Tag Archives: Lilith

Deep And Dark (nude figures)

23 Feb

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I spent a happy few hours today at a local housing project for teenagers, working with some of the residents and a group of artists who draw on a ‘Big Draw’ day. We crawled around on the floor, scribbling on HUGE rolls of paper. It was lovely to see the different styles emerge. I normally work from life but today I didn’t take any preparatory drawings with me and worked from my imagination instead. Which is a bit disturbing because look what I came up with! And no, it’s not the bright colourful one with the toadstools, it’s the dark, visceral one at the other end.

I’ve had an idea bouncing around in my head for a few years now. It’s based on the legend of Lilith, the first wife of Adam. This creation story says that Adam and Lilith were both created from clay and I’ve struggled with a way of showing how flesh, blood and bone might emerge from mud, trying to get a grasp on the reality of creatures gestating and birthing in such a way. It wouldn’t be nice. So today I got into ‘the zone’ and let my imagination run riot. It’s  a start, I feel like I’m getting somewhere with it and I’m going to continue to develop this idea. It’s very bleak and some people might be disturbed by the imagery, but it’s what’s coming out of me at the moment so I’ll go along with it and see where it leads.

The Hidden People

8 Dec

This is definitely my last blog about my recent trip to Iceland, probably. Our most excellent guide, Olafur, told us about the hidden people, the Huldufólk,   supernatural beings who live in rock formations and only rarely show themselves to humans. Many Icelanders believe in their existence.

One day, we went off road in giant jeeps to the Gigjokull glacier. As we drew near the ‘tongue’ of the glacier I noticed a vast snow-covered fissure in the icy cliff which clearly had faces staring at our vehicles across the landscape. I kept pointing them out to Husb, but he couldn’t see what I was talking about. I snapped some photos through the bus window and when I got home and put them onto the computer, I could clearly see the faces, still staring out at me. Here they are below; the scale is enormous, people are like tiny ants at the bottom of the cliff.

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I rarely work from photos but this one really inspired me, and spooked me out a bit as well, if I’m honest. I’ve spent the past week working on the piece below. It’s size A2 on paper primed with rabbit-skin glue and coloured randomly with thin washes of yellow, red and blue acrylic paint. I’ve worked up the image in black and white oil bars.

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The faces are so obvious to me, I can see four, dominated by a rather imperious woman. There are many legends about their origin. The one that interests me most is that they’re descended from Lilith, the first wife of the biblical Adam, who ran off with the fallen angel, Samael, because Adam was a bit rubbish. In the Jewish tradition she had many children by Samael, including the Lilin, her daughters reputed to steal newborn babies, but I hadn’t come across this Icelandic version before. This was very hard to draw, it took ages to make the faces appear, almost as if they wanted to remain hidden. Spooky.

That’s the last about Iceland, unless I can ever save up enough to go back. Many thanks to Discover The World for putting together such a fantastic adventure.

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