Phoenix by Kelsey Hamersley. Pen. February 2013.
Drawn while in the car (except for a little I drew at the hotel we stopped at) on the long drive back from Oregon to Ohio. Mostly in South Dakota and Iowa. I had such a blast with this one! Detail and linework are my favorite things. :D
…I might go back in and put a little more sky in the upper left corner; it still looks a little bare. This would have been far more effective in color, but it makes for a decent study.
A couple of books fed me the idea, I think. I had just finished The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, which makes mention of certain beautiful tapestries and made me want to draw something with that texture. I had started reading The Iron Ring by Lloyd Alexander next, which is inspired by Indian folklore and also evokes the idea of rich imagery: Lloyd Alexander’s introduction and the Kirkus Reviews blurb on the back cover (“…that shines with the dusky richness of an oriental tapestry…”) are also to blame. Neither of these mention phoenixes, but the phoenix is one of my favorite mythological creatures…I just think they’re cool. And they are fun to draw. Plus, while I’m on the topic of my book-nerdishness, I had reread Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine on the way out to Oregon (I’ll stick the quote from it at the bottom. And, by the way, if you haven’t read this book, you are missing out. It’s so wonderful), and Tiger’s Destiny by Colleen Houck, which features phoenixes, in the book and even on the cover, not too long ago.
If I wanted to eat my breakfast under a maple tree and watch the day grow between its leaves, I could—and did. If I wanted to skip or hop or run and slide on dew-wet leaves, I could—and did. And when the mood took me, I whistled or recited poems that I made up on the spot.
I spent two glorious days this way, the best since before Mother had died. I saw deer and hares, and once, at twilight, I swear I saw a phoenix rise, trailing smoke.