Saturday, November 26, 2016

More Wood Spirits- Johnny Silvanus and Bobby Smallbriar

I'm still going through all of my woodies and creating Wood Spirits with some portraits I have already available. This weekend should be my first female model for a Wood Spirit. It seems most Wood Spirits throughout history have been female.

Johnny Silvanus
Johnathon Silvanus is a Waldgeist. The term Waldgeist is German for "forest spirit", believed by ancient pagans to be the custodians of the forest. The Waldgeist spirit was believed to live in the forest and be the protector of those with 'pure spirit' who entered the forest. If you are able to spot a Waldgeist in the trees it is said to be good luck.

A Waldgeist was often depicted in carved wooden form with leaves or twigs for hair and beard. They have a variety of forms the most common being an old man. It was believed that Waldgeists could foretell the future and were sought for this purpose. The term 'knock on wood' was believed to have originated with hunters and woodsmen who would upon entering the forest knock on a large old tree to awaken the Waldgeist to ensure no evil came to them. Waldgeist were known for their playfulness and mischievousness. They were known to like to play tricks on people but could also be good and would grant wishes if a person was felt to have a kind heart.

Johnathon Silvanus is a particular happy Waldgeist. If you're really quiet you can hear him singing in the Pennsylvania woods.

Bobby Smallbriar

 Bobby Smallbriar is a Bowtruckle who lives in a Birch tree in Nevada.

Bowtruckles are magical creatures that live in trees that are usually used for wands. They dwell in western England, southern Germany and certain Scandinavian forests. They are pixie-like bark-coloured tree-guardians of about eight inches in height. They have knobbly arms and legs, two twiglike fingers on each hand and a barklike face with small beetle-brown eyes; a camouflage that makes them difficult to spot in their natural habitat. Even though they seem harmless, they have got really sharp fingers; many woodcutters often get injured. They feed on insects, especially woodlice and fairy and Doxy eggs

I've decided to do the faces as large files from mirrored wood images I make and then place the faces into trees in natural forest settings. It should make it a little easier to match them up that way, we'll see.

Tomorrow I'm going to set up my easel and begin doing some paintings from this series. I'll try and post a step by step blog post as I create the paintings. I'm leaning toward acrylic on watercolor paper right now, mostly because a have a few sheets of paper that I can use already but I may also do a couple watercolors as well.

I want to place my Wood Spirits in a natural environment and have been playing around with some tree pictures I already have just for idea purposes. Here is one I roughed in today using my self portrait.


This is a stump at Rock Park by the Truckee River in Reno. You can see the GSR Casino in the background. All of my images are available as Fine Art prints on my website.

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