Owls and Athena

Owl Relief Plaque

Owl Relief Plaque

… Another quick and sort-a random post today. Earlier this week I was walking up in the hills after dark when I looked up and saw this bird silhouette flying above me. A dark shape gliding against the night sky.

It was an owl, and it was actually there and gone pretty quick. But that quick sighting had me looking through my art history book for one of my favorite pictures of an old Egyptian relief carving of an owl (above), and then my mind kinda started to want to look at some pictures Athena and her owls (below).

I just love birds is all…

Athena_with_owl_Louvre

 

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More Picasso…

Grande Baigneuse au livre (Large bather with a book), 1937

Grande Baigneuse au livre (Large bather with a book), 1937

I’ve had Picasso on my mind this week, and decided I’d post some more of his artwork to satisfy my hungry eyes.

Seated Nude, Her Head Leaning on Her Hand from Vollard Suite, 1934

Seated Nude, Her Head Leaning on Her Hand from Vollard Suite, 1934

Portrait de Marie-Thérèse de Face, 1934

Portrait de Marie-Thérèse de Face, 1934

Le Repos du Sculpteur et la Sculpture Surréaliste , 1933

Le Repos du Sculpteur et la Sculpture Surréaliste , 1933

REMBRANDT À LA PALETTE, 1934

REMBRANDT À LA PALETTE, 1934

Sculpteur et Modele debout from La Suite Vollard, 1933

Sculpteur et Modele debout from La Suite Vollard, 1933

Tête de femme (Head of a Woman), 1921

Tête de femme (Head of a Woman), 1921

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.

A Happy Vista Presents: Color Land!

Color-Land

My bro-in-law, Steve Vistaunet, is a very talented fellow. Musician, artist, graphic designer, creative director, teacher… and that is just the tip of the ice-burg (the Steve-burg?). He’s also an all around good guy, entertainer, and one of the most creative people I know. If you spend any amount of time with him, you know he is usually making something. Music, a drawing, a mural…

One of those creations include his recently published coloring book, called Color Land. Hot off the press, and you can definitively get a copy now. Hours and hours of colorful fun, accompanied by Steve’s drawings! A nice reprieve from the holiday madness :)

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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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Frida Calavera

Frida Calavera

To help celebrate these glorious Days of the Dead, it seems like a good time to revisit the work of Jose Pulido and post his Frida Calavera (above).