New work in progress ‘Liquid Dreams’ #abeautifuldecayseries
Excited to have new prints available next week for #uniqueLA. All those on the email list will get first dibs. Come by and see them in person Dec 2 & 3.
Mural complete for now. Sympathetic Strings II
Finishing up a few last strokes on a commission piece.
Evening 🎨-ing after #uniqueuniversity.
Feeling inspired while walking Peru tonight
Sympathetic Strings(2017) [A Beautiful Decay Series]
Acrylic & Oil on Wood 36’’ ⭕️ Diameter
In the studio finishing up this piece while vibing to @toroymoi’s new album.
Putting the finishing touches on a few new porcelain hands for the @uniquemarkets #uniquela show next week. Come through and check out many of these pieces and several other designers, crafters, djs', and makers at:
3021 Airport Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90405
United States on the 19th, 20th. Tickets are only $15. Everyone who signs up for our newsletter will also be randomly selected for a free pass to get in. Can't wait to see you in person! 🎶@littledragonflicks 📷 @vlc_photo 💄💇🏼 @silversunmakeup ⛓⚒👾 @leahsmithsonart
Excited this week to be prepping for a show in Santa Monica August 19, 20. @Uniquecraftfair #uniquela. I'll have new and limited release pieces available to those on the email list & visiting the show. Come by and take a closer look and feel of the jewelry along with some new work in person.
Hope you’re having a good Tuesday. Triple Koyu Earrings on a recent blog by @dreamsinheels.
Just read an amazing article that mentioned how color can affect your productivity by Talor Casti @thecoppergirl on @mashable. Even if you may have a favorite color, the effect of being around certain colors are universal. I’m putting together an experiment to try this week with my peeps on my email list. Come try it with us. It’s easy and fun. Sign up for the email list at leahsmithson.com (the link is in the profile)
Posted a quick sketch of this awhile ago. Finally able to put some paint down.
As I am wishing I was in NY for the armory show, I am laying out a few new designs, and thinking of Iris Apfel who was such a genius at curating her outfits, that MOMA museum put together one of their most successful exhibits featuring her wardrobe. You can break into your everyday untapped creativity like she did. Sign up for my email to be a part of a fun and easy project I’m putting together to help you curate your space and your wardrobe. Create a space and wardrobe that represents YOU. Curate your space like an artist. Put together your wardrobe like a poet. Make sure you sign up at leahsmithson.com so you don’t miss out (Click the link in the profile). (view on Instagram http://ift.tt/1QYBkiu)
EXCERPT FROM A WORK IN PROGRESS
Happily putting the finishing touches on this piece…I’ll be sure to post a pic of the full painting when its done;)
Thinking of the Ishan Project last year, I wanted to share something with you for old time sake 😛
Just finished the 2nd part series to an interview with Ben Cotilletta on Artexposure.net. Here’s the link below. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Ishan Project: 326/39•
They creep into her fortress, but not too carefully. This time they want to be seen. They make their way into the atrium and instantly Anali’s eyes meet her mother’s once again. Anali’s parents were enclosed in a glass crypt. All of the memories of what she believed to be their death, begin flooding into her head.
Though her mother’s face remains expressionless, her eyes tell everything. Anali feels her concern. There was no time for lingering in that moment. In the distance, she hears the sirens. Chûndra and her army come storming in and the arrows start flying.
Netra snatches the N-oid ball in time. As she directs her breath around its’ curves, it dissolves into a powdery substance drifting into the air. They watch as it first begins to float. Then the powder begins to adhere to the surfaces around them. The glass entrapment was the first item they heard shatter. Chûndra feels the electric discharge in the atmosphere and starts to retreat, but not fast enough…
FOCAL POINT / Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
Ishan Project: 325/40•
We found ourselves back in the laboratory tonight. 4bear brought the ingredients together. After much discussion we decided to first mix the tincture from the Flowers that Feed with the residue from Jeth’s glass case. Traces of Chûndra’s dark Sufna remained on the fabric of this mask. We were able to reverse engineer how the nano-tech from that formula effects glass and add it to our new formula.
When the two were combined inside of one of our large beakers, an electric pulse formed. Black bubbles float over this liquid substance, then pop abruptly. Its contents were almost ready, but we’d need something that would ignite it. Something which would demagnetize its’ polarity. So then Netra walks out from among us. Her eyes glow bright as they erupt with an energy which pierces the liquid’s molecular structure.
Once the mix is created, the room becomes filled with a sweet smell. Its’ scent is almost rhythmic. We call this new substance N-oid.
ROUSE / Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 317/48•
Last night she’d managed to rescue Jeth. Now that she and Jess had brought him back to 4bear’s lair, they understood why yesterday’s experience had been so unusual.
Chûndra had sent a special vapor to attack Jeth. Yet, somehow it tore into the molecular structure of glass enclosed around his mask. They’d use this knowledge.
Meanwhile, they gather around the table to discuss the tragedy Chûndra’s created. As they watch Netra propagate the flowers from her son’s heart, a strategy is revised.
RISE / Mixed Media / 5″ x 8″
•Ishan Project: 315/50•
Her heart broke a little as she realized Chûndra would never return the admiration she shared for her. These small impostors could sympathize with Violet’s emotions. However, from a larval state they bonded with her psyche creating a spark she felt was similar to the Ishan’s Magneto-sensors. Just then they crawl across her forearms and she could sense their thinking pattern.
She’ll prove to Chûndra that she could be special after all.
Meanwhile, The Impostors hunger became stronger as the days progressed. She watches as these creatures search for their next meal.
CRACKED / Mixed Media / 5″ x 8″
Ishan Project: 313/52•
A WANDERING PSYCHE
Violet shivers as the larvae cover her face. It was terribly uncomfortable at first, but now she’s used to them. In fact, they make her feel loved. Something she never really got but always craved from Chûndra. It was wonderful when their plan of attack on the remaining seedlings became successful. That was the closest she ever received any kind of acknowledgment from Chûndra. But maybe it was too successful. Chûndra tried throwing Violet away before. It took giving up every shred of dignity to prove to Chûndra that she would be loyal. And this is why she had volunteered her body. Chûndra would only tolerate her presence once she’d experimented on her successfully and linked her mind and body with the bioengineered insects. But what will Chûndra do with her now? Those who aren’t productive in her dominion, she begins to see as liabilities. And she’s not sentimental enough to keep any liabilities around her.
All of these thoughts begin bearing down on Violet’s conscience and she no longer feels whole anymore. Her psyche is no longer hers and now becomes divided. Though she had good intentions, she’s becoming a product of her worst imagination.
A WANDERING PSYCHE / Mixed Media / 5″ x 8″
•Ishan Project: 297/68•
A GLIMMER IN HER PERIPHERAL
They watched the drones exit the doors then Anali slid through an adjacent window. Once she crawls through the tight space, she notices a natural light cast a mysterious reflection on a wall nearby. She was amazed that despite the large amount of natural light coming in through the windows, the palace still remained very dark. She still would need to use caution so as not to be seen tracking through Chûndra’s new lair. Although her guards weren’t as plentiful as her last palace, they were definitely armed and trained for combat.
As she slowly climbs the staircase she first notices a familiar branch which had grown alongside the wall. She then searches for where it had originated. Something about the texture of this wood seemed so familiar to her. But it was as though there were two trees intertwined that had been growing. In the hallway, she sees a glass case. Once she laid her eyes on the source, the impact of what she saw knocked her to the ground.
A GLIMMER IN HER PERIPHERAL / 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: 294/71•
(Con’t from Day 293) The factors that cause aging are still much of a mystery to science. The Ishan’s genetic code is not much different than human. Something in the Ishan’s genetic code tells it to continue with it’s normal adult function longer than the average human. Therefore, they tend to live longer. Human’s have that capacity as well. We just can’t tap into it yet.
Anali continues, “There is a cave that goes deep in the earth. There, a tree grows in a dark cave, which is pretty remarkable because it’s able to grow in the dark. It’s sap has many healing properties for the Ishan. To humans though, it tends to have a fatal nature.
“Chûndra, very depressed, got lost one day. It actually was right before she ended our friendship. She found the tree and brought the sap back home. I think she knew what the sap was and the detrimental affect it would have on her. However, she took some anyway. When we found her, she was very sick to the point of death. In fact, her heart stopped for three minutes. We used our electromagnetic powers to stimulate it to start beating again. She lived, and continues living. And I have an idea her new place is by the old eucalyptus where her mother was buried.”
In addition to locating the eucalyptus where Chûndra’s mother was buried, the impostors pictured here also became an important factor in finding her location. They had been feeding the entire day when Preet stumbled upon them.
IMPOSTOR / Mixed Media / 8″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 290/75•
A PORTRAIT OF HER FATHER CLOAKED IN RED
He had thought the world of her. In their favorite spot, under the eucalyptus trees, he’d tell her of his love for her. But his insecurities made him feel as though he was never good enough. Over time, he’d allowed his obsessions to get the best of him. She had come from a measure of refinement in Ishandria. This didn’t matter to Vale though. She had fallen in love with his creativity and ingenuity.
This wasn’t enough for him. Chûndra’s father spent years studying, dissecting, and calculating a cure which would allow him to age like his beloved — gracefully. Yet, his experiments turned him mad. She tried to reason with him. She’d been in love with him — his inner self. Not his outer flesh which eventually wrinkled.
But in his constant experiments his greater concern became more outstandingly apparent. What he truly sought was not only longevity, but power. He was fed up with the way the way common folk would look at him. He desired the superiority that should be given only to those who rightfully deserved it. He taught this to his only child. As the years progressed he’d feed on her desire for prominence. Her thirst for what belonged to her.
A PORTRAIT OF HER FATHER CLOAKED IN RED / Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 284/81•
The Sower has been watching this takeover. She well knows the losses this world has seen due to Chûndra, and that the scales would need to be changed. She can offer her assistance.
She delicately holds one of the remaining seedlings in her arms. Rïden, Netra, Aram, Anali and Koyu form a circle around her enhancing her powerful ability. This power generates a charge which electrifies her extremities causing a split in the earth’s atmosphere. She feels her body begin to divide itself gradually into two hemispheres. The world around her takes a spin, now. She then hears the waters from the Pacific start to navigate through her interiors, and she concentrates on this sound. Glimmering light from the Sun beams brightly on her garments, which then create a pattern similar to a crocheted garment.
TWO HEMISPHERES/ Mixed Media / 5″ x 8″
•Ishan Project: 270/95•
A GUARDIAN TRANSFORMED
Sometimes as we grow up, the puzzle pieces of our memories begin to come together to form a new reality. Or rather, put in focus the actual reality we live in. When I think back to that night, I remember the eerie feeling that shadow in my backyard stirred in me. Little did I know how the perspective on the world around me would change from that day onward. (See DAY 73)
Now, everything is coming together. That day, Rïden had been chased by a Triton assassin. A Guardian had saved him from injury that night. However, he’d been transformed. That eerie feeling I experienced back then is the same feeling I begin having now.
As we all gaze at the horizon, now, the sun begins to set. At that moment, a new sound begins. Something unusual. Something that we know will change the very fabric of society.
A GUARDIAN TRANSFORMED / Mixed Media / 5.5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 263/102•
Anali embraced the rain as the drizzle slowly pours down her upper extremities. Her leaves had already fallen now, but she enjoys how it feels when the cool water hits the bark. It’s all so rhythmic.
But a different noise is coming somewhere from a distance. First there’s a loud buzzing. Then it softens like static.
DRIZZLE / Mixed Media / 5.5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 261/104•
The fall was so sudden she hadn’t realized what had happened. As she drops, things seem to happen at slow moments. She breathes in the salty air and feels the wind brush across her. Her heart pounds so furiously as she gets near the jagged cliff. Closer, closer, closer… Then she feels the air around her stop. She feels her body begin to rise slowly then abruptly tossed into the buoyant waters. Gasping now with a mouth full of sea water, her imagination searches for some explanation of what has just transpired.
Preet watches from a distance as Violet begins swimming closer to the shore safely now. This one was too unstable. Preet now realizes her suspicions were accurate. Violet had been the culprit the entire time. She’d be banished from this point forward, but if Chûndra was wiling to go to this extreme, what other mischievous deeds did she have planned?
BUOYANT WATERS / Mixed Media / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 259/106•
He he he he he was more than some errand bird. Anali was always snooping around. He’d never forget how humiliated he had been when word reached Chûndra that he had been the reason she reunited with Koyu. Cherry harbored a grudge sharper than a razor.
Night vision was his specialty however. As he creeped through the dense darkness, his minions close by, he senses the young one, Violet. Cherry has what she desires, but he’d make her wait. A bigger trap was about to get set.
NIGHT VISIONS / Mixed Media / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•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: 257/108•
Watching the way Violet stands and walks away didn’t sit well. Violet had been slightly rocking back and forth as if she were under the influence of something. Once she leaves, Preet goes by the bay window she had been sitting at all afternoon. She notices the shape of her rear is still embedded in the leather cushions. As Preet gathers her limbs, she immediately sees the same two lights from a distance flashing back and forth.
STRANGE LIGHTS / Mixed Media / 5.5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 255/110•
A QUIET GAZE
4bear has grown more than momentum now. Many seedlings have been planted and they have been made safe. The flowers that feed penetrated the atmosphere slicing through the dense darkness created by Chûndra. Mankind ‘s memory had begun to rejuvenate itself. An air of our own has a sweet scent; untainted and unaffected by her vapor.
A QUIET GAZE / Mixed Media / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 251/114•
They’ve planted enough seedlings to give the Bird a snack without making it completely full. He breaks out of his stealth feverishly and sniffs the air. His insatiable hunger throbs the pit of his intestines to the point he treads through their lair uncontrolled. Meanwhile, the sun eaters remain intact around his talons leaving him undetected.
The Guardian could only hear his claws tap the floor searching desperately for its meal. She watches anxiously as it snatches the first seedling. It disappears instantaneously. “The first phase of this plan is going well,” she thinks to herself. They would need to be extremely careful not to set things off.
BIRD CATCHER / Gouache, Chalk, Graphite, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 248/117•
A FORCED CONSCIENCE
While the rest of 4bear’s routine returns to normal, Violet stays in the background. As clear as her objective is, today something feels a little off. To get rid of Jess she would need to do something subtle. Something that wouldn’t draw attention to herself. In the meantime, she tries to avoid her every chance she gets. She’d need to stay focused on her enemy despite her conscience plaguing her. Her gaze drifts down for an instance as she contemplates what she must next do.
A FORCED CONSCIENCE / Gouache, Graphite, Acrylic / 5.5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 246/119•
She found this time of the year compelling and beautiful, actually. Preet listens to the leaves fall from their boughs as she hears the pulse, pulse, pulse form a rhythm that compels her to move her extremities. The rhythmic sound excites her and she’s captured in the moment. This physiological drought creates an internal trigger in her trunk during this season. The flowers and petals involuntarily fall to the earth. When they touch the earth’s surface, it nourishes the soil.
As she becomes more absorbed in this moment she begins to realize that something’s not right. At that moment she opens her eyes and sees Violet.
PULSE / Gouache, Graphite / 5.5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 243/122•
She composes herself before going in to see Chûndra. Something tells her that the conversation isn’t going to go well. Chûndra doesn’t take well to losing her soldiers. If only she wasn’t so controlling, it actually would be kind of sweet, the way she likes to collect people. The mole knows that there is only one way that Chûndra consoles herself in these type of rare situations. She will most likely begin re-establishing her relationship of loyalty with her fold…chemically.
COMPOSE / Gouache / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 242/123•
The mole entered the foyer to inspect what all of the commotion was about. She was stunned as she saw Jess. She rests her hand on the counter to stabilize herself as hundreds of questions run through her mind. Did Jess see her? Has she been made? Not yet. Her heart pounded in her chest as backs away from the crowd. As Jess tells her story to 4bear, she watches from a distance. The mole turns her face to hide her disgust as they begin to comfort her. Jess a double agent? For how long? How could she do this? As she transcends the balcony stairs she envisions how enraged Chûndra will be once she hears this.
CAMOUFLAGE / Gouache, Graphite / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 241/124•
She knew from experience how quickly the Sufna could take over one’s mind. So she had placed the small specimen inside of her satchel. Jess had only carried the extra flower on her person as insurance, as a reminder. She had no idea that it would draw that bird.
Aram tries to calm her as she explains what happened.
His movements were so quick, she couldn’t anticipate his next step. Due to his insatiable appetite, he was unpredictable. Driven by rage and hunger he had lashed out at her. His talon slashed wildly at the leather strap stitched around her satchel. But in his efforts to consume its insides, he had severed her left forearm. Initially, she didn’t feel the pain because of the adrenaline rush. Once the satchel fell to the ground, the bird thrust her aside to feed on its flesh. She had barely escaped with her life. Looking back, she knew she should have listened to Jeth’s advice.
CONSOLATION / Gouache, Pastel, Graphite / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 240/125•
A FALLEN LEAF
As they bring the young woman inside their quarters we notice that she’s become incoherent. She had suffered some kind of traumatic experience which put her in a coma-like state. As Aram begins using her healing skills on the young lady she is in awe as she discovers another substance attached to her organism. It was a living breed, somewhat symbiotic in its makeup.
Aram takes a step back now and looks at Jess from a different perspective amazed at her courage, vigilance, and creativity. She had put herself on the line for the 4bearance. She’d need to be rewarded properly. A discussion was brought to the board on which gift would be chosen. After much discussion, they combined their magnetic properties and grafted her a new arm.
As Jess looks in the mirror, I begin discreetly sketching her reflection.
A FALLEN LEAF / Gouache, Pastel, Graphite / 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: 233/132•
A ROYAL BLUFF
(Cont. from DAY 231) She finally exhales as she rounds the corner. She had to admit, she had been concerned this plan may not have come to fruition. So the disguise worked after all! Jess had been able to trick the Head Triton over Chûndra’s imperial Guard.
It had been an extraordinary challenge smuggling the little sun-eaters into her satchel. And an even greater test manipulating them into a reflective mirror casting an image she intended.
She couldn’t help but shiver as she remembers her hands molding the little algae in a dense dark corner over her face. The blue/green bacteria began falling down her neck as it began to morph itself into an image she had projected into it’s thinking pattern. Kalese’s image would be one of several used against her. Chûndra had no idea what was in store for her.
A ROYAL BLUFF / Gouache, Acrylic, Graphite, Pastels / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 231/134•
Back in Chûndra’s palace one of the Tritons begin to notice that Kalese has left her post uncharacteristically after their regular curfew. In fact, she no longer is moving in harmony with them under the vapor’s control. She seems to exhibit a bit more independence than the average soldier. Chûndra has found this independence has been to her advantage for certain tasks, but now this girl is too much out of sync. It’s as though she has a mind of her own, which is unnecessary under this regime. Something had gone wrong with this soldier. It was best to report this matter directly to their superior.
WAYWARD / Gouache, Acrylic, Graphite, Chalk / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 230/135•
A WILLFUL GAZE
This electromagnetic pulse that vibrates creates a strange energy inside her. One that was telling her something was wrong. Anali begins to assess all of the problems the 4bearance has experienced in these past few weeks. Her head began hurting. It was unbelievable how they all managed to thrive despite these obstacles. However, something just didn’t make sense. She closed her eyes as the throbbing began in her left temple. All the evidence points to 4Bear’s plans being leaked. How? Is there a mole living amongst them? Who would do this?
A WILLFUL GAZE / Gouache, Acrylic, Graphite, Chalk / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 229/136•
It was all too easy. Her deception had been masked by a smile which gave the impression she was hungry and willing to obey. She’d need to secure inside information regarding 4bear’s plans and motive. It seemed as though they’d accepted her into their group. However, the information she’d been able to obtain was simply public knowledge. It would require planning to get inside of their circle of trust. She’d have to win their favor by duplicity.
DUPLICITY / Gouache, Acrylic, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″