top of page

Becky Byrd


You're somewhere in Egypt 30 BC. You're a soldier who has just survived the all-important Battle of Actium. Your body is broken and your weary eyes cannot be trusted, but you convince yourself what you are seeing in the darkness of night is real. You're drawn to a faint light emanating from a grand and ominous marble structure in the middle of the barren desert. With a sense of faith you walk between the giant marble entrance pillars and discover what initially appeared to be a royal tomb has proven to be a private den of worship. Your crippled carcass and debilitated mind are suddenly revitalized with a powerful sense of clarity and divine energy--but you're still not convinced what you're witnessing is a figment of your strained soul. From the two incense burners the streams of wispy smoke join together to form what appears to be a human figure. Within a dozen mesmerizing minutes the apparition manifests itself into the body of a woman. A beautiful woman whose magnificent presence makes you forget that you have legs to support your body. You collapse at her feet. You have a desire to touch her painted toe although better judgment prevents you from doing so. You prohibit yourself from even exhaling in this ethereal sanctum in fear of banishing this awesome illusion with the rank vapors of your blundered organs. With a slow intensity, she raises her arms to reveal a pair of majestic wings that span the entire width of the musky sanctuary. You fall back and cover your mouth to stifle the gasp that's trying to escape. You're overwhelmed with emotion and confusion and the tears that suddenly well up in your eyes begin to distort this extraordinary vision. With your blood-encrusted sleeve you fervently attempt to restore your vision. The more you try to wash free your acrid tears, the dimmer your surroundings become. Within moments the hieroglyphics that covered the golden walls have become blurred smudges that fade into a black emptiness like fleeing ghosts. The opulent palace of satins and silks and other treasures from worlds unknown soon disappears. And so does the winged mirage of blessed wonder. As you begin to sleep, you hold on to her vision. You hold onto her with a strength you've never wielded in any battle.


And to think, I sat down just to write about how much I enjoyed working with Becky on her portrait. LOL. Well it was definitely her vision and art direction that inspired those words out of me. She knew what she wanted and I tried my best to visually convey those things--down to the emblem on the small pyramid that spells out her name. We both knew the art should try to manifest an essence that would touch many a soul. I'm happy with the results. More importantly I'm happy to know her portrait and her placement in the Toil Gallery signifies something incredible in her life.


Choosing September to post my portrait is the best possible choice you could have made. September 2010 is pretty much the start of my brand new life. December 2008 was the end of my twenty year long job. I was married for almost that long and my divorce was final in February 2010. School ends now, in August 2010. It's time for ME now. My Career. My Home. My Life. That I get to start this new phase in the guise of the powerful goddess, Isis, just makes me smile. I can create the life that my soul has desired. That it's in my power, is clear. And, thanks to you, everyone else can see it, too.


Les, thanks for your friendship and your great talent.


BEC, if King Tutankhamun had entertained the idea that someone like you might come and pay him a visit in his tomb every so often, I'm sure we would have found him in his sarcophagus with a huge smile. Just like I'm smiling knowing I've made a life-long friend in you (as well as a life-long partner in Scrabble). 


Hugs and thanks for the great and inspiring concept.



bottom of page