Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Nevermore", My Nibblefest Contest Entry for Nov's '2+ Creatures in 1" Theme

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, 
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, 
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"T'is some visitor", I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door'-
Only this, and nothing more...."

~Opening lines from the Edgar Allan Poe classic, "The Raven"

 My Nibblefest Art Contest entry and Poe tribute, painted on a 6.5 x 8.6 recycled vintage wood plaque.


What is it about Edgar Allan Poe that fascinates us so....?  

"The Raven", that famous poem written by this most venerable and mysterious of American authors, was originally published all the way back in 1845.  Yet here we are, nearly 170 years later, and still something about his works of darkly flowing, gothic-y writing continues to draw us in, with the passage of time having done little to dampen our enthusiasm for his literary genius (my personal fave of his still being "The Cask of Amontillado").....

It is Nibblefest Art Contest (NFAC) week,  and this is my entry.  The theme for November is "Two or More Animals Mixed Together".   I tossed around a several ideas for this theme, all of which were passable, though nothing especially....compelling  (Medusa???  Did that.  Minotaur???  Sighhhh).  Anyone reading this blog knows how much more fun it is for me when I seize upon a concept that I can REALLY sink my teeth in to (and because I'm so artistically fickle, there is never any telling what exactly that's going to be).  It wasn't until I was riding my bike home last week in the snow (yes, the snow!  Early for us) that an idea of a Poe/Raven hybrid came to mind, as a tribute to his epic poem, "The Raven".  I was so excited about the concept that I came up with two quickie sketches straight away:

Poe/Raven Hybrid: Vertical (or "Portrait') Orientation

Poe/Raven Hybrid: Horizontal (Or 'Landscape') Orientation

 I tossed around both orientations, going back and forth between the two, and even asking the opinion of some buddies (ya'll know who you are ;-) ).  In the end, as you can see I went 'landscape', because of the 2nd hand plaque I'd picked out for this project.  As we know, I hoard the old, unwanted frames and wall hanging plaques and such that I find used hither and yon, giving them new life in my art projects, and re-purposing as I see fit.  This particular wood plaque is vintage, and had been covered with a poster of a painting of waterfowl on a lake (which I scraped off and sanded and gesso-ed over).  I love its gently curving sides -- plus, it's very lightweight....:   

Side View of "Nevermore", showing off its curvaceous, painted sides

It is also good that I came upon this concept because I've had some recent requests for another Poe tribute piece (ya'll know who you are ;-) ), having done one before (and hey, the picture of it above in my masthead!).  But that was a few years back now, and so the timing felt right for another....

The following is my auction description:

My entry for this month's Nibblefest Art Contest (NFAC),  the theme for November being "Two or More Creatures Mixed Together", features a tribute portrait of the esteemed American author and poet, Edgar Allan Poe.  Painted in acrylics on a recycled, 6.5" x 8.5" vintage wooden plaque, this original is signed and ready to hang.  (**To note:  Due to the timing of things, all Nibblefest auctions this month will end on Thanksgiving Day (U.S.A.), so you might want to keep that in mind when bidding....!)   


Allow me to introduce "Ravenpoe" (kind of like "Ivanhoe", but not...).  A corvid/Edgar Allan Poe hybrid, he perches high upon a tree branch, soaking up the moonlight while contemplating the maudlin and the macabre.  Painted as loving ode to E. A. Poe's much beloved, classic poem, "The Raven", I'm hoping you enjoy this piece as much as I did painting it....!


To see all of this month's lovely Nibblefest Art Contest entries, click here.....


****UPDATE, UPDATE:*****

Pleased and happy to say my 'Ravenpoe' won Third Place in last month's contest!   A big thank you to all my lovely bidders...!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Where Be Your Gibes Now....?" Hamlet Tribute for SKULLS Challenge

"Where Be Your Gibes Now...?" (11 x 14) Hamlet Tribute Painting....

"Where be your gibes now? 
Your gambols? your songs? Your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? 
Not one now, to mock your own grinning...."
~Shakespeare's Hamlet 

Anyone who reads this blog knows I love me some Shakespeare.  I'm a fan of all his works, but I always fall back upon Hamlet as my fave.  And so, when I decided to participate last month in Daily Paint Works October "Skulls and Skeletons Challenge", as hosted by my good buddy, Christine, of CES Paintings, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do for it.  No indecision or pussy-footing around on my part this time -- to my mind a skull challenge and the Hamlet 'Grave-digger' scene go hand-in-hand.... or, more precisely, SKULL-in-hand, if you will.  And so here we see poor tormented Hamlet pondering his own mortality, as he observes the effects of time and mortality upon the beloved old court jester from his youth, Yorick.....:

"To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause—there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovere'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action....."


Sigh, powerful, isn't it.....?

In any case, please check back soon for art updates -- I have a number of projects in the works, including an entry for the fast approaching Nibblefest Art Contest (starting tomorrow actually, on the 20th....!).  Come back to see what I've conjured up for November's theme: "TWO OR MORE CREATURES MIXED TOGETHER"......