This has been painted for the Fantasy Illustration Library's upcoming "Gods and Goddesses" book published by Michael Publishing in the USA. I chose the Balinese goddess of rice and fertility, Dewi Sri for my contribution. I have depicted her as a kind of cosmic Balinese dancer, her costume being a combination of a Legong dancer with elements of how she is depicted in older Balinese statues. I must emphasise that this is very much a Fantasy painting of her and aficionados of all things Balinese need to cut me some slack on this depiction! The lovely Naomi Wood modeled for this although I substituted her head for a Balinese dancer that I had photographed on location many years ago (sorry Naomi!).
I conceived the design as two basic areas of contrasting colours, red and green and had to resist the temptation many times to introduce other colours into the background although I have linked them by having some oranges in the background and some greens in the figure (influenced by the exotic, somewhat Kitsch paintings of Tretchikoff). The rice padis in the background have been designed and painted in a slightly unrealistic stylised way to emphasise the symbolic content of the picture although anybody familiar with the Balinese landscape will know that it can look like this, particularly in the Sideman area.
She holds a sheaf of rice in her hand as she is usually depicted but I have gone out on a limb a bit by having sheaves of rice in her headdress instead of the customary flowers. Small shrines to Dewi Sri can be seen amongst the padis, a common sight in Bali where she is much revered, rice being so fundamental in Balinese culture.
I intend to show this painting at this year's Illuxcon in October in Reading PA. Oil on linen 21 1/2" x 15". There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.