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
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.
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.
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.
•Ishan Project: 299/66•
A QUIET INTERLOCK
They begin trailing the Impostors, but Anali still was pained at the heart from seeing her parents. Before she turned this corner she turned back to take one last look. But as she sees them, she notices her mother no longer is slack jawed. Her mouth is now closed and focused. Despite her burns and agony it seems that she now is able to gather her energy to lock eye contact with her seed. Anali starts to feel the connection they once shared. It was as though her mom was infusing energy into her central nervous system.
A QUIET INTERLOCK / Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 288/77•
AN UNLOCKED MEMORY
As we discuss the origins of her vapor, a memory comes back to Anali. She recalls a time period when Chûndra and her were close. They had been inseparable at one point. Sisters even.
Anali’s father had built a room which they shared as teenagers. At night they would tell stories of their innermost secrets and aspirations, occasionally staying up ’til dawn giggling. One night while bundled up, Chûndra told her the story of her mother’s death. Anali remembered her describing her mom simply withering away right in front of her. She had only been 11 years old at the time.
AN UNLOCKED MEMORY / 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: 283/82•
Dwindling lights fade into the shadows. Etched into their minds like carvings from ice sculptures, our young lady finds herself entranced by the slow rhythm created by the beating of raindrops heard outside. In this one moment, she wouldn’t allow the distractions to overtake her. She gathered her bearings as she feels a confusion brewing in her heart. But the vapor wouldn’t overtake her like the others. She stayed focused—focused on a rhythm captured by her eardrum which anchored the inspiration she held so sacredly.
DWINDLING LIGHTS / Mixed Media / 5″ x 8″
•Ishan Project: 282/83•
FIGURE IN THE SHADOWS
There’s no rhyme or reason as to why the swarm has come as far we can tell yet. After the last swarm, Rïden thought he witnessed something out of his peripheral which resembled a shadowy figure in the moonlight. But when he turned to get a closer view, it seemed as though no one was there. I don’t know. Maybe it was nothing.
FIGURE IN THE SHADOWS / Mixed Media / 5″ x 4″
•Ishan Project: 279/86•
A GAUZE FOR BLINDING
Once the haze spread rampant, a fractal pattern of the mind was disturbed. Years ago, a distinct spiral pattern of 137.5° was given the name: A Golden angle. This angle forms a compact arrangement that is extremely efficient in distribution of matter creating what people commonly refer to as a Fibonacci sequence. This sequence can be seen in a snowflake, a pattern of a shellfish, or in the circular shapes created from the petals of a flower.
This young lady was one of the first observed by Jeth who took on peculiar changes. She had been dancing by herself one night to a tune created by the rain outside when suddenly, like a gauze, a purple film began blinding her vision. It circled itself around her eyes first destroying the flowers waking effects. It then formed a vice grip around her neck, suffocating then reconditioning her to this new vapor.
Jeth had been watching in horror as her movements once again became robotic.
A GAUZE FOR BLINDING / Mixed Media / 5″ x 8″
•Ishan Project: 245/120•
THE SMELL OF LOYALTY
Under her scrutiny she watches the Chemist as she mixes a new batch of her vapor. The ingredient was a new one laced with a hint of lavender. She then test it’s affects on her drones.
Initially, they seemed unaffected. Then slowly, one by one they begin clutching their sides while howling in agony. She hadn’t expected it to be this potent. She stares at them as they experience this pain. She almost feels something similar to sympathy for them. “But their sacrifice is only necessary,” she reasons to herself. She can’t afford to have another tragedy. She was so close to getting what she wanted and couldn’t risk them leaving.
THE SMELL OF LOYALTY / Gouache, Graphite / 5.5″ x 4″
•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: 214/151•
SOMETHING ABOUT THE SUNSHINE
Rumor has it that before all of the seeds were destroyed someone has been able to harvest the seedlings. How they’ve been able to protect them from this monster we don’t know yet but we’ll find out soon.
SOMETHING ABOUT THE SUNSHINE / Gouache, Graphite, Acrylic, Color Pencil / 3.5″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 213/152•
A VISCID WALK
Her tendrils drag slowly across the muddy field as she mourns her seedlings. Salty water begins to fall from her eyes and she glances at the dried blood caked onto the lids around those traps placed just days ago. These invisible thieves had taken everything she’d worked so hard for.
A slow drizzle begins. The fog from the bay crosses the peninsula. Looking down, she sees the bird’s footprints. It’s claws had dug down greedily into the soil snatching its victim from its roots. All that remain: water condensation. She hears the first raindrops fall. This marshy field, once teeming with life, is now simply a deserted tomb. The pulsation in her heart skips a beat and her pressure rises. For four generations her family had protected and grown these seeds successfully. The rain begins to pick up now leaving her tendrils soaked. From the corner of her eye she notices movement which changes her focus. A blue green flagella like substance glides across the surface of one of the cavities buried deep in the ground. And then a spark…. An idea is triggered.
A VISCID WALK / Gouache, Graphite, Acrylic, Color Pencil / 3.5″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 165/200•
As the wind carried laughter from a child in the distance into Chûndra’s ears, she turns her head. Before she smiles, she feels a pinch in the pit of her stomach. Under her breath, she chastises her conscience, “How could you feel guilty when you’re helping them? I have to start here. It has to be this town. Whatever pain they feel, I will make sure it will only be temporary. They will forget. The children won’t ever know that the world was ever different.”
PINCH / Gouache, Graphite, Color Pencil / 3.5″ x 5.5
•Ishan Project: 162/203•
THE SLAYER BROKEN
When she was controlled by Chûndra she was taught that the Ishan were to be hated. They were to be hunted. They were to be harvested. For years her rage had blinded her conscience. She felt that to be safe, humans had to control them. Now, her jealousy and hate were broken by the Ishan’s compassion for one another. It was amazing actually seeing the Ishan and the humans work together. The 4bearance’s efforts struck her in a way that was tangible. The humans were beginning to remember again, and their unwavering devotion to help each other seemed foreign. But it was inspiring to her.
THE SLAYER BROKEN / Gouache, Graphite, Colour Pencil / 10″ x 6″
•Ishan Project: 161/204•
When light shoots from his eyes it mimic shooting stars. This is the only time he feels he can be himself, using sensor magnetic dexterity at night. The night sky is his home. It’s the only thing that hasn’t changed much. He was forced asleep in his world and has awoken in one that feels alien. Even though it’s the same earth, his home has faded into the past. He wants to make this world his home, but he has to hide constantly. Always uncomfortable. Always waiting. How long will this last? If mankind learns of our existence, would they accept us? Until then he finds his solace at night.
SEE OR / Gouache, Graphite, Chalk / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 159/206•
A PROFILE OF NETRA
“Honestly,” Netra says “why do we cry? Really, think about it. When something like a tragedy happens, what is it inside of us—in our organism— that expels the water remaining in our bodies to come out of our eyes? Seriously, it just doesn’t make sense!”
I had to pause for a second, because her words struck me deeply. I mean, I understand the physics of it, but why are we made this way? That’s what she was really asking.
“Think about it Leah, where does that water come from? Does the body store it somewhere? During the tragedy of, first my father, and then later my firstborn, it seemed as though they just kept flowing. It was like they were unstoppable. It was ridiculous! And at the worst times. Rïden couldn’t stand it. He would often use his magnetism to gently wipe them away.”
PROFILE OF NETRA / Gouache, Graphite, Chalk / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 157/208•
A PROFILE OF ANALI Q
“It felt like it was the worst fire in history,” Anali Q tells me. “It started in East Sumatra and encompassed over 14,000 sq. miles. I’ll never forget that year…1982”
I notice her expression change as if her mind began to drift off. Maybe she was reflecting on this tragedy.
“Leah, it was so devastating. You couldn’t imagine the screams echoing from my people.” I notice a tear roll down the corner of her eye. “Even though most of us were still buried underground and in a coma-like state, we could still feel the pain of the earth.”
“But this tragedy only made us stronger. What we didn’t realize is that the build-up of vegetation had actually prevented our seeds from germinating and stopped the growth of new trees. The result of the fire was that our species began to rejuvenate rather quickly. New flowers that hadn’t been polluted by Chûdra’s Sufna formula sprung up, and an entirely new pollination began. We survived, but also through this tragedy we learned a vital lesson.”
She turns to me now, dry eyed and firmly focused. “But I’m tired of telling stories today, Leah,” she says “now is a time for action.”
A PROFILE OF ANALI Q / Gouache, Graphite, Chalk / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 153/212•
Koyu tries to explain to Anali what’s transitioned during her search.
The Birdface Crew had been following him to keep tabs to ensure he wouldn’t disturb Chûndra’s agenda. At the same time, they were trying to figure out what his plans were. To keep them off his trail, Koyu had to feign insanity. All the while sending out his electromagnetic pulse ensuring Anali would still be able to track him.
FEIGNED INSANITY / Gouache, Graphite, Chalk / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 152/213•
They began as a very small group that was put together by Rïden, Koyu, Aram, and Netra. Now this group includes both humans and Ishan. They are actively trying to erase the effects of Chundra’s tyranny.
ÉTIHAS /Graphite, Gouache / 3.5″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 149/216•
As she drifts to sleep her mind wanders, dreaming of a time they’d spent together. The caress of his lips brushing softly against her left temple pulling her out of the darkness of her slumber. Yet, this dream is incredibly real. So real, she can smell the fragrance coming from the flowers of his branches. Impossible!
As Anali Q slowly opens her eyes, she can’t believe that he’s been standing above her the entire time. Waiting. Watching. Together.
DRIFTING AWAKE / Graphite, Gouache, Colored Pencil / 3.5″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 143/222•
(Cont. from DAY 81) On a rainy summer day she broke down in tears. Her branches were broken and worn down from listening to the ground every night, and the pain of it all was debilitating. Her endurance finally paid off on that night. One of the birds that had been tracing Koyu found him, then contacted Cherry. All she had to do was use her electromagnetic abilities to locate where that transmission came from. Almost there.
VIRTUALLY THERE / Gouache, Pencil / 3.5″ x 5.5″
Ishan Project: 140/225•
The Ishan have tried to awaken various humans. However when someone’s been blind folded for a long period of time, it takes awhile for their eyes to adjust to the light.
ENVISAGE / Acrylic, Gouache / 8.5″ x 11″
Ishan Project: 139/226•
For centuries the Ishan have shared an ecosystem with mankind. Unfortunately their efforts to combine forces have only been realized within the past few decades. Their branches stretch high into the atmosphere, pointing abstractly into the heavens. Their ancient language seems to have been influenced by many cultures and languages. Even some of their names have sanskrit and hebrew similarities. For instance, the word “ish” has a meaning of man or member of a specific group in Hebrew.
STRETCH HIGH / Gouache, Pencil / 3.5″ x 5.5″
Ishan Project: 138/227•
To subvert mankind she’d need some sort of disguise. Some sort of blinding mechanism that would be like scales caked over their eyes. Because its always easy to control someone who doesn’t acknowledge your existence.
SCALES / Gouache, Color Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 130/235•
Rïden, Netra, Aram and Koyu come to the conclusion that they couldn’t defeat Chûndra and her Tritons alone. They would need the help from human beings as well. But how many would be willing? Who can handle knowing?
FAR ENOUGH / Pencil, Gouache 9″ x 12″
•Ishan Project: 129/236•
TIME WAS NOTHING
Koyu Q fully awakens. He’s now brought up to date on what’s happened while he’s been asleep. The family embraced him and patiently explained what needed to be done. They would need the help from many. A 4bearance would need to be created. This would be no easy task.
As daunting and tedious as this was, he knew in his heart it was worth it. Time was nothing, all he could remember was the glow from her lips. He couldn’t stand a world without their beauty and he’d do anything to caress them once again.
TIME WAS NOTHING / Gouache, Pencil /5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 127/238•
Once the lightning struck the surface of the ground where he laid, a surge of nitrogen fused through his body. The ammonia carbonate is dissolved through his body on a molecular level—just enough to arouse every cell in his frame. This is what it feels like to wake up. No longer frozen in time, he realizes he’s not alone.
DISSOLVE / Gouache, Pencil, Acrylic / 9″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 126/239•
(Con’t of Day 125) As Netra finishes her chemical reaction, Aram snatches a portion of it to create a pulsating bubble. Inside of the bubble lightning flashes. This lightning strikes the earth were Koyu has been resting.
LIGHT ABODE / Gouache, Oil Pastel / 3.5″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 125/240•
Rïden and Brine return home after obtaining the salt. It’s still not ready. Although it needs to be prepared, this can’t be done on the ground. Netra has to go up into the troposphere. First she wraps the salt in branches. Then she leaps up into the air. Once she reaches the clouds, her arms begin vibrating at high speeds mixing warm and cold air together with the salt.
LEAP / Gouache, Pencil / 3.5″ x 5.5″
•Ishan Project: 122/243•
They’ve been communicating underground using vibrations. She hears the last Thump. Through trial and error Anali Q has cracked the code of the BirdFace Crew. It won’t be long until she figures out where he’s been. Koyu’s too smart to get caught by Chûndra. “But, I will always find him,” Anali whispers to herself.
WHISPER/ Gouache, Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″
•Ishan Project: 121/244•
Before the Dark Sleep, mankind and Ishan lived together peacefully.
REMINISCENT / Gouache, Chalk, Pencil / 5.5″ x 8.5″