Phoenix Picture

The phoenix is a sacred firebird that originated in the ancient Phoenician, Egyptian and Greek Mythologies. It symbolises life, death and resurrection as well as fire, light and the sun. Upon reaching old age a Phoenix was said to build a nest of myrrh twigs before igniting itself. A baby Phoenix would then rise from the ashes, born anew.

I wanted to illustrate the seamless connection between bird and fire that is so iconic and important to the Phoenix fable. To do this I decided to transform the plumage into flames. The challenge was to capture an expression of power and intensity, but not create an aggressive or horrific atmosphere as a result. It is important to note that the Phoenix is in no way hurt by the flames, it is ‘one’ with the fire that engulfs it.

Small songbirds such as Robins, Larks, Thrushes and Cardinals inspired my design of Phoenix. This is somewhat unusual, because many times artists have depicted a Phoenix as some kind of large Eagle or Peacock. But I wanted mine to appear small and precious, yet dramatic and feisty. I wonder what kind of song a Phoenix would have?

My sincerest thanks to *sweetychan for suggesting this as a DD and to ^Norke for featuring it. Also, thanks to everyone who has commented. Even though I don't reply to every single one, I do read them and am very flattered! I appreciate the support!

Copyright © Mike Nash

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