Friday, April 09, 2010

Self-Portrait Friday...

It's no secret that I have a fondness for owls. Ever since I was a toddler, I've been fascinated with them. Known to many different cultures, the owl has different symbolic meanings. In Greece, the owl is linked with Athena and therefore an emblem of wisdom and insightfulness. In other parts of Europe and abroad, the owl has a infamous symbolic duality, ranging from protectors, messengers and bringers of inspiration, to creatures of the night who are harbingers of death and ill fortune. In some areas like in Central and South America, owls are sometimes believed to be witches who have shape-shifted into the winged creature and therefore have a strong association with sorcery and magic. The sheer fact that they have such a divided and complex reputation and history is appealing. This self-portrait pays homage to my totem.

This painting was done in the faux fresco style over collage mounted on board. It measures six inches wide by ten and a half inches tall. The painting appears differently than I had originally sketched it. Originally I had planned to paint a snowy owl and have blood drip from the talons. (If an owl had indeed landed on my shoulder, a wound from the powerful and sharp claws could only be expected in reality.) I opted for less morbid and more cute. I also let more of the original collage show through in the background, as opposed to painting over it and partially obscuring it, as I have done in the previous self-portraits.

The funny thing is that when I finished painting the painting, I heard owls calling to each other in the woods. We've been keeping the windows open since the weather has been so nice. This was the first time that I've heard them out there. I took it that they approve of the painting.

9 comments:

Sheila said...

These are nice, Andrew! I especially like this one. I'm glad the owls liked your piece!

Yesterday I saw a man that looked like you at the library.

Stephanie said...

Ooo, that is a very beautiful painting! I think leaving the blood out makes the relationship between you and the owl more peaceful, spiritual.

Greer - Vintajia said...

I rather like your original concept to use the snowy owl with blood stained tallons - to gain wisdom we must experience pain

Janet said...

Andrew thats a wonderful painting of you...and your eyes are splendid! I watch this cam of a live Owl box with Molly. Have you seen it? Its wonderful seeing her mate bring her and her little hooties food. Sometimes its live too. Heres the link http://www.ustream.tv/theowlbox Its really been intresting to watch!

nina said...

so handsome.
so talented.
so dear.
i am honored to call you friend xo

SummersStudio said...

Andrew, I am just loving all of your self portraits. I too have a thing for owls. How special that you heard them calling to each other. I do wish I could have heard that.

Jeannie said...

Andrew, it make perfect sense to me your fondness for owls. Thanks for sharing this with us.

If an owl has visited you, an incredible gift has been bestowed. Also, keep in mind that animals are only called to those who share the same energy. In other words, you hold within you some of the very same symbolic attributes the owl represents.
Inner-knowing, psychic ability, and intuition.

Insunlite said...

This is beautiful

jennifer said...

Andrew, so nice to see you paint. I wish I could pick up a brush again. Cheers to summers filled with nothing but painting. Exactly two in fact, that I will treasure for life.