✨🍺✨I worked with the good people at @angelcitybeer for their new limited-release of ‘Strawberry Gose’, organized by @artshare_la . The official release will be at their Arts District location on May 15th. In the meantime, here’s a few sneak peeks of the art before you can get a taste.
Working out all the budding details on this new work in progress porcelain sculpture.
Mural complete for now. Sympathetic Strings II
Through the streets of #cuscoperu
•Ishan Project: 332/33•
Olom Ra continues, “Sickness…We had no idea that Chûndra had been working with that bird of hers to break into some of our homes during the night while many were sleeping, using a substance to put many in a deep sleep and then experimenting on some of the Ishan. She would even severe their limbs to use in their experiments. She had already slowly started poisoning the surrounding towns of humans, after she had perfected her formula. She had different plans for us. A personal vendetta. She wanted us to know she was poisoning us, and for us to watch her do it helplessly. She decided to put her plan into action on this day in 688 C.E. during our festival.
“As she stormed in with her Tritons, she had the birds fly over us releasing a gas that paralyzed us, but left us conscious. Before the poison fully took effect, we were able to take out a couple of birds and use our magnetic ability to immobilize some soldiers. It wasn’t good enough. Chûndra managed to severe a portion of my limb during the festival and mix the shavings from its’ bark with a unique chemical her father trained her to create years earlier before he’d abandon her. She made me the cause of the dark sleep. I could only watch as she quickly mixed the potion and had her birds deliver the poison thoroughly until it reached each of the Ishan who’d fallen. I remembered the flood of emotions, even now. First shock, then anger, powerless, and finally overwhelming grief. Humans, who were once dancing at the festival, slowly became weapons used by her. Their vision turned oblique as their garments changed. They soon would join the ranks of her army she coined ‘The Tritons…'”
Triton II / Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 302/63•
THE SCENT OF ANTIQUITY
Anali and Preet would need to sneak out before Violet realizes their presence. As they begin slowly backing out the room, Preet knocks over a glass case which breaks nosily into pieces on the marble floor. Then a dull fragrance was unleashed. Its’ scent knocks Preet on her back unconscious. This encasement contained fragments from a branch which had been tested on in this laboratory. Anali walks over to find Preet sleeping rather soundly.
Meanwhile, across the room, Violet senses some commotion happening near the entrance. She had been so focused on the dark energy she was gathering from the Hummingbird Impostors, she hadn’t noticed her visitors.
THE SCENT OF ANTIQUITY/ Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 296/69•
A HABITAT MADE FOR HIDING
After finding the old eucalyptus where Chûndra’s mother was buried, we expected to find her hideout. Nothing. So, 4bear devised a scheme to gather a few of The Flowers that Feed to bait the creatures she created to mimic our True Birds, so that they will lead us right to her. As we watch them flutter around the few petals, their tiny tongues begin licking the nectar from the flower’s base. Once their appetites were satisfied, they slowly drift away into the shadows. We began following them from a safe distance. These moths fly haphazardly into surrounding objects in a drunken style inebriated by the nectar.
As they dive deeper into the cave’s empty darkness, their wings echo against its’ walls creating a soft buzzing noise. Rïden had been the closest to them, but he underestimated how slick the cave’s floor had been. He slipped and broke one of his left branches. Once he gathered his bearings, his gaze drifts in front of him to a dim light. “Is that a window straight ahead?” he asks us.
A HABITAT MADE FOR HIDING / Mixed Media / 9″ x 12″
•Ishan Project: 295/70•
A HURRIED MIMIC
As the impostors gorged over soft petals that feed, they begin resonating its’ electromagnetic pulp. Preet was alarmed how the fur on their hind began glowing like Fireflies. This wasn’t an ordinary insect.
After a more thorough investigation, we now have come to the conclusion that the scientific name of the original insect was Macroglossum stellatarum a.k.a. the Hawk-Eyed Moth. However Chûndra took this beautiful creation and merged it with an extinct species of Cicada. This genetically hybrid species mimics the flight of the True Birds. One major difference is that when it sucks on the flowers sweet nectar, it greedily swallows everything, or produces oddly shaped holes in the petals.
A HURRIED MIMIC / Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 293/72•
I watched as Jess turn abruptly to Anali while she was relaying this story to say, “So you’re saying that Chûndra’s mother is from Ishandria. Does that mean Chûndra is part Ishan?”
“Not exactly.” Anali replied, “Chûndra’s Great Grandmother was related to the Ishan somehow, but I’m not sure of all the details. Chûndra was pretty much human. Except for one thing…”
POCKET / Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 287/78•
They appoint me to serve as secretary as the 4bearance sits down as a group to discuss this serious matter.
Anali: “This is a disaster. She’s destroyed the majority of our crops. What’s not completely destroyed has been diseased by Chûndra’s infestation.”
Koyu: “Fortunately, the Sower has given us a few additional seedlings which we’ve been successful in hiding.”
Jess folds her arms across the marble table then asks, “What I don’t understand is why we can’t find out where the vapor originates.”
Aram: “But didn’t you work there spying on her palace? Why don’t you know her whereabouts, Jess?”
Jess: “This is how things work in her palace—Chûndra trust no one. Each of her drones has their own individual assignments. No one knows what each other is doing. My specific division never allowed me to get close to the vapor’s origin. Chûndra is a deception specialist. That’s why she’s been so successful in keeping her secrets secret. She doesn’t let her left hand know what her right hand is doing.”
LEFT HAND / Mixed Media / 5″ x 8″
•Ishan Project: 286/79•
Preet stretches her branches and absorbs the solar energy generated from the Sun’s core. Temperatures in this Mediterranean climate had changed drastically. But one thing had remained the same: The 4bearance’s position in this battle had been compromised. She contorts her body once again as she considers her next movement. Then a pattern begins to form around her chest which spreads onto her limbs.
BEND / Mixed Media / 5″ x 8″
•Ishan Project: 275/90•
A FLOWER THAT WEEPS
I don’t think any of us had ever seen anything like this before.This was so unusual. The haze formed itself like a blanket over several of the remaining flowers.
As the haze falls onto the plants’ surface, the flowers scream. It was a gut-wrenching sound that saddened me. I knew something had to be done. In this investigation for the past 9 months, I’ve learned to never take matters at face value. So I reached over the tattered flower to take a sample of its’ remains.
A FLOWER THAT WEEPS / Mixed Media / 8″ x 11″
•Ishan Project: 258/107•
AN INVERTED CONSCIOUSNESS
“Chûndra must be angry with me that’s why she hasn’t come for me yet.” She mutters to herself. “But she will, she’d never leave me like this.”
She scratches her arm furiously as she starts to feel the reconditioning wear off. For some time now, Violet has been able to put on this pretense successfully. Or so she thought. But now she could feel the poison slowly leaving her central nervous system. She had been away too long.
AN INVERTED CONSCIOUSNESS / Mixed Media / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 250/115•
You can hear Preet’s limbs bend as the wind blows roughly across the hills of San Francisco. Brine’s plan to manipulate the Sun-Eaters was strategic. 4Bearance discuss their strategy as the fog begins to slowly creep into their peripheral. It will be easy to bait the bird, since there hasn’t been a field of flowers planted all together in a while. The bird must be pretty famished by now. So naturally, the first thing they will do is plant some seedlings grouped massively together. Then they will need to use the erythromycin to get rid of its cloak of light bending sun eaters. That will expose the Bird’s feathers making it visible. After that, there hopefully won’t be a problem catching it.
BEND / Gouache, Chalk, Graphite, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 239/126•
I begin to notice the soft texture of Aram’s flowers begin to rise on her back as she senses an intruder approaching. This was impossible! There’s no way anyone could have found us. We were hidden in a place difficult to approach. Everyone stands up to get themselves prepared for whatever is about to happen. I can feel my adrenaline rising.
Aram glances outside, focuses her retina and discovers a young woman slumped over the derailing near our entrance. Her head had been bobbing back and forth as if she had been crying profusely. A guardian is sent out to inspect this intruder. While approaching they notice that her left forearm had been displaced. It was as though a sharp protruding object had violently severed it from the elbow. “This young woman was so traumatized,” the Guardian reports, “she had been unable to communicate verbally with them.”
THE UNINVITED / Gouache, Pastel, Graphite / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 227/138•
LET THEM EAT HATE
A frontal attack wouldn’t be as effective. She wants them to fall to pieces. Chûndra devises a plan to cause friction amongst the 4bearance. Something covert to let them eat hate. That way they’re too distracted to be concerned with the next phase of her plan.
LET THEM EAT HATE/ Gouache, Acrylic, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 226/139•
A TEMPERATE GRIND
In order to speed up the effects of the vapor, Chûndra has The Specialist analyze it’s basic ingredients. She studies its nano-tech carefully and precisely. This formula would have to be more powerful than its predecessor. The 4bearance have tried another tactic unlike anything they’ve ever thought of. Chûndra can’t help but grind her teeth. The veins in her iris turn bright red as she considers what the future might bring. She had worked too hard to get to this point. She paces the floor in deep thought. All the while viewing this specialist studying her microscopic robots. She begins to wonder if she should reconsider The Forecaster’s initial offer.
A TEMPERATE GRIND / Gouache, Acrylic, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 219/146•
DESIGNED CHEMICAL LOVE
Our bodies form a biochemical that runs through our veins and communicates with the rest of our body when we love. Chûndra can only trusts the chemicals she creates. Take for example this Triton: Kalese.
Overlooked from her youth like The Slayer, she’d been taken in by Chûndra. Chûndra became the mother she never had. She revered Chûndra’s work. She studied and practiced her style. She amplified her disgust for the Ishan. And she implemented her control over the BFC. She loved her, but Chûndra would never (excuse me could never) completely trust independent love. There would need to be insurance. She can’t rely on another to be loyal of free will. She only trust herself and her chemical influence. Love or at least loyalty by chemical design. She poisoned the daughter she never had slowly. In return, she slows the aging process of Kalese, as she has done for herself.
For Kalese, there’s no need for a muzzle. The vapor has embedded itself in every tissue of her body, and flows freely through her bloodstream. Her loyalty is inextricably voluntary and involuntary.
But now news has reached the palace that a defector, a renegade has betrayed them. She’d find this traitor promptly and inform her mistress of her devotion. She, no doubt, will be rewarded well.
DESIGNED CHEMICAL LOVE / Gouache, Acrylic, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 218/147•
AS WORDS DRIPPED FROM HER LIPS
They couldn’t stop watching her lips as she spoke, as they were hanging off every single word. The information dripped wet like paint from her mouth. She had just figured out how to escape from Chûndra and the Tritons for a brief period.
After she had been waken, she allowed Chûndra to capture her for 4bear. It seems Chûndra has been winning most of the battles recently, but now they have the ammunition needed to fight back.
AS WORDS DRIPPED FROM HER LIPS / Gouache, Acrylic, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 217/148•
IF WE STOP
Anali wakes up today with a heaviness in her chest. Her limbs resist moving as if she were paralyzed. She couldn’t deal with another day of this dread. It seems as though Chûndra’s vapor is now having an affect on the Ishan as well. The thought of drifting back into the deep sleep was unacceptable. Even the thought causes her to panic.
IF WE STOP / Gouache, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 216/149•
She’d never forget the scent. Although disguised as a double agent, her memory stayed intact. It was difficult performing this ruse. Yet, it was a necessary action if the 4bearance were to achieve their goal.
TUNNEL VISION / Acrylic, Gouache, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 194/171•
ORDER AND THE PURSUIT
The disappearing seeds remained an ongoing phenomenon. The Guardians had tried vigilantly to keep watch over the fields. However an enemy, a thief kept intervening and removing their lush crop. After the third occurrence, the 4bearance initiates a covert Ishan skilled and equipped to track this fiend.
She’s on their trail now. Although their hearts never beat, she knew other ways to detect and trap them in their own game.
ORDER AND THE PURSUIT / Gouache, Color Pencil, Graphite / 3.5″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 193/172•
A LABOR FOR SOLACE
The pain never left her. Every time Aram closes her eyes, she can’t help but think of her brother’s sacrifice for her. But she won’t let his death be in vain. As the flowers emerge from her spine they begin stretching toward the sun. She remembers how it gives her solace knowing that a piece of him that was left is able to provide healing to so many.
A LABOR FOR SOLACE / Gouache, Color Pencil, Graphite / 3.5″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 107/258•
Chaen was going to have trouble slipping by this many guards. He’d have to use his cloaking power and imitate a Triton guard.
His body leans forward as he transforms into their dazed look. He uses his covert ability to reach his family now trapped in this lair.
Underneath this building there’s too many twists and turns. All of the tunnels zig-zag like a maze in here.
CHAEN / Gouache, Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 52/313•
He laughs when he thinks of how he used to give her such a hard time. Anali’s father, the Judge of the Ishan people, had made a decision that caused him to lose the respect of the community. They were only kids at the time, but you know how kids are. They act off of what they hear the adults say and follow the crowd. She was too cute when she got angry, though, so even after time had passed and he didn’t really believe all the rumors, he would make fun of her just to watch her nose wrinkle up and her cheeks get flushed. Good times.
AWHILE / Gouache, Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 43/322•
SPRING EQUINOX I
Just like we style our hair, the Ishan like styling their branches. The difference is instead of it taking minutes to style, it takes months. It’s easier this part of the year because of the longer days in the sun.
SPRING EQUINOX I / Pencil, Marker / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 40/325•
She had been watching him for three days.
He would wake up about 1 p.m. and grab a late breakfast from the nearest trash can. After watching people walk around Central Park, he quarantines himself in an abandoned building to have lively conversations with a man named Bob and a child named Booger that are very real in his mind between the hours of 4 to 6 p.m. Then she watches him wail for his mom for another hour. After each psychotic episode, he begs at multiple locations. He has to keep moving to avoid police and other homeless men that would either try to seize his spot or seize him. He was only 11.
Aram couldn’t stand to watch him anymore. Tonight, when he goes to his usual spot to rest she’ll have to grab him there.
ARAM / Pencil, Acrylic, Chalk / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 24/341•
THE BRANCH THAT DOESN’T BLEED
Time: 1643. Netra battles the Birdface Crew and decimates them. Afterwards, Chûndra investigated how Netra was able to cause this type of destruction. She finds out about the Bleeding Chair which gave Netra these restorative and magnetic powers. She tries to replicate these by digging up the buried Ishan and chopping of their limbs. But it doesn’t work. The limbs she cuts only survive a day then die off. Now this opportunistic huntress turns her attention to Rïden.
THE BRANCH THAT DOESN’T BLEED / Pencil, Pastel / 4″ x 6″
•Ishan Project: 14/351•
Just before she went into the Dark Sleep, AnaLi Q recalls seeing a cloaked figure hovering above her. As her eyes closed his eerie grin was etched into her memory. A large hood was draped over his head so it was difficult to see his facial features. As she describes him, I start sketching. In her description, though, he has a feather tattooed on his left cheek below his eye. Further investigation revealed that he is associated with the Triton Queen Chûndra. They call him The Forecaster, because when he shows up, bad things are about to go down.
THE FORECASTER / Acrylic, Ink, Markers / 5.5″ x 8.5″
4 Days Until the Ishan Project Begins. Materials: Ready. Sign up to Follow this Gripping Tale at http://leahsmithson.com/blog.html
Sketchbooks: Ready. Sign up to Follow this Gripping Tale at http://leahsmithson.com/blog.html