I’d like to welcome author, artist and humanitarian Siren back with us to talk about her new book “The Seven Virtues”. Siren is well-known within the community and her beautiful work speaks for itself. I have always said that Siren captures Michael’s aura and am a big fan. Please view my previous interview about her book “Art and Soul: A Spiritual Journey” here and my review of the book here . I think everyone can probably notice from my logo that Siren was the one that painted and designed it and am so grateful for her talents.
Welcome back Siren, I would like first to thank you for speaking with SGAA and to let you know that “The Seven Virtues” and “Art and Soul: A Spiritual Tribute” is sitting by my bedside table so I can read and reread it.
Siren: I’m humbled and so happy to hear that. Thank you.
Why did you create this second book and how did you come up with the idea?
Siren: Actually, “The Seven Virtues” evolved on it’s own, and was not created with the initial intent of becoming a book. It began with a gift of seven blank canvases, given to me by a friend. For some reason I felt that because they came together, that they should remain that way, and decided to use them to do a grouping of related paintings. As they were being created, I mused about what to title the series, when the concept of the seven virtues came to mind. I really had no idea what the seven virtues were so I had to research them, which is when I discovered their meanings (courtesy Wikipedia) and how profoundly they mirrored the qualities that Michael demonstrated in his own life. I felt like I was reading his biography.
How long did you spend on “The Seven Virtues”, from inception to publishing?
Siren: It’s hard to say… I invest a huge amount of hours into my paintings. Once I start one I am pretty committed to it… I basically devote all my time to it until it’s complete. To do seven at once was quite an undertaking. I’d guess the paintings took over 200 hours in total to complete. It felt good when they were finally finished. The book itself came together more quickly of course, as it was just a matter of layout and design. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so as not to detract from the artwork, but you will notice the sketch outline for each painting is included as a backdrop behind the definitions. The intent is to suggest how the creation of a painting in it’s commitment, faith, and sacrifice, is much like the development of the soul, and that enlightenment and true beauty are the result of an evolution that materializes from within.
I love how you have used Michael’s “Scream” look for each virtue but each picture has MJ with different, beautiful expressions. Why did you choose “Scream”?
Siren: There is something about “Scream” that pulls me. It’s very expressive, and somehow spiritual… and of course Michael is extremely beautiful. His energy is so palpable and his lines have such fluidity and softness. I find it irresistible.
When I read through the book, Michael’s expressions match exactly what the virtue is, I commend you for getting it perfect. Was that a difficult thing to do?
Siren: I had already decided upon and sketched the outline of all seven images before I discovered the seven virtues, so the fact that the definitions expressed themselves within the paintings was the work of something other than myself. Personally, I think that art is essentially a Divine expression, and that is ultimately what I believe is responsible for mine. I don’t really understand how emotion becomes visible in art. That is the element that intrigues and excites me the most – that simply connecting with the energy of what one is creating causes it to take form within the work. I love how Michael describes this in his poem “God” from Dancing The Dream: “My songs and dances are outlines for Him to come in and fill. I hold out the form, She puts in the sweetness.” What a romantic way to explain the process. It’s what it feels like for me exactly.
I know that you constantly sell your artwork and now books on your website but can you tell us where most of the profits go?
Siren: Well up until now I have been selecting different charities quarterly. I love to support organizations within the fan community, but currently I am working on a charitable project of my own which will ultimately become the direction of my future proceeds. I will be revealing the details of it soon. It’s something very close to my heart, and Michael’s too, so I am excited about it.
That sounds wonderful, and can’t wait to hear more about it when you reveal your new idea.
How has Michael inspired you in your artwork?
Siren: Wow… that’s a book all by itself.
Michael is the reason I paint. He is my inspiration for everything. To me, he is the completeness of what we all should aspire to be. Michael made enormous sacrifices with the pure intent of changing the world through Love and Creativity. His example is meant to inspire us to seek, to believe, and to become. I want to follow that example in every way possible… including devotion, expansion, authenticity, and the pursuit of perfection in my artwork, and in everything that I do. I am indebted and extremely grateful to him. He changed my life.
You have decided to publish this book in different sizes, why did you take this approach?
Siren: Ideally, the book should be large format, because it really is about the paintings (unlike my first book, which is intended to be a presentation of my journey), but unfortunately my publishing costs for “The Seven Virtues” is very high, and so the price has had to reflect that. I decided to make it available in a smaller size so that it would be more accessible.
Siren: I wanted the cover to have a serenity and softness to it that would reflect the nature of the content, yet still make a statement. The crown is representative of more than the obvious “King Of Pop”, but is intended to symbolize what I view as Michael’s greater position on our planet as both a leader and protector of humanity. It’s what I believe he was here for, and certainly how he lived. I wanted to acknowledge that. It’s what “The Seven Virtues” is all about.
Well, I urge everyone to go out and buy Siren’s book(s), they are wonderful gifts and perfect not only for MJ fans but for anyone who loves great art. Siren truly is a beautiful spirit. Thank you Siren once again for speaking with me.
Siren: Thank you so much for inviting me to talk about my art with you. I am so grateful for your time and interest. Major LOVE.