I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks through August, a different theme will be explored.
Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project.
Today, June 12, the theme is Rivalry. Here’s the image:
By now Fictive Dream Editor Laura Black and I had settled into a good process for working through these pieces. One thing that really helped me – she gave me a short paragraph or two about the remaining themes, describing her vision of the trees and the colors she associated with them. I found this immensely helpful. I think in images or impressions and then translate my thoughts into words, especially when I’m dealing with art topics. I’m not that articulate about something I’ve seen or heard until I have a little time to absorb it.
Laura’s notes allowed me to take her words and translate them into images before I started to work. I could compare them to what my own ideas had been. In many cases we had a similar vision for the piece; other times, not so much, but in those cases I could make choices with informed knowledge. Very helpful to me, those notes, and I appreciated that Laura articulated the intangible to me!
Here’s what she said about Rivalry:
For the colour I’m thinking along the lines of an emerald/deep green. In all three stories the rivalry is reciprocated (two adult sisters, two children, two young women). For the trees maybe two solid trees that do not touch each other?
I had been thinking this intense subject needed an intense color for the ground. If it had been a standalone project, I would have chosen deep red. But, I had that color in mind for another theme and felt it fit better there. As I thought about it, Laura’s suggestion of green was a wonderful choice – I think of jealousy as being green, its traditional color, and I think of rivalry as incorporating a strong dose of jealousy.
As for her description of the trees, I had been thinking along the same lines. Rivalry is usually an ongoing process; it takes place over time. I wanted to include trees that had been at odds for a long time – so the trees would be old and thick in the trunk. I also felt the trees would be a bit battered and misshapen by the long-term conflict of rivalry, but still very alive and anticipating many more years.
As for the sky, I wanted it to feel oppressive, weighty (remembering that it also had to be a light enough color to set off the theme title). A lavender-blue seemed right for the scene.
I was happy with my first try, and I sent it off to Laura – she felt the same way. So, here you see Rivalry.