I come from the land of ice and snow

"We come from the land of the ice and snow/
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow." ~ Led Zeppelin, Immigrant Song.

mixed media Ice Queen with Snowy Owl

I didn't know the origin of the title I had in my mind for this post (and potentially for the painting itself) so I researched and found out that Led Zeppelin had written a song with almost the same words.

I thought I was pretty clever until hubby told me these words were also the lyrics to an annoying jingle each summer advertising Ontario's Marineland on tv. And wouldn't you know it, he was right!

No matter, I kept the title anyway.

This Ice Queen is trying to entice the beautiful Snowy Owl into her magic pouch. In order to do so, she offers the image, an illusion really, of a wonderful willowy bird, one of many appearing to come out of the little sack.

The Snowy Owl tells the Ice Queen he is aware of her trickery (he is wise as all owls are after all!) and he offers instead to be her spirit guide and warn her of the dangers in the forest.

Will she accept the Snowy Owl's generous offer? She does have a bit of a conniving look to her, don't you think?

I suspect she already has a plan B in her arsenal of deceptions and tricks.

Sketching the idea I had in mind was the first step in the whole process.

I have only recently started sketching and note taking in an inexpensive book kept expressly for emptying my mind when it is racing with ideas.

initial sketch in sketchbook of ice Queen

The sketch was transferred to a canvas and the first layer was applied of charcoal and gesso to suggest areas of shading.

charcoal and gesso sketch on canvas of Ice Queen

Then I began to add blues and white to the sketch.

Blues and white added to canvas for ice Queen

After many hours struggling with the details of the face, I was close to being satisfied with the results. It was time to add a background.

background for Ice Queen on canvas

Then I painted the headdress, added the Snowy Owl, the sack the Queen is holding, and reworked the background a little more.

I did not count the hours.  In fact, I did not even see the hours go by; I was lost in the painting as it progressed over several days.

The final work was not quite as I had imagined it, but close enough.

The owl is sitting on a tree trunk rather than on the Ice Queen's shoulders as I had originally intended it in my sketchbook. I had wanted her to hold a glass container, but that was a bit too much of a challenge for me this time.

I am happy with the way she turned out.  

And the learning continues...along with the experiments.  I have already started my next painting and the initial title will be "See you in September", a song that keeps coming to mind as I am painting.

A special thank you to Olga Furman for an inspiring workshop. Visit her website! I am sure you will be enchanted with her art.  (https://olgafurmanart.com)

finished Snow Queen on canvas

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