The King of Oaks

Denise Weaver Ross

Albuquerque, United States

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Artist's Description

From the original mixed media on paper
40 H x 26 W in
© Denise Weaver Ross, 2013

ABOUT The King of Oaks
The King of Oaks has five layers and is inspired by the Green Man, Horned God, and Raven King legends. It is also homage to my father who imparted to me his enduring love of nature and my grandfather who ran a camp which focused on conserving what is now the Lulu Lake Conservancy District of the Kettle Moraine area of Wisconsin. Thanks to them, many of my best childhood memories include roaming these beautiful oak woods as well as the marsh and lake hidden within.

Layer One –The beginning layer is the the single figure of the king from King of Clubs card.

Layer Two –The next layer adds the oak leaves associated with the Green Man and the turn of seasons as well as the antlers of the Horned God, who symbolizes the divine found in nature.

Layer Three – Layer three brings in the Raven King who appears in Norse legends and who is sometimes associated King Arthur as well. In Native American legends, the raven is a trickster god who also helps the people and brings shape to the world. In New Mexico, my adopted home, the ravens seem to appear in the lower elevations right before winter and they are known to be extremely intelligent. I also included the Redwing Blackbird because of his constant presence in the oak woods I roamed as a child.

Layer Four – In layer four, the face of the Green Man is layered over the King of Clubs. I studied many carvings of the Green Man and attempted to capture the wildness in the eyes and the transformation of the hair and bread into leaves and branches.

Layer Five – The final layer added the K for king and instead of the clubs, I placed the autumn red of the oak leaves.

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