Mother Universe

Every culture has their own creation story. Some cultures even have multiple stories, and most of them are full of beautiful imagery. I had been mulling around the idea of illustration creation stories for sometime when I ran across this article at the New York Times. It describes an atheist who was going through a 12 step program and needed a higher power to pray to. Since he didn't believe in a higher power, he invented an image of a black woman whose afro reached to the edges of the universe. It wasn't exactly a creation story, but it was an image I needed to illustrate. Here's a quick look at the process.

mother universe sketch

Mother Universe began with a quick sketch.

mother universe 1

When I was happy with the composition, I enlarged the image and cut her silhouette from a sheet of painted tissue paper.

mother universe 2

Then glued her silhouette onto a board.

mother universe 3

I began adding details with acrylic paint, first blocking out basic shapes...

mother universe 4

Then slowly building up layers and colors. Eventually all those layers led to this final image.

mother universe sm

It's so easy to get comfortable with our own image of creation, our own image of God. Sometimes it's good to remember that God doesn't look like Michelangelo's old white man.


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