I continue with my illustrations for Flash Fiction February 2020, twenty-nine days of flash fiction stories at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine featuring short stories.
For the event I created a small abstract painting for each selection – in fact, I did more than one painting per story. I am showing you all the images, day by day, throughout February. I’m also including a short write-up as to how I went about turning the authors’ words into pictorial representations.
I hope you’ll take a look at my art, then go to Fictive Dream, see which image editor Laura Black chose for the magazine, and read the story!
Thank you to Laura for her faith in my work and to the authors for such wonderful material to work with.
Today’s story is:
The Wedding Feast by Barbara Robinson. Read it here at Fictive Dream.
Here are the artworks on their own:
and here they are with the banner.
A take on a familiar Bible story, the piece starts off in a humorous way but the ending brings the reader up short with the foreshadowing of darker times coming. The contrast of the happy times at present with the dark future is what caught my attention, along with the Christian symbolism. I tried to show the happier times (the author mentions “the happiness all around”) with inclusion of bright colors and patterns juxtaposed with darker areas or patterns for vision of the future to come (which one of the characters hopes is just a “bad trip”).
Image 1 –I worked off the image in the story of Jesus and John clinking party cups, making cylindrical shapes in dark colors, to symbolize the future darkness they face, surrounded by thorns, in the midst of a happy colorful party.
Image 2 – I depicted the colorful party that surrounds a separate reality section of black/white, representing the two characters and their futures filled with suffering, represented by the thorny shapes.
Image 3 – I created a “landscape” reminiscent of the desert from which John came (with its connotations of coming in from another reality, just as Jesus did in his way) with symbolic thorny shapes in the background, representing the sere future in store for the two characters. This image does not mention the present but shows the past and future.
Read the story at Fictive Dream.
A trio of very strong images. I think your use of those dark spiky shapes against the bright colours is perfect. I found myself amused by the story, partly because of the twist on the biblical characters and the wedding at Cana and mostly because it reminded me of events at the Working Men’s and Miner’s Clubs of my childhood. That set up means that the ominous foreshadowing at the end feels like an abrupt intrusion into the happy scene. The splintering of those dark thorn shapes therefore represents both the symbolism in the story and also the way the reader experiences the story.
I like the way all three images work together to reflect all the layers of the words. This is a story I’ll be thinking about for awhile. (K)
I felt the same way. There is much to think about this story that is deceptively light, but turns out not to be. I could have done several more images, I think, for this one.