Myth for Illustration Friday

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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

Atmosphere for IF

This is one of my double page spreads for Sketchbook Project 2011. I think it expresses my joy of visiting San Francisco.  I love to go walk in the city. The atmosphere is so different from the subburbs. Recently I took a bike ride with a Meetup.com group  from the Embarcodero, through Fisherman’s Wharf across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito and on into Tiburon.  It was a great ride, and the most challenging part was riding the streets of San Francisco.  I had to contend with unaware tourist, who were so entranced with the sites they couldn’t see me on my mountain bike, and the traffic.  But the views of The Bay, the bridge and city made it so worth the tension. Maybe it’s the fresh air of the bay breeze or the people watching.  I just loved it all.

Atmosphere for IF