ʻAlalā, Through The Veil by Cheri Groom
Media: oil and cold wax
Cheri shares the following details about this fine art painting:
This painting was created using highest quality artist’s oil paints and cold wax medium. Artists have painted using beeswax as an additive to pigments since the 1st century B.C. and possibly longer. In modern times, beeswax formulas for painting are called ‘cold wax’ to distinguish it from heated wax techniques such as encaustics.
I’ve applied over thirty layers of pigments letting each dry, before moving on to the next. This creates a particular depth and luminosity within the colors.
The painting depicts the Hawaiian Crow or ‘alalā (Corvus hawaiiensis), one of the world’s most endangered bird species. At one time the number of individuals dwindled to 31, but captive breeding efforts and ongoing reintroduction projects seek to help these creatures gain a foothold in their wild forest habitats.
The ‘alalā plays several roles in Hawaiian culture. It is said to guide the dead to their final resting place. As one of the nā ‘aumakua, an individual crow may serve in the role of a special protector to an individual or family as the embodiment of a venerated ancestor.
Here, I use colors that represent the nature of our Hawai’i Island environment. Greens of the forest; cool blues of the oceans and skies; and warm oranges and reds representing the creative forces of the volcanoes. In this painting, the earthly ‘Alalā looks through the veil that separates the living and the dead, sensing his/her connection to its own devine nature.