Out of the Darkness: Taming violence through painted story

I’m working on something new. 

But it reminds me of my ongoing, illustrative, fine art series, Out of the Darkness. 

The Coming of Man

The series explores the taming of violence through global mythology. We are living in the safest times our species has ever known and we strive to do more. These tales of woe are, in many ways, tales of what we have overcome. 

Sedna the Seawitch

Enjoy. 

The Birth of Creation

Each piece in the series is watercolor and ink on 140lb paper, 18×24 inches. The first five pieces won second place at South Bay Contemporary’s ‘All Things Condidered’ exhibition, 2014, curated by Scott Canty, formerly the director of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park. 

K Ryan Henisey is a Los Angeles area artist. His watercolor and mix media works explore the human experience. 

The Birth of Creation: myth in watercolor 

There are many stories of the beginning and they all begin with light. For the Ancient Greeks, Chaos sprang from the nothingness, her life a stark contrast to the Void. From the joining of Chaos and the Void was Light. That light, for many Polynesian’s, was the Voice of Io – the all-father. When he spoke, the darkness was illuminated and the empty spaces were filled with expanding life. His songs became the fabric of reality, each thread an infinite piece in the tapestry of the universe. 
Out of the darkness is a series depicting the struggle of existence through a lens of global storytelling. Pieces 1-5 won second place at South Bay Contemporary’s August show, 2014, Juried by Scott Canty. Truly an honor.

The seven pieces recreate the cosmos using Athabaskan, Polynesian, Greek, Aboriginal and Indian mythologies.

K Ryan Henisey is an LA area artist. His works are presently on display at Kellogg University Art Gallery’s Ink & Clay 42, Viral RK25 at Betti Ono Gallery in Oakland, and at the Newhall Aquarium. 

Smudge Face, or Brother Moon

 

Henisey_SmudgeFaceOrBrotherMoon_18x24_Watercolor

 

The Athabaskan myth of how the sun and moon came to rest in the sky is one of violence, incest and rape. In a world where darkness and ice dominate the landscape for long periods of the year, the relationship with the heavenly bodies takes unexpected turns (for the western and southern worldview). The moon, according to legend, raped his sister the sun. She discovered who had violated her person by rubbing soot across his face. When confronted the next morning by the betrayal of her brother, the girl cut off her breast and fed it to him. In horror and shame, she then grabbed a burning brand from the fire and retreated to the heavens, far from mankind. Smudge-Face followed, chasing her into the sky. His hunger can be seen waxing and waining each month.

Smudge-Face is part of an ongoing series of watercolor and ink paintings called Out of the Darkness. This series retells the movement out of savagery and violence through a lens of shared global mythology. Pieces 1-5 of Out of the Darkness were awarded second place overall at South Bay Contemporary’s All Themes Considered juried show, 2014.

Manticore – 100 Monsters

manticoreManticore (man tik ōr)

Monster Type: Hybrid

Location: Southern Europe to Southeast Asia

Size: Large

The Manticore is a ferocious beast with the body of a lion and the face of a man. The Manticore uses its spiked tail as a weapon. They enjoy fresh meat and can easily be distracted with a side of beef or venison.

Smudge Face, or Brother Moon

 

Henisey_SmudgeFaceOrBrotherMoon_18x24_Watercolor

 

The Athabaskan myth of how the sun and moon came to rest in the sky is one of violence, incest and rape. In a world where darkness and ice dominate the landscape for long periods of the year, the relationship with the heavenly bodies takes unexpected turns (for the western and southern worldview). The moon, according to legend, raped his sister the sun. She discovered who had violated her person by rubbing soot across his face. When confronted the next morning by the betrayal of her brother, the girl cut off her breast and fed it to him. In horror and shame, she then grabbed a burning brand from the fire and retreated to the heavens, far from mankind. Smudge-Face followed, chasing her into the sky. His hunger can be seen waxing and waining each month. 

Smudge-Face is part of an ongoing series of watercolor and ink paintings called Out of the Darkness. This series retells the movement out of savagery and violence through a lens of shared global mythology. Pieces 1-5 of Out of the Darkness were awarded second place overall at South Bay Contemporary’s All Themes Considered juried show, 2014.