The Grandewitch of Xystoi. 30"x 40" Oil on canvas. I listened to every one's comments and advice and decided to leave her alone. Still having a hard time capturing her. Oh well, she is a grandewitch, after all. Check out the header above for a close up view.
What does Xystoi have to do with my painting? Well, for one, I started painting the above at the same time I started playing Words with Friends. Oh boy, it's worse than some online games in terms of its addictive effects on me but at least, Words With Friends enhances critical thinking and learning through strategies and finding word meanings. I am really not that addicted. I am just having fun and to date I think my best friend and I are setting a record of the most number of simultaneous games. With another friend, we are setting the longest running game for we take turns every four or more days. To think our offices are next door to each other!
Xystoi is a valid word in scrabble. One day, I laid down the letters on the board thinking they will be rejected but I was shocked, they were accepted! Thereupon my friend asked "What does that mean?" and I replied "I don't know, but it was accepted!" I really did not know what it meant, so I looked it up. I can't find a definition anywhere! So it is a word that has the distinction of being acceptable despite having no meaning? Somebody out there, if you find a meaning, please tell me. Xystoi is just like why I can't explain why I set out to paint a woman feeding a hummingbird and instead perseverated first on her face, then her bald head. Should I give her hair or not, I asked my daughter. I ended up painting her as such, holding a Little King Bird of Paradise and a Common peafowl behind her. I was still intent on painting a humming bird, so I put a Ruby crested hummingbird on her turban.
I also wanted to paint some fruit bats because my brother shared the photos he took of the fruit bats from our island-birthplace. Remember I once mentioned how I asked my brother to exchange images of our skies everyday? Ah, he is more diligent than I am. He shared photos of a tree on a mountain resort, with its canopy filed with bats. Thereupon he proceeded to tell me that people were eating the bats, "yum" he wrote, but he himself has not tried them. I immediately had this vision of my brother behaving like a caveman or like Andrew Zimmer eating a bat. Fear sat in. I thought of rabies and other diseases. He assured the bats were vegetarians. I chastised him until he told me to relax, he was just teasing me. Ugh! He knows how to push my buttons. Since bats are mammals, I decided against painting them, perhaps on my next painting.
Scenes from the island where I was born, from my brother's digital archives.
I named her the Grandewitch of Xystoi, a phase in my life filled with fun and adventure, loving and caring, great hopes, joviality; of copacetic weekends; of great friendship and reconnecting with childhood friends, my college classmates, of giggles and laughter amid seemingly insurmountable tasks, demands, hardships and struggles, stress, trials and tribulations and concern over loved ones... oh wait!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!
Yes, the bats do belong there after all... so while writing this post, I took a break and ran to the easel and painted some bats. See now...that's more like it, but bats be gone!!! Let live!
I painted this with brushes and halfway through, I switched to painting with palette knives but later in the process, I reverted to painting with brushes. The reddish hue is due to the fact that I took the image of the bats at night, with the ceiling spot lights on!
My dear friends, have a safe and good day.