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"Perseid Pearl Milkweek Seed Planting - Stephanie Bledsoe memorial portrait " ~ 11"x17" print on paper

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"Perseid Pearl Milkweek Seed Planting - Stephanie Bledsoe memorial portrait " ~ 11"x17" print on paper

This portrait was inspired by a unique experience elicited from the memory and spirit of Stephanie Bledsoe: Shortly after meditating upon her passing 2 years hence in August 2015, I was sitting in a juice bar working on my laptop. I heard "The Rip" by Portishead come on the radio - this was a special song for Steph and I when we dated in 2010 which we repurposed later in 2011 for an ARTheism dance performance together. Upon hearing the song come on, I closed my laptop, opened my sketchbook and ecstatically drew abstractly in my sketchbook to the music. Later that night, I looked into the abstract lines, saw a fox silhouette and drew a full fox body. I then took a walk to a greenbelt and viewed the Perseid meteor showers while reclining on a granite sculpture. I soon heard strange sounds from the forest from 2 unknown creatures, was alarmed by this and relocated myself to another path where I felt safer. I walked parallel with one of the noises until I could see that it was one of 2 foxes that were calling to one another. Its eyes reflected back from my headlamp This was my first encounter with wild foxes. It ran across the street, stopped and looked back at me. Struck by the synchronicity of having drawn a fox earlier in relation to Steph, I spoke out loud, "Who are you?" and immediately then, a shooting star appeared above the fox. It turned and continued deeper into the woods. I decided to follow it's call. I was led to a into a forest path I had never seen before filled with pearl milkweed vines. The path led to a dead end and I stopped hearing the fox calls. I harvested some of the pearl milkweed seeds. Right before I left the forest, I looked into the sky and said, "Thank you Stephanie" and then immediately saw another pair of eyes watching me about a hundred yards away. We observed each other for about a minute before they disappear into the night. While walking home, I knew that I needed to express this story through art. The night I started to work on this piece, I opened a book about Edgar Cayce that Steph had lent to me years earlier and landed on the 3 page section about the mythology of Lilith – it so happens that Steph's onstage belly-sword dance name was "Lilith Black" - again, the song came to mind. I wanted to honor this aspect and included the astrological symbol for Black Moon Lilith in the lower right corner of the artwork - this story also sheds light on the inclusion of the shooting star in the upper left, the pearl milkweed vine leaves, flowers and seed pods in her hair - and of course the fox overlapping with Stephanie herself.

Shortly thereafter, I was asked to contribute Steph-inspired artwork by Silas Parker and Grace Park to be featured at the annual Hill Country Fair. With the expertise of screen printer, Jody Wood, and the production assistance of Grace, Steph's new portrait was screen printed by hand onto t-shirts, hoodies, posters and canvas whose sales supported infrastructure at Thigh High Gardens, established by Stephanie in April 2012. They did an incredible job in sharing this work far and wide with the community.

Created with Prismacolor colored pencils and ink on toned paper.

Order 2 or more and get $5 off each print.

Interested in a larger size or something special? Let me know!

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