I painted a skull

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I find skulls intriguing. All soft curves and hard angles, like some alien organic armor for some of the most important features of the human being: the eyes, the ears, the mouth, the brain. 

But what do skulls mean to most of us? Why would I chose to paint a skull into my painting?
Cycle of Life. Acrylic + Ink on gesso'ed gallery wrapped canvas, 18x24 inches. Work in Progress. 
I wished to capture the relationship between the two opposites of our experience: To be, and not to be.

Once we learn not to identify with our bodies, we awaken to find that what is the end of this earthly journey, is only the beginning of a new and yet unknown journey. 

The numbers of the clock that are chiseled into the skull stand for the self-imposed structures that we bind ourselves with; in the end, even those marks fades away. 
The tree ties it all together, it emerges from life and yet it supports it. I painted it as being old yet bearing blossoms, I wanted the tree to symbolize the cycle of life.

The third eye of the skull symbolizes the wisdom of existence which can be found at the root of the cycle of life.

More than anything I wanted to show the beauty of life and death; not as it is often portrayed, as something positive versus something negative, but rather as something magnificently intertwined!
With my paints and brushes I long to sing an ode to the journey that we all make, and honor the gate of the unknown into the next journey we all take.

It is still a work in progress, but I really like where it is going. I wanted to build up a black and white under-painting and then introduce colors to it, but now that I see it in black and white, I really like the watercolor feel it emanates, how light it appears.

I would love hear your thoughts. Should I stick with the black and white approach, or should I introduce some colors to it?

Please take a moment and let me know what you think. It would really make my day!
Takeaway Thought

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you'll ever have. 
Shine on, you crazy diamond!
Much love!