The Sun King

Denise Weaver Ross

Albuquerque, United States

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Artist's Description

based on original
Mixed media on paper
40 H x 26 W inches
copyright Denise Weaver Ross, 2014

The inspiration for this painting was my youngest son, Nicholas, who nearly died shortly after birth due to a virus we both caught and he spent 30 days in the ICU. The doctors told us it was up to his will to live —and he lived. His father used to call him “the boy who lived” when we were reading the Harry Potter series together, and he still has that resilient never-give-up attitude.


Layer One – The background layer is a sketch of a petroglyph from Chaco Canyon where we camped with friends around 2003. Chaco is of the truly magical places in the world and I hope that the fracking proposed in the area doesn’t take place because it would be a true loss. The petroglyph has a figure wearing a hat, carrying a spear, with the sun behind it and a spiral to the right. It also made me think of the spiral sun symbol which I placed under the Ks in the opposing corners..

Layer Two – Layer three is from the Sun card from the Rarot, which has always made me think of my son as a toddler —a truly uncontainable free spirit. In this layer, I replaced the face of the sun with the Vergina Sun, which was used widely in Greek and Macedonian art and some believe it has a direct tie with the family of Alexander the Great.

Layer Three – Layer three is the King of Spades card who traditionally was King David, who was also a free spirited youth. I like the juxtaposition of the stern-faced king to the wild youth.


The title of the painting and the poem I am working on for the Star Suit book of art and poetry is inspired by Woodsworth’s famous poem.

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;

So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!

The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

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