nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘illustration

next book in the Meniscus Series: the illustrations

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For the last two days, I have been in a drawing mood. Not many authors illustrate their books (not including those who work on graphic novels), but I love this part of the process.

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I have had lots of discussions with readers about the right and wrong of illustrating. Some think it takes away from the reader’s wonderful ability to imagine characters and scenes. Others think the illustrations take a reader deeper into the author’s intentions. As an author, I think drawings help get my ideas across. Since my books are told as narrative poetry, my words tend to be vary spare and I think of the drawings as extensions of the narrative.

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I include two types of drawings in my books: portraits of the characters and sketches of the action.

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The portraits are useful to me as a writer. They help fix the character’s face so the image does not migrate from book to book. I am really proud of the portraits and looking at them inspires my writing.

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I am also proud of some of my drawings of scenes from my books. When the drawing is close to the idea I want to portray, sometimes it suggests new details in the text. Some drawings are not so good but I rarely re-draw. Instead, I think of these as representative of the weirdness of planet Meniscus. It reminds me of a line from my favorite TV show Lost. Daniel Faraday, on his first visit to the island says,

The light… it’s strange out here, isn’t it? It’s kind of like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t scatter quite right.”

On Meniscus, the pencil doesn’t behave quite right.

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In every book, there are 23 +/- 4 drawings. Some are portraits or repeats of earlier scenes. Today, I did two drawings, both unique to Meniscus: The Knife.

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All my best,

staying home

and staying in my two-family bubble,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 11, 2020 at 7:00 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – drawings

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As I complete my manuscript of poems ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’, I am also working on the drawings to accompany the text. I have made a list of the visuals presented in the poems, so I have a specific idea of what drawings I need. Many are completed since I have a large portfolio of bird drawings, for example …

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Others are still to be done. This morning I completed a rather delicate drawing of the two kinds of roses growing beside the Darlings Island Covered Bridge and captured in my poem ‘tangle’.

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I love to draw. For me, it is like watching a movie as I see my hand lay pencil marks on paper. It is not a calm activity. Perhaps because my hand and arm are moving, I get quite agitated when I draw and I imagine my blood pressure rising as the work progresses.

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In order to have a body of work to choose from for the final manuscript, I aim to have more than forty drawings. I have completed nineteen. Lots to do !

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Copyright  Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

February 1, 2016 at 7:23 am

silence

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How many stories written by Edgar Allan Poe can you name?  Certainly ‘The Pit and The Pendulum’.  Perhaps ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and ‘The Purloined Letter’.  Perhaps ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’.

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My favorite story by Poe is ‘Silence – A Fable’, published in 1837.  As many of Poe’s tales of the macabre, after numerous readings it still has the power to send shivers along the spine.  The setting of the story is vividly portrayed with words.  These were the inspiration for my painting.

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Jane Tims (2002) ‘Silence by Edgar Allan Poe’ (acrylic on canvas, 20″ X 26″)

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The waters of the river have a saffron and sickly hue; and they flow not onwards to the sea, but palpitate forever and forever beneath the red eye of the sun with a tumultuous and convulsive motion. For many miles on either side of the river’s oozy bed is a pale desert of gigantic water-lilies. They sigh one unto the other in that solitude, and stretch towards the heaven their long and ghastly necks, and nod to and fro their everlasting heads. And there is an indistinct murmur which cometh out from among them like the rushing of subterrene water. And they sigh one unto the other.

From Edgar Allan Poe, ‘Silence – A Fable’, 1837

 

‘Silence – A Fable’ describes the waters of the Zaire River and a strange man who sits on a rock along the river.  A Demon in the water, wants the man to get down from the rock.  So the Demaon sends all manner of horrors: the hippopotamus and the behemoth, and the tempest with torrential rains, thunder and lightening.  But the man will not get off the rock.  So what does the Demon do to get the man down from the rock.  You need to read the story.

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For a full text of this wonderful fable, see http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/eapoe/bl-eapoe-silence.htm

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I have a book of stories by Edgar Allan Poe that belonged to my Uncle Alec.  The stories are illustrated with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg.  These engravings are, in themselves, a study in horror.  I thought you might like to see a couple of my favorites.

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Illustration by Fritz Eichenberg of the Edgar Allan Poe story 'The Fall of the House of Usher' (Poe, 1944, Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Random House)

Illustration by Fritz Eichenberg of the Edgar Allan Poe story ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ (Poe, 1944, Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Random House)

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Illustration by Fritz Eichenberg of the Edgar Allan Poe story ‘The Black Cat’ (Poe, 1944, Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Random House)

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I wonder how Fritz Eichenberg would have illustrated ‘Silence – A Fable’.  Perhaps illustrations can never be as frightening as ‘… and the lilies sighed one unto the other in the solemnity of their desolation’.  Just try reading the story aloud!

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2015 at 7:08 am

heart of darkness

with 8 comments

I love to read.  Certain scenes in the books I read stick in my head.  Sometimes they inspire me to try to capture the author’s words on canvas.

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I thought I would share a few of my paintings over my next few posts.  If you have read these books, perhaps my paintings will remind you of the words and scenes they try to portray.  If you have not read them, perhaps the paintings will inspire you to add them to your reading list.

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Jane Tims 2002 ‘Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness’ acrylic on canvas, 20 X 16

 

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‘ … Only the barbarous and superb woman did not so much as flinch, and stretched tragically her bare arms after us over the somber and glittering river …’   – Joseph Conrad, 1902, Heart of Darkness

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I first read Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ in school.  First published in 1902, the book is set against a background of British colonialism and the ivory trade.  The novella takes us on a dark journey along the Congo River as the narrator travels to meet Kurtz, the chief of the Inner Station of a Belgian Trade Company.  The book is a study of what happens to humans when corruption and greed become the drivers for life, and when they are left to operate outside the norms of society.

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The painting tries to capture the moment in the story when the steamboat is about to leave the Inner Station with the gravely ill Kurtz.  The natives he has been living with come to the shore.   Kurtz’ ‘mistress’, a ‘superb woman’, reaches her arms towards the leaving steamer.  A moment later the men on the boat use the people on the shore for target practice.

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My battered and dog-eared copy of Heart of Darkness. Leonard F. Dead (ed.) (1960) ‘Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness – Backgrounds and Criticisms’, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

March 6, 2015 at 8:53 am

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