Notes on a new piece (BtS)

Pencil layout

Pencil layout

Welcome to piece number five of the Angelus Project.

As can be seen, I am rather behind schedule and it is unlikely I will finish six pieces by the show on June 13/14. But I’m certainly farther along than I would have been without the blog.

The design for ‘Behind the Sun’ is actually rather recent. I worked it up quickly after my trip to Ireland in 10/2007, when I was feeling rather creative. The design requires a bit of explanation, more so in the black and white sketch than in color, as the colors begin to bring the symbols into perspective.

The actual inspiration is a series of very small sketches in the book ‘Sun, Moon, and Earth’ by Robin Heath. The book is a wonderful introduction to the motion of stars and planets, and the sketches illustrate the movement of the sun, moon and Earth in the state of ’syzygy’ or alignment, during a solar eclipse.

I moved the perspective of the viewer to a place behind the sun during a solar eclipse, thus the largest body in the foreground is the sun, with a smaller moon and then Earth, symbolized by Gaia. The background Raven was the latest addition, after the poem took shape.

The poem began with the second stanza, regarding the reason for Raven’s black feathers. It is my favorite part of the poem. I began writing it after a morning of reading Native American myths of Raven to a small boy named Luke. We especially liked the story of Raven stealing the sun. We also liked the illustrations very much.

(Hi Luke!)



Behind the Sun (The Oak and the Vine)

Behind the Sun (The Oak and the Vine)
…From ‘Songs of Arcadia’

Raven sits with ruffled feathers,
Stately dancers pass him by.
Bored with stealing tawdry glitter,
Bored with pockets filled with glitter,
What to do with diamond glitter?
Tosses it into the sky.

Raven hunches, preening feathers
Everdark with soot and smoke.
Stole the Lamp, the Evershining,
Gift to Man, the Everwhining,
Scorched by Fate, the Everbinding.
Whole thing meant to be a joke.

Raven grumbles, hoarse and cranky.
Voice no longer sways the heart.
Cursed the dancers’ drunken leaping,
Chased the dancers and their leaping,
From his Gaia, softly sleeping,
Waiting for a song to start.

A new song is coming
The old song will twine
Springtime and Summer
The oak and the vine

Sun in the branches
Moon drunk on wine
Autumn and Winter
The oak and the vine

Raven flying, sharp and restless
Hunts for something new and bright.
Eyes of Gaia’s children watch him
Hide behind the sun to catch him
Do you have the wits to match him?
Mocking laughter, thief of night.


Progress report (HrK)

Just to show that this piece is moving along nicely, I have a photo of the recent progress. Note the highlights in the moon rays, bringing some of the brightness of the waves into other parts of the painting.

Nearly finished

Nearly finished


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