Portal Home, is a combination of surreal and nebulas painting genre.
This is one of my newest paintings. It is an oil on canvas print. If my muse had a world, this is where she would live.
Madonna Rising—Dia de los Muertos Street Art
The Madonna is often displayed on Dia de los Muertos alters. It is believed she will assist in communication with dead loved ones. In my painting I’ve featured her as graffiti, placed on an old brick wall. She is clothed in purple, symbolizing mourning. A raven flying past the wall delivers marigolds to her. The marigolds will then guide the dead’s spirit to their loved ones through both their aromatic scent, and vibrant golden color—a color featured on the Madonna’s halo and carried throughout the painting.
My Southern Louisiana roots are steeped in the many forms of “speaking to our dead”. Thus, Dia de los Muertos was easily tucked in to my ritual of celebrating my deceased loved ones. I knew I wanted to incorporate the Madonna in a Dia de los Muertos painting, but it wasn’t until I had the privilege of visiting Italy for the first time that the vision of this painting began to take form. While I was surrounded by ancient, and amazing works of arts, it was the street art that most inspired me. When I came upon a graffiti piece in Venice and discovered it was created by Banksy, the vision for this painting was complete.
My most recent Day of the Dead inspired art, Dia de los Muertos–Fortune Telling, was juried in to Maude Kern Art Center’s Dia de los Muertos annual show in Eugene, Oregon. Opening Reception is October 12th, 2018 from 6 – 9pm. The show runs from from October 12th – November 2nd. Below is the website to Maude Kerns website so you can check out their many amazing events.
It has become tradition that I dress to match my painting. Here are some of the photos from past exhibits.
I’ll have my newest piece of Day of the Dead inspired art shown at Maude Kerns Art Center on October 14th, 2016 in Eugene, OR. Below is the website to Maude Kerns website so you can check out their many amazing events.
I’m proud to have two illustrations in Stephen Vessels collection of Science Fiction/Dark Fantasy Tales. The book title is “The Mountain & The Vortex and other Tales”. I will share the link regarding the book. Below are photos of my paintings both on canvas and in the book. It was most fun creating a visual illustration for Stephen’s dark stories. I’ve now read all the tales and author Elizabeth Engstrom was quite right when she said, “Stephen skates gracefully on the thin ice of genius in this superb collection.”
By Cheryl Owen-Wilson Following is how this blog was born, even though I tried to blow it off. I really did try. I’m on vacation, I reasoned. I deserve an entire day of no obligations. I’ll do it tomorrow, what difference will one day make? You get the idea.
So there I sat mid-day today reading my friend, Lisa Alber’s newest book, “Whispers in the Mist”. I was quite content in the fact that I could just let the blog go for the day. I’d intentionally kept this book unread until I had time to spend an entire day immersed in the misty fogs of Lisfenora, Ireland, where the book takes place. And I was there, happily reading away, when the atmosphere in her novel caught me, spun me around, and said, the weather in this book is as much a character as the actual humans are. So I blame you Lisa, for giving me a perfectly good idea for a blog, that I now have to write so I can get back to finishing your amazing new book.
“The storm starts, when the drops start dropping
When the drops stop dropping then the storm starts stopping.”
― Dr. Seuss
Here are just a few of the many ways weather can enhance your fiction:
Atmosphere or Mood: My writing contains many references to the Deep South of Louisiana. From heat that flows around you like cane syrup, sticky and sweet, to rain that hits so hard you have welts on your skin for days. My characters are steeped in the slow pace caused by my home state’s oppressive heat. Lisa used the fog and mist instantly associated with Ireland to draw readers into her evolving mystery. Many horror writers use storms under the cloak of night to create the appropriate atmosphere. What type of weather could you use to draw your readers in?
“Summer in the Deep South is not only a season, a climate, it’s a dimension. Floating in it, one must be either proud or submerged.”
― Eugene F. Walter, The Untidy Pilgrim
“The rain thundered down so heavily that Pritam could imagine that space itself was made of water and was pouring through rents in the sky’s tired fabric.”
― Stephen M. Irwin, The Dead Path
Tension: My writing mentor forever lives in my brain. This is one of many things she whispers while I write. “Just when you think you have enough tension in your story, make more.” My characters are human with human limitations. I have to give them plausible situations, believable responses. But when I throw the unpredictability of weather into the equation, well, that is a whole different set of rules. Hurricanes have been featured in my stories. They’ve possessed gale force winds that left fathers dead in branches of the only cypress tree left standing, and chickens flying past second story bedroom windows. “Twister” is one of my favorite movies. Given the recent weather in my home state, which caused extensive flooding, I now have a new story percolating. Imagine what creatures a spontaneous flood could unearth! What natural disaster might befall your characters? What would they learn about themselves, or others, as a result?
“Dark and pregnant clouds gave birth and fist-sized stones of hail hammered the earth.” ― Michael R. Fletcher, Beyond Redemption
“The November evening had a bite; it nibbled not-quite-gently at her cheeks and ears. In Virginia the late autumn was a lover, still, but a dangerous one.”
― J. Aleksandr Wootton, The Eighth Square
Irony: It doesn’t always have to be nighttime and raining when the bloody corpse is discovered in a field, amongst trees who’s naked limbs reach to grab any passers by. What if it’s a perfectly beautiful day and your protagonist is strolling leisurely through a field of wild flowers? She’s just reached down to pick a flawless daisy when she notices the ruby red liquid dripping from its white petals and looks around to see severed limbs nestled within the field of vibrant spring colored flowers. A bright, sunny spring day filled with bloody body parts makes a very interesting contrast. So next time you go for the dark and stormy night switch it up a little, and see where it takes you.
“It is a common fault of men not to reckon on storms in fair weather.”
― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
“It’s so dry the trees are bribing the dogs.”
― Charles Martin, Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery
In conclusion remember, unless atmosphere/weather happens to be an actual character in your novel, don’t drown your reader with too much of it. Small doses interspersed to give the proper setting, or steer your character in the right direction, are all that is needed.
“one day you stepped in snow, the next in mud, water soaked in your boots and froze them at night, it was the next worst thing to pure blizzardry, it was weather that wouldn’t let you settle.” ― E.L. Doctorow, Welcome to Hard Times
I do hope you write a vicious storm, snowy blizzard, sun-baked day, torrential rain…the variations are endless, into your next story. As for me, I’m going to cozy back up with Lisa’s book. The atmosphere outside where I am vacationing, here on the Oregon coast, is perfect. A fog is rolling in and I can literally feel the waves pounding below my balcony.
Have you found other ways in which weather has enhanced your own writing or a favorite book?
Find more amazing blogs by me and other amazing writers at: