Entries in twins (21)
Digital illustration & collage.
Will possibly discuss this later....need to sleep x
Later: I will ramble, as always. I wanted to merge the fairy tale theme with alchemy. 'The Storytellers' concerns transition, which has kind of become the main theme of my work in recent months; an ongoing process of change, renewal, metamorphosis. Sometimes something has to be brought to an abrupt end to be able to begin again, to become revitalised. The dome, scissors and playing card represent the sensation of feeling trapped (by fate, circumstance, domesticity, whatever you wish) whilst the egg, heart and cosmic surroundings promise hope and liberation........ Because that potential is always there, in the heart/art and mind, however unyeilding our circumstances may seem.
And even later: Having thought a little more about this following a comment over at flickr, I also want to add that the symbols within my images almost always concern my own life and dreams, my memories (or loss of) or desires. Scissors and blood would generally represent a cutting of ties, or an ending of some sort, never actual violence. In this case, the storytellers have the potential to escape the apparent safety of their 'dome', whilst the egg kind of symbolises freedom and new beginnings. So let's see if they have the guts to fly!
The playing cards always represent something very personal to me. They are either the seven of spades or the seven of hearts, and work as polar opposites. I am also - as may be obvious by now - extremely fascinated by the writings of C. Jung and Marie Louise Von Franz, especially her interpretations of fairytales. In this sense the seven of spades connects to the what lies hidden, unconscious, or concerning dreams. The seven of hearts relates to what has become conscious, emotional content and clarity.
I hope that this doesn't just read like a pile of fanciful claptrap, because I am not sure of any other way to describe the meaning of my images! x
Digital painting/illustration with collage + photo textures.
Another remake, this time from 2007, originally titled The Magician's Daughters.
Twins and their tricks, and not a playing card in sight. Most odd! x
Digital painting and photo textures.
For the Specters and Dreams series.
Some ghosts return only to ensure that they are not forgotten.
Friends, forever ver.1
Friends, forever ver.2
Digital illustration. I couldn't decide between versions so opted to keep both. The less saturated image feels somewhat quieter, more melancholy. This is actually a 'remake' of an older image, although I never quite considered the older version to be complete. I feel really odd because I didn't include the customary playing card symbol to the image.....whatever must this mean!?
Friends, forever? Depends upon how you choose to interperet it. I mean, imagine being permanently, physically connected to another individual in this way, whether they were a twin, a friend or even a stranger to you. I wonder about the life they might lead, for 'lives' in the plural would be difficult to imagine. However, I have chosen to take the optimistic view and should prefer to imagine them to be almost smugly inclusive of one another, perhaps even covetous of the apprehension/unease they inspire. Question: how do they go about getting a trim? And one more thing: what would happen if somebody dared to sever their bond? I dread to think.
The style and tones remind me of the old Holly Hobbie illustrations from my childhood.
Just musings today. I am working on three separate new images at the moment: faces and situations which you are already familiar with, if you have followed my work for a while. Sometimes I receive emails asking about the characters in my art, about why they are most always pale, ethereal, overly pretty girls of an indeterminate age, and so on. And sometimes I wonder about this myself, because I have never really been able to predict beforehand just what my characters are 'up to'.....so I will try to explain...
I'm not sure, perhaps it might require more skill to create less homogenous looking faces? I suspect this is the truth, except I also think that my characters have taken on a sort of life of their own, and have come to represent a certain something which most always lies beneath. Basically, I am often more concerned with the emotional content of the image than the mundane prettiness of my characters. And their faces have simply come to represent what is most familiar to me, something which I have most likely carried with me since childhood: an impression, a reflection, a memory of old stories and dreams. I am also pale, and blonde, so I dare say there is a small reference to childhood myself, as well, as far as 'colouring' goes. Perhaps, after all, there is only one solitary character hiding behind all of them, a sort of transparent, ghostly being who can only take on a small number of disguises before she exhausts herself. Perhaps, like my digital skill, she cannot fully materialize. But it's alright, we have patience!
The old fairy tales are still my greatest influence, and the girls are often a manifestation of an idea inspired by them. In a sense, the girls are like a blank canvas which gives form to the ideas, the symbols which surround them. And the symbols are often more important to me, personally, than the characters. This is why I am constantly drawn to the somnambulist theme: they are concerned with something larger which moves us, something just outside of our physical control. Sleep brings them closer to the unconscious (and I am still using Jungian symbols in my art), to what we might collectively refer to as the other side. It is the closest that I can get to what moves me outside of poetry and film...and the films in my head are led by music, never dialogue. The girls in the image above are still quite literally sleeping. They have not been invested with personality as yet, and maybe they never shall. They are nowhere near technically complete, yet their hearts are still beating, and their dreams are vivid with potential. At this stage, technically speaking, I often wait for the character to 'tell me' what surrounds them, what they are thinking, feeling, etc. Frustratingly, I can never actually design the outcome beforehand. So many of my ideas never come to fruition because the characters simply won't join in.
They aren't supposed to imitate reality as much as they are meant to suggest something just outside of it. They exist neither in the land of the living nor the realms of the dead.Inaccessible, they are a law unto themselves, concerned only with themselves and the mysteries of nature and dreams. They cannot be wounded or hurt like mortal children, which strengthens yet distances them simultaneously. My artist friend Kim has occasionally remarked that there is something uncanny, unsettling about an overly pretty child (in reference to my work), and this is kind of the point. What initially stikes us as human, approachable, even cute, might not be all that it seems.
Digital painting and collage.
For the Specters and Dreams series.
Will write more later!
And later: The images were inspired by a fictitious portrayal of the young life and conflicting nature of Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. I have recently finished reading a deeply moving story concerning her (fictional) life at court, her marriage to the king, and her subsequent downfall - a very beautifully written book which I was delighted to be able to create several illustrations for (I will be able to give a clearer description and details about its release soon!).
These images represent Katherine's dual nature, or her conflicting emotions as a lover and a queen. The Katherine to the left symbolizes her integrity, tenderness, her emotions, whilst the Katherine to the right enjoys the distractions of merriment, dancing, feasting, weaving intricate webs of mystery around herself, and indulging the attentions of her admirers. Personally I am quite taken with both sides to Katherine. Although my images are not entirely descriptive of Tudor fashions, I simply wanted to create my own impression through my own working style to represent her. The stain around her neck in the first image is supposed to suggest her future, her fate, whilst also alluding to her love of rubies and luxurious jewellery. Here she amuses herself with kittens instead of her beloved dog, holding onto her precious letters to Thomas Culpeper (her secret lover), wearing the key to her heart as a brooch, and her frock adorned with fresh roses, which harks back to Henry's pet name for her 'a rose without a thorn'.
The ravens/black birds are concerned with the Katherine on the right. Her fate in the balance once more.
And concerning the title - a word which really resonated with me whilst reading the story. Marchpane, (the old English word for marzipan) consisting of almonds, sugar and rose water was a luxurious component of medieval cuisine. I should love to create my own now, with gilded quatrefoils around a crowned Tudor rose! Easy peasy;)