This is a return to a post I wrote 2 years ago, when I launched the series I painted called On Wings of Eagles. I thought it was something I could revisit following many people's challenges with the pandemic. This journey has been one that has been far more personal than just a series of paintings. Maybe you can relate.
In 1998 when a friend of mine called Andy asked me to listen to some music he had composed called 'On Wings of Eagles.'
It was based on the bible verse from Isaiah 40:31 which says 'Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.'
He asked me to take a listen and see if I had any pictures from it.
I listened to the music and immediately had visions of pictures of the Eagle in 7 stages. I went back to Andy and shared with him what I saw and he smiled to say, 'That's right!' I sketched these out in my sketchbook making notes about what I had seen.
I didn't want to stop at the idea stage, but I wanted to get these ideas created. Eagles and clouds weren't something I had any experience in drawing and painting so I started looking for some inspiration from different things I could find starting with the clouds...
I got some help from the photocopier and some tracing paper as these eagles weren't something I could draw freehand!
I was gathering ideas on how to put these things together and created lots of sketches developing the pictures I could see.
I didn't have any reference material that corresponded with what my images were so I put together a number of sketches that would help me put things all together.
Then I got started. The first image was the most dramatic and graphic - it came alive even more than I had seen it in my mind's eye when I painted the picture.
I then started picture number 2. But these pictures were much harder than I thought they'd be to paint - not only were they difficult technically, but personally too as they were giving images for struggles I was going through in my personal life. I'd gone through a very hard journey of health problems with M.E., Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and although I was much better than I had been, I was certainly far from being in full health.
When I talk to those suffering with long Covid, I can relate to many of the symptoms – feeling tired all the time, feeling low emotionally, battling with depressing throughts, feeling fragile, and exhausted after even a small amount of activity. For me with M.E. it was a very hard journey to walk through, and one that took many years of come out of. Fortunately for some I talk to about their symptoms of long Covid, these symptoms may only last a few weeks, for others they may last for several months, but for a few this seems to be something that keeps lingering on and on. Perhaps this post can give you some encouragement.
So the series of paintings was far more than just a project, it was a personal journey that I was on. I started on number 3 but then decided to change tack...
I decided to start at the other end of the journey and I painted number 7. This started out with a picture that I wasn't happy with so started to recreate it from there. Here is the first draft:
But this wasn't where it ended up so I reworked it - the final one is in the video version.
I went from there to do the 6th picture too, the Soaring Eagle. This one was the easiest of the lot!
This was as far as I got for many years. Things happened with my life and I ended up shelving the series.
Then in 2015 I decided to get painting them again so I went on to finish picture 3 and do 4 and 5 too. I shared the pictures with a friend of mine called Jeremy and he had a whole series of words to add to the pictures that enhanced what I was seeing. This then got shelved for another few years.
Then in 2020 I made the final push to photograph the series and put it all into a movie. Here are the final images and I've added the images from the final 2 in the series onto my products too. https://amanyadesign.com/collections/eagles
For those of you out there who are in the midst of long Covid or other long term problems, I do hope this will be an encouragement to you of hope ahead. Of strength and health returning and light shining in the midst of the darkness. I look back at the worst time when I was sleeping 12-14 hours every night and 3-4 hours every day, I remember feeling like I was sleeping my life away! Now, I am stronger physically than I have ever been and enjoy a full, active life so the challenges didn't last forever :-)
At last the vision is complete - I hope you like it!
Here you go, have a look...