Friday, June 22, 2012

The Language of the Birds

"The Language of the Birds"
inspired by The Language of the Birds, Russian folk tale
acrylic on birch panel
10 x 10 inches, framed
for "Myth", Modern Eden Gallery

Here's my painting for the group show, "Myth" for San Francisco's Modern Eden Gallery.  It's based on the Russian folk tale of the same name, "The Language of the Birds".

In the tale, a young man yearns to learn the language of the birds upon hearing the sweet song of a nightingale.  After saving some baby birds, the mother of the babies agrees to teach him the language.  He then traveled home and could understand the nightingale's song; it is foretelling his future.  
Later in his life, when he has been separated from his parents, a king vows to award anyone the hand in marriage of his daughter if they can get three troublesome cawing crows away from his window.
The young man listens to the crows (a mother, father and child) and hears that they are arguing about which parent the child crow should follow.  The king tells the crows that the child should follow the father, and they fly away.
As a reward, the young man receives the hand of the princess and they live happily ever after.

In my painting, the nightingale sits singing in the upper left, and the crow family (albino in my version) perch chattering in the king's window, discussing which parent the child should follow.  The power triangle amulet hangs from the top of the window, which is for developing personal power.
The light pink colored cyclamen mean, "I understand you" in Floriography, the Victorian language of flowers.

The show, Myth opens July 14th, 6-10pm at
Modern Eden Gallery
403 Francisco St
San Francisco, California

Thursday, June 21, 2012


acrylic on birch panel
16 x 20 inches

I've been ignoring this blog for a while because I've been working my ass off in preparation for my August 11th solo show at Modern Eden Gallery, called "Talisman".

 As the name Talisman implies, this show is about the magical amulets typically worn around the neck which protect and help the wearer. I'm fascinated by these amulets, I have been interested in them since I was a kid.  I wanted to make a series incorporating them into my favorite animals' lives.

Here's a new finished piece called, "Conjuring". This one portrays a male fox who has lost his dear wife and is conjuring her spirit using her skull and the Magic Hexagram amulet.  I found online that "although it is not as famous as the pentagram, the hexagram has been used as a magical symbol for thousands of years.  It is frequently viewed as a form that can act as a portal to the spirit world.  As such, the the Magic Hexagram amulet is a great tool for anyone seeking to invoke or evoke spirits, angels or demons."

The barn owl also is assisting the husband fox with a heart-shaped Ouija planchette which bears the symbol of the pentacle.  Between the wife's ghostly image and the husband's solid one is the flower astilbe, which means "I'll still be waiting" in Floriography, the Victorian language of flower meanings.  Astilbe leaves float down from the sky around them.  Beside the husband fox are white tulips, which mean "lost love".