Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Bell

After all my grousing about the juxtaposition of Christian themes with Pagan(ish) folklore, The Bell - refreshingly - hails nature itself as sublime.

Go figure why I drew what I did.
I freakin hate monkeys.

Ugly monkeys sat high in the branches and clenched their teeth.
Watercolor on watercolor paper.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Darning Needle OR The Remarkable Rocket

Today, I'm cheating a little bit.

On the same day that I read The Darning Needle, I'd just happened to have re-read Oscar Wilde's The Remarkable Rocket (or rather, listened to Stephen Fry's delicious reading of it). I found it rather remarkable indeed how similar the two stories were. And, seeing how The Darning Needle was remarkably short (and devoid of any scenes that particularly inspired me) I've done a little watercolor sketch from The Remarkable Rocket instead. It had a frog in it; how could I resist?

"... I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments."

Watercolor on paper.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Mother Elderberry

Mother Elderberry is a charming little tale about Memory. The author's mention of a string of children, the youngest of which is named Hans Christian, set me wondering whether this was a reference to his own life. Alas, some little research revealed that Mr. Andersen was an only child who, I believe, died without ever fathering any children of his own. I suppose I'm always stretching to find a little something to say about these stories, but sometimes there is nothing to do but to give you the drawing.

"There it is! Be careful. It is in the teapot."

Graphite on Moleskine.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Snow Queen: Finale

Seventh Story:
Of the Palace of the Snow Queen and What Happened There At Last
And so, after a year's time, my seventh and final illustration for Andersen's Snow Queen makes an appearance.
And in rather tiny proportions, at that!
Furthermore, for the first time in quite a while, I have some commentary about the story itself which I should like to insert just here:
What presents itself as an upright, Christian cautionary tale against the evils of reason (Reason being the vast mirror of the Snow Queen, a particle of which has become lodged in little Kay's eyeball, making him behave rather badly), proceeds to have the children fortified for their journey home by the means of most unholy acts of communion with a reindeer.

"He had brought another young reindeer with him and her udder was bursting with milk. The two children drank from it and the reindeer kissed them."
...and he had brought another young reindeer with him, whose udders were full, and the children drank her warm milk and kissed her on the mouth.

Of course, it is just a fairy story, after all. Snow Queens, ice monsters, and witches (having appeared in previous chapters) have no more place in a Christian parable than a small boy suckling at the engorged teat of a young reindeer. But then, what place do your values have in such a story either, Mr. Andersen?
Ah well. 'Til next time, kids; when I shall resume with Mother Elderberry.

* By the by, this little drawing was meant to be a rough sketch, but I took a liking to it and couldn't be buggered to do it over, so it measures <2" across.