Corpse Flower

Here's my second piece for the show friday:
I wanted to draw from folklore that was neutral towards bats (like I mentioned previously), so I picked up on the idea that the soul could leave a body in the form of a bat and went from there. It mostly seems to stem from the association between flying animals and ascension. There's also some Eastern European folklore I remember reading where the souls of captured witches and wizards escaped in the form of moths and insects and magpies. I thought it would be neat to have the bats chasing the moths on their way up since that's a food source for insectivore bats.
After I drew out the skull I wanted to make it more interesting and remembered the painted skulls I just missed seeing in the beinhaus in Hallstatt, Austria (we were there in December so mountain roads were closed).
So I included the stylized red laurels and the gold theta:
The "flowers" in the foreground are Monotropa Uniflora which I've mentioned on this blog before. I first discovered them peeking out of mounds of rotten wet leaves while hiking in Maine.
I honestly couldn't tell at first if they were fungal or floral and it turns out it's a chlorophyll-less plant which is parasitic to the fungus that grows on tree roots. I figured something that thrives in an ecosystem because of fungus might be interesting to add to the painting since one of the challenges of fighting white nose syndrome is maintaining the integrity of cave ecosystems that actually NEED fungus (especially the many many species of arthropod that live there). It's also referred to as "Ghost plant" and "Corpse flower" so I thought it fit the theme in that sense as well.
I'm pretty proud of the amount of time I put into the background for this one since it's something I've really been working on developing a bit. I'm also working on controlling my use of color to produce more of a mood. Whatever, look at the moon!
Some pictures of the opening can be found here if you want to check them out.

Friday I leave for a little trip to Oregon to hike, camp, hang out, pet dogs, eat food, look for Bigfoot etc. so it might be a while before I have any more work to post! I'm working on something much less serious next.

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