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There was once a young woman. She lived in a world gone drab and dead with its own repetetive nature, drowned in its own material ways. She would look at the world around her, and wonder where the life and beauty in her people had gone. Standing alone at the end of every da, she would gaze in wonder at the spectacle of mother nature's cinematic visions of colour as the clouds burned bright with luminous shades of reds and oranges, slashed and smudged across rich blues and turquoises. She would hear the simple song, a wondrous harmony of birds and rustling of trees and leaves, and she would look at the people passing her by in everyday life and puzzle over why their hearts were not filled with the same awe, why their faces were a grey reflection of the concrete and metal jails they condemned themselves to.

The young woman grew older. And with her age, she felt the burden of mortal life weighing her soul down until she too trudged with the masses, part of the same faceless grey, doing the same usless nothing everyday. Only once in a while, would she remember to look up to the sky and see its wonder, and her heart fluttered, seeing the birds diving and swooping in their freedom, dancing in the playful breeze.

Eventually, the woman's mortal life came to and end. Her soul floated free, released of it's morbid, fleshed shackles, and she finally breathed, joining the birds in their fanciful flight. She climbed the graceful peaks of the clouds, and soared far above the earth that had imprisoned her for so long. The birds felt her joy and flocked to her, their calls like a symphony to her ears. She cradled them to her, shared her spirit with them, and they called back with delight. For here was one soul who truly understood them, whose bright essence they had seen so far below, so many years ago. The woman flew for as long as her heart desired, and eventually she came to rest upon the seat of a large cloud. As she lifted her hands to her face, she felt the smooth contours of the wind gracing her soul, taken form in a beautiful mask and glittering wings of light. The birds cried with pleasure, for she was one of them, a playmate of the breeze.

She looked down from her lofty perch, back down at the grey world she had once inhabited. A flat lifeless thing it seemed to her now, but the birds called to her to look closer. So she did. And in that vast expanse of grey, a twinkle caught her eye and she gasped with happiness. It was so small, but the nothingness around it only served to heighten it's beauty. For she knew what she had seen was the colour of a soul, a being who had looked up to the sky and felt its powerful allure and marvelled at its display. So she called her birds to her in joy and swept to the earth, gusting by that bright speck of light.

And in the beauty of a burning sunset, another young being felt his soul soar with the colours of the wind.



The story was floating round my head as I was painting this, so I thought I would share. This piece is quite revealing as to what kind of person I am, as I intended it to be a portrait of my screen namesake, Zephyri, a play on the word zephyr, or breeze. I'd originally intended that it would be quite dark and stormy, but lo and behold, something much more uplifting and bright seems to have come of it, and I have simply painted as I have felt. Odd...

Anyhoo.. many thanks to all who offered useful crit on the WIP of this, as it is to be entered into Aristata Publishing's Aphrodisia 2 book, and also for Ballistic Publishing's Exposť 4.

This was done completely from scratch in photoshop and painter, and I had direct reference for the figure and the bird. Time taken, in total, around 30-40 hours.

You can see the WIP shots here: [link]

And there are some closeups at 100% here: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconpol1379:
POL1379 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015
Heart Heart Heart 
Reply
:iconnilvirgil:
nilvirgil Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015
:iconpinkheart-plz: :iconheartglompplz: :iconflyingheartsplz:
Reply
:iconoo-monkey-oo:
oO-Monkey-Oo Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Hobbyist
Gorgeous :)
Reply
:icongcartist85:
GCARTIST85 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012
Thank you for letting us feature your Amazing work! :iconfantasyfans101::iconshuffelinplz:
Reply
:iconcapitanarecondita:
CapitanaRecondita Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Professional
wonderful work
Reply
:iconallencorymasonesq:
AllenCoryMasonEsq Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
WOW! THAT'S AWSOME!
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconinspiredbyjack:
InspiredbyJack Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012
Gorgeous colours!
Reply
:iconla-structure-du-ciel:
la-Structure-du-Ciel Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011  Hobbyist
Wonderful piece of art!
Reply
:iconitsmeneon:
itSMEneon Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow. reminds me of Julie Bells work. just wow
Reply
:icondeseoutshy:
deseoutshy Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
perfect
Reply
:iconrad06:
RAD06 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2010
beautiful.... just beautiful
i had at least 3 shivers up my spine as i read that and my eyes grew moist for some reason.
i have so many words of praise bouncing around in my head i cant think of wat else to put down. favorite favorite favorite FAVORITE!
Reply
:iconwarriorngoddess:
WarriorNGoddess Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2010  Professional Writer
It's a very good story, a very lovely concept. And it fits the painting (or the painting fits it) exceptionally well. Well done.
Reply
:icondeviantdel:
DeviantDel Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2010
Brilliant piece and the closeups show a lot of great detail. I couldn't get the WIP link working though; something I was looking forward to. Maybe it's just my PC. Great piece anyway.
Reply
:iconlinuscat07:
Linuscat07 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2010
A lovely piece of work with a beautifully proportioned female and I admire the way you blended all the various shades of yellow into one unified piece.
Reply
:iconmontalve:
Montalve Featured By Owner May 21, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
really beautiful
both the image and the story :)
Reply
:iconnogen:
nogen Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009
Wow..!!
Reply
:iconelolinon93:
elolinon93 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can't stop myself from staring at this picture. Everything is so beautifully perfect, and the story really adds to the wonderful emotion of this picture. The dove is absolutely amazing<3
In line 4 of your story, you seem to have forgotten the 'y' in 'day':
"...at the end of every da, she would gaze in wonder..."
Or else I have misunderstood something:) Other than that, this is a perfect work of art<3
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much! And cheers for the typo.. I shall make a note to rectify that once i'm done with this comment answering!
Reply
:icondragonfyre51:
Dragonfyre51 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Student
I really love this, beautiful story and beautiful painting. The colors you used are so vivid, they almost compete with each other a little, but it works in the end. I have to say I didn't like this one too much right when I saw it, but when I read the story I fell in love with it :heart: You really captured that feeling, not sure how to describe it, but it really is beautiful through and through :)
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! There's plenty I'd change on this now, if I did it again but I do like the feel of it. Glad the story brought something extra to it too.
Reply
:iconmsasharah:
MsAsharah Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2008  Student Artist
This pic is awesome. You are pretty good in digital art. In traditional too, but I like your digital more :XD:
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Eheh I think you'd be one of the few to say that actually.. people seem to have a bias twoard my traditional stuff. Nice to know my digital stuf has its admirers too.
Reply
:iconmsasharah:
MsAsharah Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2008  Student Artist
Because you have really good trad. and digital drawings so people sometimes choose one style ^^;
Reply
:iconnicholaseddie:
nicholaseddie Featured By Owner May 5, 2008
This is amazing!!!
My day just got a thousand times better once I saw this. Like, it just feels so warm and welcoming and peaceful. To me, it says that everything is going to be okay and to let whatever is bothering you go and be happy enough to float in the clouds.

I'm sorry I really just started rambling for no reason.
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner May 19, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Aw, thanks very much, I appreciate your kind words, and it's pretty much that kind of sentiment. You can always find peace in the sky, at least I do.
Reply
:iconnikkabrooks-cullum:
NikkaBrooks-Cullum Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2008
Simply stunning work.
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconasphixia86:
AsPhiXia86 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2008
gorgeous.... excellent work
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconhadamorgana:
HadaMorgana Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
Wonderful!
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconweirdoqueen:
WeirdoQueen Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2008
... I want that dove to marry me.
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
O.o well now, thats not something I ever expected to hear on this pic!
Reply
:iconweirdoqueen:
WeirdoQueen Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2008
I usually pay attention to smaller items in pictures; for example, in another artist's work, there was a really pretty angel-type dude, but all I looked at was a firefly at the bottom.
Reply
:iconpurplesinger:
purplesinger Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2008
Ummm, excuse me. I never faved this? What??? Let's fix that now. :heart:
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Ahahah thanks m'dear!
Reply
:iconpurplesinger:
purplesinger Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2008
Tee hee. ^^ Anytime! :heart:
Reply
:icongnomeliberator:
GnomeLiberator Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2008
God, this is amazing.
It's so so so beautifully painted.
I really, especially love how you painted the clouds and wings, but the whole thing is incredibly lovely.

<333
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconjezhawk:
Jezhawk Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008  Professional General Artist
Stunning work, and the words are just perfect as well :clap:
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconjezhawk:
Jezhawk Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008  Professional General Artist
you're welcome :nod:
Reply
:iconsheanar:
sheanar Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008
its gorgeous.
i like the effect you used over her genitals, subtle and effective...very feminine and non-grape leafy...
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! And thanks for noticing that particular bit too, I was really happy with how that worked.
Reply
:iconskycladarts:
skycladarts Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2007  Professional General Artist
awesome!!!
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconlyntaylor:
LynTaylor Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2007  Professional Writer
:wave: Hi there! Just a quick note to let you know that you've been featured in my journal [link] :D
Reply
:iconzephyri:
Zephyri Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much!
Reply
:iconlyntaylor:
LynTaylor Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2007  Professional Writer
:D Any time :hug:
Reply
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Submitted on
February 13, 2006
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