Another painting in my current series, "Hunter." I believe she may become a recurring character in my apocalyptic world. The lovely primary reference photo was provided by Myron Rogan (@myronrogan), and the model is Darra Sellers (@swishasweetdee).
NOTE: the video has a tiny bit of tribal nudity in one of the reference photos. It's not explicit, and hopefully not offensive to anyone. You may need to turn off safety filters to watch it (I did---it was surprising).
Here is a rough story to go with the painting:
You make your way through the ruined forest, avoiding the charred remains of roots and twigs in an effort to keep your footsteps quiet. You've been traveling for 3 days with no signs of life, but you know better than to allow overconfidence to make you sloppy. The mist and ash in the air are indistinguishable from one another, yet they still don’t provide enough cover to totally conceal you from the eyes of someone with a mind for violence.
So you listen. And you watch. Your weapon is always at the ready, a visible warning you hope will preclude attack. As you near a thicket of gnarled, twisted branches and husks that used to be trees, you notice a faint glow, ghostly and alien in the haze.
You draw close, silent and cautious. A person sits, back to an insubstantial fire, occupied by a task you can’t see. You slowly raise your weapon. This person may have valuable supplies that will replenish your dwindling reserves, and you’ve long since realized that there’s very little room for morality where survival is concerned. Besides, anyone this far from a city is unlikely to share and share alike.
You are startled when the person – a woman, you now realize – turns and looks directly into your eyes. The action is leisurely and unafraid. Her eyes move to your weapon, then back to your own eyes in one slow, unblinking motion. She regards you for a moment longer, then returns to her work. A green light from her left eye trails the movement like a wisp of smoke.
You know in that instant that she heard you coming before you saw the distant glow of her campfire, and had decided that you were not worth the time and energy it would take to dispatch you (little though it may be) before you had emerged from the mist.
You think it best to move on before she changes her mind.
She is the hunter.