Myth for Illustration Friday


Joseph Campbell’s books, the Power of Myth and The Hero With A Thousand Faces come to mind  from this weeks prompt from Illustration Friday.  I strongly believe we all follow the the path of the archetype hero.  We walk the stages of the myth story as described by Campbell. Whether it be the stage of leaving home to begin a quest or meeting the trickster that will divert us from our adventure, our life paths seem to be headed towards a goal. We illustrators draw these stages over and over again in hopes of helpings our viewers to get closer to their goals.

At the present I think I am at the end a conflict stage in my quest.  It’s been a year of struggles. Only now am I becoming more aware of the treasures I have gain from walking my path.

I began this piece last June when summer vacation began.  Freed from the responsibilities of teaching high school students, I had time to sit down and draw.  I started out doing the deletion technique on bristol board using ground graphite.  I attacked that sheet of bristol board. What started out as a giant scribble transformed into a jungle of vines entangling my hero; stopping him, holding him and not letting him move forward.  I think my subconscious was trying to work out my real life frustrations. I had been dealing with the death of my mother and the tasks of taking care of my 87 year old father. And like my hero, stuck and not moving forward, I had to learn to pause, breathe and just let go of trying to hold it all together. When I did, things began to settle down and I could handle things much better.

Isn’t it always that way with a tangle? You can’t fight it into order, you got to let go first.

Once the pencil drawing was done, I let it sit for a few months. Only last Friday when I learned that myth was the Illustration Friday prompt, did I look at it again. To finish it off, I scanned it into PhotoShop and with my new Wacom tablet started adding color. I’m still amazed at the fine quality of line and control the Wacom stylus gives me. I would have been fearful of trying to add color to the graphite drawing, but on the computer I stay tangle free. My quest is complete.

Myth for Illustration Friday

Sketchbook Project 2011

This link  My Sketchbook will open a PDF file of the artwork I’ve drawn for Sketchbook Project 2011. You’ll virtually be able to flip through the pages of the book. The theme that I chose was First Thing In The Morning Last Thing At Night. I didn’t stop my illustrations at night. My story travels back to the beginning— or maybe the real start. After I completed the drawings,  I added the poem below.  Each line of the poem is illustrated as a double page spread.

First thing in the morning before the sun has completely risen
I wash away the night before
I rinse away my dreams
And begin my ever ordinary day
I place out my costume
Arrange my mask
And leave behind the collection of things that tell the tale but not the truth
For I am more than a life stored behind a door
I venture out
And back in
Struggling with the those like me
Moving about their day
Consumed by wants unaware of their needs
Listening to the teller of tales that seem so far away
But at night
When kissed by dreams
The curtain is raised
On a life unseen
Vision is cleared
Self is transposed
Through an eye Divine
A new puzzle appears
To choose to sail upon the changing surface
Or fly beyond
Or get lost inside it all
Whatever I choose I will be safe
No matter the consequence
For the Hand is always there
So I stand on the edge
With all the possibilities before me
I jump

Just before I finished I came across this poem by Rumi that I think relates.

Rumi wrote:

A candle is made to become entirely flame
In that annilhilating momment
it has no shadow

It is nothing but a tongue of light
describing a refuge.

Look at this
Just finishing candle stub
as someone who is finally safe
from virtue and vice,

the pride and
shame we claim from those

I have never been a flame,
But a drop
merging with consciousness?
That I can do
That I have done
That I am

Sketchbook Project 2011