I have now had the pleasure of working with the marvelous Connie Carroll and her crew of vintage gals at Halcyon, a vintage clothing store on Robinson St. Check out the project page for all the lovely pictures and details...
... because I am going to use this blog space to tell you the story of Alcyone, the greek myth that Halcyon's new mural illustrates!
Alcyone was a fair maiden who loved a fair man named Ceyx. They did not use those names with each other, however; instead they used 'Zeus' and 'Hera' as pet names. As we all know, this is a recipe for disaster in an age when the real Zeus was known mainly for either smiting or impregnating. To punish these uppity youths, Zues chose the former activity and sunk Ceyx's ship while he was on a long voyage.
Hera, choosing to play good cop, sent Hermes to gently inform Alcyone of her lover's watery doom and comfort her in her grief. Morpheus, the skilled diplomat that he is, chose to visit Alcyone in the form of Ceyx himself. You can imagine the emotional roller coaster Alcyone faced upon seeing her lover (:D!) who then points out her lover's body floating in the water just around the corner (...??!) and then turns into Hermes and flies away (???!!!?? D: ) leaving the real body in the water.
Understandably, she throws herself down next to Ceyx and drowns.
Zeus (probably berated by Hera) brings Alcyone and Ceyx back to life by turning them into the first Kingfisher birds (several species of which are now named after these lively characters). Consequentially Alcyone's father, the god of the wind, forever more would calm the wintery storms over the ocean for two weeks a year to allow kingfishers to make nests and lay their eggs by the sea.
This time of calm is the origin of the term Halcyon Days... and thus, Halcyon Vintage's name nostalgically brings to mind a time of unusual peace, tranquility, and love.
The two kingfishers on the right below are named after this myth, but for the mural Connie elected to show a belted kingfisher, the only type of kingfisher native to the Richmond area.
Working on this mural really was a pleasure thanks to everyone at Halcyon, and it's always fun to work on an image with a substantial story behind it.
Now, I have another mural to share here as well! This is my first nursery mural, and was a real personal challenge for me. I chose a very deceptive and complex subject matter that lost me in its depth and nuance:
clouds that look like animals and stuff
But seriously, this was one of those paintings that fought me tooth and nail. The subdued, peaceful final product you see here took every perfectionistic bone in my body to wrangle into being.
I actually finished painting this several months ago, but the Carleys were kind enough to let me come back after they'd put their new nursery all together to document it. Now that I've had a little time away from it, I have enough perspective to be really happy with how it turned out! The Carleys all believe I'm a little crazy, I think, and say they've found it wonderful the whole time, so I thank them for their patience and sanity. I'm excited to have something to show new and expecting parents as an example of my nursery-fu. I'm also really excited to find out the gender of the newest Carley - this mural was specifically designed to be gender-neutral... :)
Please take a look at the Park Ave. project page to see all the pictures and details of this mural!
That's all for now friends and future-friends. I have a lot of self-promotion upcoming-event stuff to share later, but you've been patient enough for now. Suffice to say I really need to order a jumbo batch of business cards...