Sunday, November 10, 2013

In 2009, I took a beginner's Photoshop course online. It was much tougher than I'd expected, and being the perfectionist that I am, it took me hours to do one project. So, as you can imagine, it took me DAYS to finish my final project. I tweaked and tweaked with my limited skills until I could tweak no more. Below was the result. Who knows? Maybe I can add "aspiring artist" to my list of un-tested and un-verified talents?  :)

The Concept:  A representation of the "Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti

The basic premise of the "Goblin Market" is that goblin merchant men tempt virtuous young maidens with luscious, ripe, and abundant fruit every morning and every evening. However, unbeknowest to the maidens, once they partake of the fruit, they can no longer hear the goblins' cries...and are doomed to pine and waste away from want.

The poem revolves around two sisters - Laura and Lizzie - who are representative of the duality of innocence and desire, strength and weakness, the virtuous lady and the fallen woman, the woman who abides by society's rules and the woman who breaks away from patriarchal suppression, etc.

The "Goblin Market" was quite scandalous for its time (19th Century), as many viewed the poem to be a thinly veiled analogy to sex:  "Then [she] suck'd their fruit globes fair or red: / Sweeter than honey from the rock, / [...] She suck'd and suck'd and suck'd the more / Fruits which that unknown orchard bore; / She suck'd until her lips were sore..."

The poem was also viewed as an analogous discussion of losing one's virginity.  

There are also analogies to the animalistic nature of those who partake of the fruit, the most glaring of which is Laura being likened to a swan (referencing Leda and the Swan), as well as the goblin men possessing the features or qualities of wild beasts.

(I selected Da Vinci's depiction of Leda and the Swan - it's classic and the most G-rated.  If you want the more risque illustrations, go here.  Don't say I didn't warn you.)

My Spin:  The subversive nature of the goblins, symbolized by the dichotomy between surface (land) and sub-surface (water).

Since I'm no professional artist, I couldn't really draw what I wanted.  I was forced to use images I found online, so please take a moment to respect the artists from whom I borrowed many, many beautiful works of art. 

This was my base image.  It's called the Time by Imperioli.  I loved the surreal creativity and serenity of this artwork.  Feeding off of this artist's creative energy, I decided to go with a three-paneled piece.

The left panel consists of the first four lines of the "Goblin Market".  The lines are haphazardly placed to represent the chaotic, down spiraling path of Laura's innocence.  The font is Lansdowne.

The right panel consists of the title of the poem.  I chose Daemonesque because its structure is rigid and fairly straightforward, but it's wrapped up in and decorated with (choked by?) luscious vines and flowers.  This integration of the straight and narrow with the chaotic is very Rossetti Goblinesque.

I added Christina Rossetti's initials in red to represent life force, i.e. the life force of any written work is the author, and the life force of the body is blood.  I also chose red to represent the temptation of the goblins' fruits, which promises life beyond the grayscale.  Further, I chose red to represent the violence of Laura and Lizzie's experience as well as the blood bond between the sisters, which ultimately saves Laura's life.  For the font, I used FantasticPete.

The middle panel consists of my work.  I borrowed images from many, many wonderful artists, including James C. Christensen.  I've incorporated clinging moss, gnome and elf prisoners, baskets of luscious fruit strewn about haphazardly (both inviting and dangerous), goblins hiding in the shadows (waiting for their victim), the temptation of the apple held by the lead goblin (yes, the lead goblin is from the movie, The Dark Crystal - those puppets always freaked me out), etc.

Against the backdrop of the ocean, I embedded an image of Lizzie being attacked by the goblins - it's a very faint but palpable foreshadowing of what's to come.  I also have the "real" Lizzie sitting in the boat, blissfully unaware that Laura is venturing into the underbelly of society to take part in very dark, forbidden deeds.

This post is already way too freaking long, so assuming you even made it this far, I won't go into the different themes of my work or Rossetti's poem.  I'll just leave you with the final product.

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

This City

This city has no soul. No heartbeat.

It pretends to breathe. But it's just a pretty little dead thing.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Oh, Sylvia

"The Heart"
by Alfredo Caceres

Every good story has two versions. Which would you prefer to hear, dear reader?

Sylvia finally found love and...

Sylvia took the scoundrel's beating heart and...

The Lonely Year

Artist Unknown

I was rooted.  All my life, rooted to the ground.
I watched my leaves break off, fly or fall, and leave me.
I watched the birds on my branches, flock and fly, and leave me.
I watched my brothers cut down, uprooted and stolen, and leave me.
I was filled with this unnameable desire, to leave this ground
that felt lonelier and lonelier
every year.

So, every day, I worked my roots out of the ground, little by little.
It took me years, and with every ring that grew around my bark,
the ground released me inch by inch.
I grew taller and older, lonelier and lonelier,
but shook the earth from me, day by day.
Until one day, my roots tore free.

Now, I am free to leave.
I am free to follow my leaves.
I am free to follow the birds.
I am free to wander the earth.

I am free to be rootless.

The Blue House: A True Story

It was the blue 'ouse on the corner, what done it.
I ain't one to tell no stories, but you can ask
Davey and Tam and Ronny, they seen it too.

The night was cold and clammy, like tonight.  That 'ouse was
groanin' something fierce and awful.  I once 'eard my gran groanin' cos
her bones ached, and it sounded like that.  Jest like that.

I don't think the kids 'ad a chance, no they din't.  Davey and Tam and Ronny and
I were lookin' for cats.  The sailors buy 'em to catch the mice on their
fine ships - two pence a piece, even!

And we saw them over the wall, all starin' like. 
They weren't movin' none, just starin' into them dark, dark windows.
Then they went in, one by one, like a line of ants.
I didn't hear nothin' but the groanin' of the 'ouse.

And they were never seen again. 

Their mams cried for weeks, and the men looked for them all
over the town, but no one
ever found them, no' hair nor hide.

But I know it was the blue 'ouse that done it. 
That 'ouse is alive, with its groanin' and grumblin' and old bones creakin'.
You don't believe me?
Go to it when the night is cold and clammy,
but make sure to stand behind the wall!

Look into its windows,
Listen to it talk.
You'll see it.  You'll hear it.
And then you'll know.
Just ask Davey and Tam and Ronny.
They seen it too.
That blue 'ouse on the corner.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Packaging with a little love...

February 14th is looming...  I'm not a huge fan of gift-giving on Valentine's Day, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate wonderful V-Day packaging.  Here are some DIY goodies for you love-stricken folks out there!

Use a straw to make a lovely little arrow.  Pairs well with a plain paper bag!

Use cupcake cups to make faux flowers.

Another arrow, but with a sweet little heart on the tail end.

A box wrapped with your love letter.

Popsicle sticks on a string!  You can personalize them with little love notes.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Round-Up

Things I desperately want...

Bicycle with leather seat and handles.  And that basket...

Wide-wick candles.  Wood tray.

A mug.  That holds cookies.  Genius!

A nesting doll wearing a Burberry coat.

My very own pocket lynx!

A spot of honey with my tea.

Happy Friday, folks!