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Bright Eyes by swandog Bright Eyes by swandog
(Edit: Oh wow!! :D Thank you so much for the DD feature, `savagebinn! :aww: :faint: And thanks to all the rest of you for your faves and comments; I deeply appreciate every one of them! :heart: :love:)

My finished submission to the "Symphonies in Fur Minor" Music Portfolio, in which various artists get to illustrate songs using anthro characters. Many awesome artists participated in this folio; 33 of them in total! The CDs have a really neat and fun way of viewing all the artwork as well. There were only 300 of these CDs printed, and all my copies have been spoken for, but perhaps some of the other artists involved may still have a few for sale. My chosen song was "Bright Eyes", sung by Art Garfunkel (written by Mike Batt), which was featured in the Watership Down movie, and is among my top 5 favorite songs. The movie is likewise among my top 5 favorite animated movies and the book IS my all-time fave book, so I figured it was time to pay it the homage it deserves. :)

This image features the rabbit deity triptych, with the central char being the Black Rabbit of Inlé, patiently waiting to harvest the souls of the warren rabbits; he is not evil, but like the Angel of Death, is only doing his job. He wears a necklace of both predators' teeth and claws and a rabbit's skull and vertebrĉ, and has markings resembling moon phases. The stylized sun with the rabbit's eye is Frith, giving life and warmth to all creatures; his rays are made to resemble both tree roots and flames. And the rabbit hero El-ahrairah is the star constellation, guarding and inspiring his beloved progeny. The stylized clouds are creeping fog, and the hill in background is the real Watership Down hill. The dying rabbit (in the movie, it was Hazel-rah, but here it's just a generic rabbit) is in a yin-yang symbol because it's hovering between life and death, light and darkness, like the sky surrounding the scene. The other rabbits are watchful of what they can see and hear, feeling relatively safe and content as long as they have each other (like the little one dreaming), and fearful of the death and darkness they know they all must face. They ready themselves for that long journey and yet never lose hope or faith in life, which they ever struggle to cling to.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

"Is it a kind of dream,
Floating out on the tide,
Following the river of death downstream?
Oh, is it a dream?

There's a fog along the horizon,
A strange glow in the sky.
And nobody seems to know where you go.
And what does it mean?
Oh, is it a dream?

Bright eyes,
Burning like fire.
Bright eyes,
How can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes.

Is it a kind of shadow,
Reaching into the night,
Wandering over the hills unseen?
Or is it a dream?

There's a high wind in the trees,
A cold sound in the air.
And nobody ever knows when you go.
And where do you start,
Oh, into the dark?

Bright eyes,
Burning like fire.
Bright eyes,
How can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes."


You can listen to it (and watch clips of the movie) here: [link] or [link]

Refs: [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] and [link]
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Daily Deviation

Given 2009-03-19
Bright Eyes by ~swandog is a powerful piece with a great concept. Full of symbolism and beautifully balanced, this tribute to a classic novel is truly a standout in this artists gallery. ( Featured by savagebinn )
:iconquazarshark:
QuazarShark Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014
Huh I've looked through your gallery a few times over the years, but somehow never saw this.
This must be such old hat to you artistically at this point, but it's still a really wonderful thing to find!
Reply
:iconjakeukalane:
Jakeukalane Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is so awesome I love it so much, I have no words... :heart:
Reply
:icondragonheartluver:
DragonHeartLuver Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013  Student Artist
You've Been featured in my "HONORARY DEVIATION FEATURE" ^^ :hug: [link]
Reply
:icononepurpleshoe:
OnePurpleShoe Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I favorited this piece years before I read the book. Now that I have, I feel like I can appreciate it that much more. You've really captured the spirit of the story.
Reply
:iconrevitytsiivet:
RevitytSiivet Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, this is amazing! You really have determined all of the tinyest details. Great! Watership Down Was (and still is) one of my childhoods favorite movies. (:
Reply
:iconbakalobo:
bakalobo Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. I knew a lot of thought went into this before i read the description, but every inch of it seems to have significant meaning. I don't think i've ever attempted a piece with nearly this much ... ... symbolism. Also my favorite book!
Reply
:iconthetaoengine:
TheTaoEngine Featured By Owner May 9, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
epic illustration of such an emotionally charged book. :)
Reply
:iconsaraaluna:
SaraaLuna Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The Black Rabbit indeed. Only doing his job; trying to keep nature balanced, and continuing the cycle of life and death for the rabbits, Hazel-rah included (though you did say the one in the middle wasn't him.) I love the colored pencil/marker coloring, and this is just composed so well. :heart:
Reply
:iconsmeagolisme:
smeagolisme Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
GREAT JOB!...FAVE!
Reply
:iconkevynne:
kevynne Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
oh i see thanks for the info anyways awesome artwork
Reply
:iconkevynne:
kevynne Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
am just asking due to the style and art may i ask are they aboriginal or ancient australian or something just asking
Reply
:iconswandog:
swandog Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm inspired by many types of iconographic-style art (Aboriginal, Byzantine, Art Nouveau, Celtic/Norse knotwork, Oriental, Native American, African, batik, medieval tapestries, etc.), but this image wasn't based on any particular one. :)
Reply
:iconmrcheckpoint:
MrCheckpoint Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
I actually just watched watership down the other night along with plauge dogs im liking the pic
Reply
:iconbatmanwithbunnyears:
BatmanWithBunnyEars Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2011   General Artist
It's striking how the large rabbit looks evil at first, but he reveals his harmlessness by gently surrounding the bunnies with how hands. He awaits their souls, but he does not pursue. The detail and the symbolism are both stunning.
Reply
:iconladyfiszi:
LadyFiszi Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Absolutely awesomeness.
Reply
:iconmeatloaf7593:
meatloaf7593 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011
May I use this as a tattoo?
Reply
:iconswandog:
swandog Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Sure, if you'll link back to this image if you post a picture of the finished tattoo to your gallery here (or to other sites). :)
Reply
:iconmeatloaf7593:
meatloaf7593 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011
Absolutely, I love your art, and I'm amazed that you have been on DA for so long.
Reply
:iconswandog:
swandog Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
:aww: :heart:
Reply
:iconbunnierabbot0219:
bunnierabbot0219 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2011
cool
Reply
:iconjenetikitty:
Jenetikitty Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2011
This is.... utterly beautiful.
Reply
:iconcarolinethefox:
CarolineTheFox Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
This is stunning! :D
Reply
:icontheshadesofnite:
theshadesofnite Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011
wow
Reply
:icon23faust:
23Faust Featured By Owner May 17, 2011
wow :D this is amazing!
Reply
:iconponchitta:
Ponchitta Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011
my goodness, its such a remarkable picture! The sense of it, the power of it, immense power!
While I was watching at this picture it came to my mind that another music would also reflect the meaning of this amazing art: "Last snow was falling". This link has it on youtube, listen to it if you have free time: [link]
Again outstanding art!!!
Reply
:iconbluestar252:
bluestar252 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011
Super!!!
Reply
:iconallisunyin:
AllisunYin Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011
This guy looks like he could be the dad to my characters Yin Yin and Yang
Reply
:iconflippythesoldierbear:
FlippyTheSoldierBear Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011
good movie
Reply
:iconlucky-the-nightwolf:
Lucky-the-nightwolf Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2011   Digital Artist
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF- i hate that i love that movie
Reply
:iconpsycho666x666:
Psycho666x666 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2011
as a major lover of Watership Down (its my favorite book) i must say, this art work is absolutely gorgeous!
Reply
:iconmangafa20:
mangafa20 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow awsome i like a very great artwork and how did you do this
Reply
:iconginga-ninga1994:
Ginga-Ninga1994 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
AWSOME
Reply
:iconwerewolfsfan:
werewolfsfan Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
Here via the link from The Illustrated Word. This is a GREAT entry! You've covered it all. Stunning artwork, a full explanation of the legends and symbolism plus bonus links! Wow!
Reply
:iconmefily:
Mefily Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011
This rabbit scares me! =)
Reply
:iconladyanya-chan:
LadyAnya-chan Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011
Stunning. No words can describe how powerful and moving this piece is.
Reply
:iconmjnseifer:
MJNSEIFER Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
I know I've already commented on this, but I just thought I'd say, that I have the radio on, and they are interviewing Mike, and he's just described the making of this song. It's playing now.
Reply
:iconwarman546:
warman546 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
EPIC
Reply
:iconanjiezombie:
AnjieZombie Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I remember that I cried when I saw Watership Down. But in my country its called bunnymountain, lol. what a silly name.
Reply
:iconsashaarcain:
SashaArcain Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2010
Thats really fantastic
Reply
:iconmoryow:
Moryow Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010
This is so incredible, I can't stop staring at it. I LOVE watership down!
Reply
:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
This music is always capable of almost making me burst into tears. Its so porfound and sad :(
Reply
:iconorchidrex:
OrchidRex Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010
Aaagh! This is so cool! Watership Down is one of my favorite books. I love how you drew the Black Rabbit.
Reply
:icondombihugi:
DombiHugi Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing concept and art!:love:
Reply
:icondoogoo314:
DooGoo314 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
WHOA, this is just....Amazing!
Reply
:iconlunalight:
Lunalight Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its wonderful may he watch over all the bunny souls
Reply
:iconjimmuu:
Jimmuu Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Cool :3
Reply
:iconoukami-sugo:
Oukami-SuGo Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool! =)
Reply
:icondrawingforaliving:
Drawingforaliving Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I watched Watership Down not too long ago(only a few weeks ago).I like that movie,even if it is a tad disturbing in some parts.:XD:
Reply
:iconnoddi:
Noddi Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2010
Somehow this reminds me of the fine art of Magic The Gathering -cards. Had to favorite! :)
I love the theme.
Reply
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