I was inspired by Dieudonné Sana Wambeti’s environmentally conscious art. There were three pieces that inspired different aspects of the angel.
This painting inspired the dress. I liked how he reflected the flag of the Central African Republic not only on the tie but on the steps… and I loved the drops of blood. I really wnated to express how this country has been “bleeding’ from its unrelenting civil war. The angel’s half hijab is also a way to express this war that even though is mostly over the resources is tainted by the religions of both sides: Muslim and Christianity.
This painting inspired the portal and ground where the angel stands. I tried my best to “copy” his style. I also liked the sort of holes on the beautiful grass… that also symbolizes the destruction of the environment.
This last painting by Dieudonné inspired the wings and the face of the angel. I absolutely loved the lush rainforest look of her shirt and her beautiful face.
Here is the entire process.
At the beginning I thought to use the stone wall in the first painting until I have it up for the leafy canopy portal. I originally thought to paint the dark backgrounds in acrylics (left photo below) and paint the leaves with watercolors, but when I practiced I noticed that just like plastic it repelled the watercolor so I decided to do it all in watercolors, but very thick almost with the consistency of goache paint (right photo below.)
I admire this painters leaf skill! It was so hard to paint so many leaves!
And notice the porta; transition in my painting… it is rather rough compared to Dieudonné. I think if I had to do it again I would place that hard cave/portal line further back so I could transition to leaves better like he does:
Notice the bird? I thought of placing a peace dove above the angel too, but I ran out of space. One thing I did was create sort of a gradient going from green to gray in the leaves towards the bottom. I did this to represent the dying of nature in this country… and in the world in general because of the thoughtless exploitation of the land. Well it is not really thoughtless… it is full of money and greed thoughts I suppose.
And here is my final piece:
In overall I am very happy with this angel… I think it captured the essence of the artist really well. Probably one of the best I’ve done in that respect! ^ ^
And with this angel I say goodbye to the Centreal African Republic for now. All the best!