…is the name of today’s story at Fictive Dream.

Throughout the month of February 2023 I will be showing you illustrations I did for Flash Fiction February 2023 at Fictive Dream, an online magazine devoted to the short story.

Here’s the image editor Laura Black chose for this story, Culloden, by Dawn Miller.

And here is the artwork with the banner. Take a look at this image. And then…

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

6 thoughts on “Culloden

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    As a Scot, obviously to me the name Culloden instantly made me think of the site of the historic battle so I was immediately intrigued about the story and the way your illustration might reference that history of conflict. Of course, I now understand that your illustration references a much more personal and intimate tragedy. The divisions within your composition make me think of the stages and layers of grief but also the way the narrator’s memories are like snippets from life that collide and layer on top of each other.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      In this illustration I like the sections as they sort of collide with each other. And they also are similar to a lot of road cuts along the highways when I was young, how the rocks overlap and jumble up in layers depending on the long ago geology factors. I think these go well with the story. A whole lot of hard sad things colliding.

  2. Fictive Dream

    Culloden by Dawn Miller, set at a funeral, is about raw grief. A procession, each person dressed in black, walks passed the open casket and this illustration, at least for me, represents this moment. The story is very short; in terms of word count it’s stripped right back. Similarly, the artwork, in terms of palette, is minimal. Yet both express a great deal and are a perfect complement. Thank you, Claudia.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. In this picture the black and white color scheme makes the picture very severe – the pink-orange-green section serves the function of adding contrast so as to emphasize the starkness. I used a straightedge dipped in white paint to make the straight lines – a drawn line would not have had the same precision effect which I think is important. The misty grayish color around the edges lets the dark black have a good irregular shape, which gives motion to the heavy black rather than it being static and stolid.

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