Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Art Elements Design Challenge, October 2019 - Eyes

"Eyes" are the design challenge from Art Elements this month.

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul.  Before starting this blog post, I looked up sayings that have been written about the eyes and I'd like to share them before continuing on.

Where words are restrained, the eyes often talk a great deal.  Samuel Richardson
The eye sees a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination awake.  Leonardo da Vinci
 My eyes are an ocean in which my dreams are reflected. Anna M. Uhlich
The eye is the jewel of the human body.  Henry David Thoreau 
And, since one of the things I do is paint miniatures of animals, I also went on a search for sayings about animal eyes.
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.  Martin Buber
When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal.  I see a living being. I see a friend.  I feel a soul. APlaceToLoveDogs.com
One cannot look deeply into the eyes of an animal and not see the same depth, complexity and feelings we humans lay exclusive claim to.  Nan Sea Love
Painting the eyes of the animals that are my subjects is one of my favorite parts of the process and I do it as soon as possible as that makes the painting come alive for me.  Once the eyes are done, I feel like I "know" the animal and I try my best to convey what it is feeling or thinking through it's eyes.
Here are a few examples of some of my past works all of which are slightly larger than an American quarter - I hope that you can see the feelings and emotions they are experiencing:

 


 


 


 


 For this month's Eye Challenge, I decided to revisit a project I started quite some time ago, and then for reasons that have been long forgotten, set aside and never looked at again.   Cat, of Cat's Wire  also has a hand in this as she recently challenged me to finish this WIP (work in progress).  Cat, I hope you are pleased with my progress. :-)
This project started out as fan art in tribute to the character of Wolf in the book "The Mammoth Hunters" by Jean M. Auel. Set in phehistoric times, "The Mammoth Hunters" is one of a series of books about a young cro-magnon woman named Ayla who adopts a young orphaned wolf pup whom she names Wolf.  My little paintings depict how I imagined Wolf from a pup to adult wolfhood and some of the adventures he may have experienced along the way.  As always, the eyes were among the most important parts of the paintings.  
I painted each scene on wood coin beads slightly larger than an American quarter.  There is one scene on each side for a total of eight little paintings that tell Wolf's story.  They will eventually be made into a bracelet, but unfortunately despite working on these every spare moment I had this past month, I was unable to finish them due to other previous commitments.  Yep, life got in the way.
It's always been my feeling that it's never a good idea to rush art, so I gave in to the fact that these wouldn't be done in time for the challenge, but they are finished enough to give readers a pretty good idea of where this project is eventually going to go.  I will not be showing you the individual beads that don't focus on Wolf's eyes as that would not be on topic for the challenge.
Wolf as a pup who has been rescued by Ayla and is seeing the world outside of his den for the first time:
Adult Wolf:


Wolf finds a mate:


Protective Wolf:


Wolf fights an intruder:


And, this last one - a wolf howling at the moon is reflected in the eye of another wolf.  Did Wolf or the intruder win the battle?  Is Wolf the one howling or is he the one watching?   That is up to the reader to decide as well as to decide how the story ends:
 Size reference:

Once all of the paintings are finished, the beads will be sprayed with a sealer to give them a glossy finish and to protect the paint.  They will then be made into a bracelet with reversible sides and will look something like this when done; the quarter gives another size reference:


I hope you have enjoyed the story of Wolf and that you have been able to see into his soul as well as experience the depth and complexity of his thoughts and emotions through his eyes.
To see what the other participants in this month's "Eye" challenge created, please click on the links below:
Niky 
Hope 
Cat 

22 comments:

  1. To see this makes me very, very happy!!
    Just one bead would be cool, but all of them together - I love it, Dawn, I really do, and I can't wait to see Wolf's Journey finished! (I won't say it's about time, oops, just did ;-))

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    1. Thank you so very much, Cat! You will be the first to know when it is finished after all this time. The beads have been sitting forlornly in a drawer and it is thanks to you that they are seeing the light of day again.

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  2. Dawn, Among all your painted specimens, I love the 2nd image of the Cat's profile the best. Your Wolf project is coming along nicely & the way it tells a story is endearing! Your painting is awesome too. Alysen

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    1. Thank you, Alysen! That eye is one of my favorites too - maybe because it is a side view and a different angle than we usually see with eyes.

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  3. Oh gosh, they are beautiful and adorable at the same time! I love all of your tiny wee paintings and am curious how the wolf piece will look when it is finally finished! :)

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    1. Thank you! Your feedback has me thinking I should do a follow up blog post once Wolf is done so that anyone who is interested can see how he turned out.

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  4. I envy your ability to paint so well. Your beads are wonderful. Your bracelet should be fabulous when completed.

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    1. Baymoon, I appreciate your lovely comments! I am looking forward to wearing that bracelet now that it's close to being finished.

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  5. Oh my! I love all your painted animals and their eyes are truly spectacular. I LOVE the Clan of the Cave Bear series of books and your wolf bracelet is wonderfully done. I know when you finish it will be something to cherish. My favorite wolf scene is the wolf howling at the moon reflected in the eye of another wolf. So lovely!

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    1. Why, Cathy! A fellow Earth's Children fan - that was unexpected and I love it! You may have noticed that the wolf pup bead is set in spring even though there was still snow on the ground when Ayla found him. I took a bit of artistic license with that because I found that part of the book to be more hopeful (like spring) rather than bleak (like winter). Thank you for your comment about the wolf eye - it has been a little tricky getting it right and your words are so encouraging!

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  6. Oh my goodness those are amazing! I love them. Thank you for joining in the challenge and I have to agree, when I look into my dogs and cats eyes I see their soul.. wise words those ;)

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    1. Thank you, Laney! I am so happy to be part of the AE challenge/blog hop and look forward to many more. Yes, I remember looking into the eyes of our dogs and seeing every thing that made them them.

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  7. I am dumbfounded at your ability to create such emotion on such a tiny scale! All of these works are so impressive. I really like the wolf howling within the eye. SO COOL!

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    1. Hope, to have someone say that they can see emotion in the little paintings is one of the best things anyone could say to me about my work. Thank you!

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  8. Dawn, they are gorgeous! WOW! And I read those books a long time ago! Loved them. Also I love all your other pieces you had made previously, especially the fox!

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    1. Thank you, SueBeads! It's so cool to find other COCB fans here. The little fox is one of my favorites too!

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  9. Oh the eye is awesome with the howling wolf in it, to work so small, I wouldn't be able to do that myself. I also love you foxy and the side view of the cat... All truly beautiful ����❤️
    Elaine x

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  10. Your paintings are gorgeous. And the quotes were a great addition to your post. I read that series of novels back when they were published. I vaguely remember Wolf but not what happened in the end. I may need to re-read to solve the mystery from your bracelet.

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  11. Wow - those paintings are amazing. It has been years since I read those books and I totally forgot about Wolf. Thanks for bringing back those memories of a wonderful series. I think you captured Wolf perfectly!

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  12. Wow - these are really detailed, and evocative. I do think the pup is my favorite. (Sorry I was so late to hop the reveal.)

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