Ramblings of An Artist – New Series: Life & Death

I absolutely LOVE art series.

I think a successful art series speaks volumes, and it contains so many stories and versions of itself without ever saying a word. One goal I have for myself is to start pushing myself when it comes to series.

I’ve planned several, but have only ever completed a single series (however the series lacked the depth and symbolism that I usually look for). My most fully thought-out series has never had a brush put to it, though I’m hoping that will change soon.

But currently I’m jumping into a new open-ended series with the generalized theme of Life & Death. Despite being very cliche and overdone, it holds a serious place in my heart due to my interests. I’ve been a university student for the past five years (though I just wrapped up my last courses, now waiting for the official graduation!), studying the field of science. I’ve dabbled in various branches of it throughout the years, playing with the idea of microbiology and culturing, taking a course or two in drug design and analytical chemistry, and then a whole lot of biology. Biology is where my heart belongs, specifically animal anatomy and physiology, as well as things on a more micro scale, like histology. I’ve studied the human body for the past few years, and its where my passion lies. I’ve always been a bit drawn to the dark side, so my fixation with the mammalian skeletal system seems rather natural. To put it simply, I LOVE skulls. From a biological standpoint, the skull and what it contains, is what keeps the entire system running as far as chordata go. And each species has a unique skull, even very closely related species.

So skulls often symbolize death, it has been this way for eons. And while I do love and support this symbolism, its only half of what matters to me. The other half, as you probably guessed it, is life. Life and death, death and life. Endless circle, over and over.

I paint and draw a lot of skulls, but I always have one hitch with the subject matter. Since skulls typically symbolize death, they bring a rather heavy emotion to the piece, which is not something I always want. Myself as a person, I am not a dark soul. I have a fixation for dark things, but my outlook on life is nearly pure light and life. So the struggle, is to bring the element of life into the dark of death.

Symbols for me that are associated with life and light and variations of flora and fauna. A few off the top of my head: butterflies, small birds like hummingbirds, various flowers like orchids, and feathers.

One of my most recent paintings is actually the start of this series. It was a gift for someone in my life who has had a large impact on my current path, as well we share a lot of the same interests. As I was painting it ideas began to form, and have since blossomed into the hopes of my first successful personal series.

Electric Skies_sm

“Electric Skies”.

I’m already into the sketch stage of the second piece, this one will feature a skull viewed from the front, again with strong dramatic lighting, with a pair of ruby-throated hummingbirds and roses. Roses hold a lot of symbolism, and in this piece they will be the bridge between life and death.

Stay tuned~


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