In my last post--my messy art lair--you may have noticed an old White Owl cigar box amongst all the other junk. It's the container for my latest project.
Owls have always fascinated me. As young boy on my daily, pre-dawn paper route, a great horned owl once flew between me and the streetlight. I was briefly enveloped in shadow and, needless to say, momentarily terrified.
With their nocturnal tendencies, enormous eyes, and eerie calls, I can see why owls have been the subject of folklore and myth. We humans tend to demonize that which we don't understand. Therefore, owls have often been associated with, among other things, "evil" (a vague, human-constructed term usually used to distract our attention away from honest introspection--but I'll save that discussion for another post). To me, though, owls are amazing creatures.
I discovered that in many Native American tribes owls are the bearers of the deceased's soul as it passes from this world to the next. In this manner owls performed an honorable, necessary task. Kind of cool, huh? This bit of folklore is the inspiration for this project.
Below is my "owl," created from vintage photos (someone's ancestors), which will be the focal point of my piece.
Below is an owl silhouette (roughly the same size as the above image) cut from thin plywood. At this point it's just coated in gesso--but eventually I'll add some collage elements to this layer.
In the next pic I've placed the cut-out layer above the image. This gives you an idea of where my idea's going... These two layers are NOT going to touch; my plan is to leave a space of about 1" between them, creating depth in the piece.
Below the owl is a rectangular opening. My intent is to box this in with a glass cover. What will it contain? Frankly I don't really know at this point.
However, I'm kickin' around the idea of leaving it empty so that whomever purchases the piece can fill it with personal items gathered from their ancestors--kind of a shrine. However, since this shrine idea requires someone buying my piece (and, frankly, my art's been garnering ZERO purchases lately), I may just go ahead and fill this space with something from my collection of interesting junk. We'll see...
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.