the end and a beginning.
Running free and wild,
He leapt and grabbed the
Sun between His fierce teeth.
Laughing as He chewed, flames flutter.
Firebirds spread their wings,
Streaking like comets
Across the sky.

I guess I did this artwork in part to remind myself that an act of destruction is also an act of creation. Not only out in the cosmos with the sun and stars, but also on a personal level. It’s hard to remember and see that, but I hope so.

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The Seventh World

"The Seventh World" by Todd Powelson

“The Seventh World” by Todd Powelson

I just finished this new artwork of the dreaming Earth. She is dreaming of the Sun, Moon, and Stars… but mostly She dreams of the clouds and sky, mountains and lakes, green, and ever-changing life.

You can buy this as a high quality 24″ x 16″ canvas print through my website by visiting www.toddpowelson.com

This is part of my “Songs from the Earth” series, and you can check out the rest of that series by clicking here.

The Sixth World

"The Sixth World" by Todd Powelson

“The Sixth World” by Todd Powelson

I just finished this newest artwork of the Sphinx (above) last week. It was fun to play with these colors and shapes, and I am very happy with how the piece turned out.

The sphinx is an ancient symbol, maybe one of the oldest. It has morphed and changed through history, and been used and appropriated by many different cultures.  The most famous sphinx is probably the great sphinx in Egypt, but the Greeks were also known to use her in their mythology and artwork. The symbol itself might have its roots even further back in Babylon, where they merged these four different elements and zodiac creatures together into one being. The symbol might even be represented by the cherubim in the bible, not the cute little chubby ones, but those fearsome angels walking around in bodies made up of animal and human parts while carrying around their flaming sword… guarding the secrets of life.

And I guess that is what the Sphinx does too. She guards that secret knowledge too through her riddles, and will destroy you if you’re not careful and can’t answer her questions.

You can buy this as a high quality 24″ x 16″ canvas print through my website by visiting www.toddpowelson.com.

This is part of my “Songs from the Earth” series, and you can check out the rest of that series by clicking here.