My New Year’s resolution wayyyy back in January was to show more of my art. As with most New Year’s resolutions, I am having a pretty mixed record with that, but at least I have made a great deal more art, and I even had a couple of small local shows. Anyway, to get back on track, I thought I would show you a piece from a big exciting project I have been working on. I have been making an ornate & intricate art toy: this is one of the illustrations that goes with it.
I didn’t scan or format this properly. As you can see it’s just lying on my bedspread (I think my cat is just off screen waiting to pounce up and down on it). However it should interest you because it has a surprising number of Ferrebeekeeper themes which got included by accident because they are always on my mind. A galleon is cutting through the azure waters off of some colonial trading post (probably in Indonesia, though this is really a fantasy piece, and it is hard to say anything for certain). The European ship is passing a Chinese junk. Both craft are menaced by a passing colossal squid as an oarfish undulates decoratively in the background.
The principle drama of the composition comes from a volcanic eruption which threatens the trading colony. The spume of lava and dust from within the Earth is faintly echoed by a passing whale. My favorite part of the composition is the pelican gobbling up a displaced moth (or maybe a fluttering soul expelled from the fires of the underworld by the eruption). It is hard to tell whether this is a white pelican or a brown pelican—just like that infernal dress which took over the internet a few weeks ago.
I have no commentary on the frigate bird, the flying fish, or the canoe filled with hapless people being attacked by a giant shark. You will have to find your own meaning for them. Likewise, the Easter-egg colored balloon filled with aeronauts is a whimsical and fun addition. Although I will say that maybe we, the viewers, are meant to identify most with the travelers in the balloon’s basket who are being whirled through this fabulous fantasy landscapes for pure amusement and delight.
Update: The way this is published hideously crops off the right side of my picture! I presume this is part of WordPress’ ongoing quest to make blogging a baffling anti-aesthetic nightmare (seriously, what is up with this new-ish GUI, “beep beep boop”?). Anyway, you can see the actual image (and bigger!) by clicking on it. Sigh…