Not exactly Inktober, since it’s digital work, but as close as I get to inks lately. This is my tee shirt design for JordanCon.org for the 11th JordanCon convention in Atlanta April 26-28, 2019 celebrating Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time Series. For WoT fans, you’ll recognize that this Con theme is a play on the name of the arch nemesis, Shai’tan. In the series, it is believed that using his name invites his attention, “inevitably bringing ill fortune at best, disaster at worst…”Read More
So it's April, and that means JordanCon and Wheel of Time Mania! This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Con, so the Ravinia Hotel is in for a real treat from April 20-22... that's tomorrow folks!! As usual, you can find me with art in the Art Show/ Dealer Hall area, located in Ravinia ABCD. Although the beginning of 2018 threw me some twists and turns, I still plan to be there with plenty of WoT art... including many old friends and one new piece, teased after Mat!
To help you find me, I'm including a map of the Art Show and Dealer Hall. It's a new space for the Art Show, and Paul Bielaczyc and April Moore are scrambling to get everything set up... so there could be changes from this map, but as of now it looks like you'll find me to your immediate right as you enter the space. I've also included the location of my friends at Taveren Tees, where you just might still be able to find the Queen's Blessing tee shirt I designed...fingers crossed! Also a shout out to Aradani's location, because I know Paul is probably too busy loading to post!!
When I'm not at my table, you'll find me at the panel entitled There Will be Faeries... where I'll provide some male perspective on the subject of faerie art. We have many great artists exhibiting and selling their art, including many friends of mine, so do treat yourself to a walk through and plan on being inspired and enthralled!!
JordanCon 9 was simply a blast!! Every year I gain more and more friends among the many Robert Jordan fans and the other artists; this year was no different. As you can see from the print at the bottom of the picture above, this year's Wheel of Time™ piece was Prince of the Ravens... depicting Matrim Cauthon surrounded by all the elements that define his character. So the previous clues were (Spoilers this sentence!) the symbol for the Snakes and Foxes, the Andoran Lion which I placed on a dragon to symbolize Mat's dealings with Elayne, and the Seanchan flag as a symbol of Mat's marriage to the Daughter of the Nine Moons.
I know I'm not the only one suffering from post con depression, so as a little tonic to ease the pain, I'm offering $10 off the web price of all prints on my official website http://www.edselarnold.com beginning Sunday, April 30, 2017 and lasting through the month of May. This means that for a limited time you can purchase prints at the same lower prices I charge at the conventions, plus the cost of shipping. Simply type in the promo code JORDANCON to receive the marked down price.
POST CON THOUGHTS:
One of my favorite things about JordanCon is the chance to spend time with the members of Robert Jordan's family, the Wheel of Time™ team, the Special Guest Artist, my fellow ArtShow artists, and the JordanCon staff. This year I had the chance to chat with Harriet McDougal, Mr. Jordan's editor and widow, who took the chance to update me on the announcements concerning the TV series progress after she found out that I missed the Opening Ceremonies due to setting up my dealer space. Harriet is always so kind and supportive of my artwork, and I owe her so much for the opportunity to create my own visions of the characters. Also supportive of my work is Robert Jordan's "cousin as close as a brother," Wilson Grooms. I especially enjoyed discussing travel with Wilson, and he underscored one special travel spot that had long been on my bucket list!! I got to spend time with my friends Alan and Amy Romanczuk... so Amy and I could talk art, and Alan and I could talk choral music and ancestry. I got to sit in on a little of my friend Joe O'Hara's tWotCast event, where I learned a new game called "Sculptionary" and some humorous details about some of Maria Simons early editing jobs. I had a quick bite of dinner at the table of Joe's lovely wife, Lauren, who flaunted her job finding skillz to help out my wife's job search. I received a critique and great advice from one of my very favorite fantasy illustrators, Stephen Hickman, whose style and use of golden light have always been inspiring for me. Such a generous man. And I got to hobknob with my fellow artist pals from the Artshow, including my ever entertaining art neighbor, Paul Bielaczyc. I swear it's worth the price of admission just to watch him "hold court" at his dealer's table!! And who could forget my favorite "bad girls" Tylin (April Moore) and Dark Min (Leslie Annis), who make every Artshow an enjoyable event! Usually I don't attend the costume dance party... but this year's "pajama party" seemed too easy... hence my Midnight Mat getup! Maybe next year I'll actually get on the dance floor! LOL Until then, congratulations to Jennifer and James Liang and the volunteers... once again, all your hard work paid off in a spectacular, intimate convention.
So Julie was in the hospital for a week and a half, which created havoc for her learning her lines for On Golden Pond, and also for my completion of artwork for the JordanCon Art Show which starts next Friday, April 21st. Fortunately, she's fully recovered with no damage to her eye, and we're both finally catching back up with our end of April deadlines. Yesterday, I sent my completed painting out to the printer, and since we're getting close to the actual convention, I thought it would be fun to throw out a couple more clues for those who'd like to guess this year's Wheel of Time subject. Have fun honing your deductive skills!!
2017 is starting off to be a wild ride of a year, and my best laid plans for my paintings for the JordanCon 2017 ArtShow seem to have been constantly waylaid! Like any family with a high school senior, we are trying to help Cole in his decision on where to attend College. But for us, this is coming at a time when we are finally at a point of feeling the loss of Julie's income. It's the first time the family is solely reliant on my income, which makes me jittery. And then on top of that, probably ten people from my office have either left or been let go since the end of December, several being some of my best friends for the past 17 or more years. The staff upheaval created an extremely stressful work environment, and many evenings when I should have gone home to paint, I just went straight to bed emotionally exhausted. Work is only just beginning to get back to any sense of normalcy. But our biggest scare came two weeks ago, when Julie went into the hospital for a freakish inflammation of her right ear that almost resulted in the lost of vision on that side. She came home Monday, and amazingly the eye has gone down from the size of a half orange to normal. And her double vision is almost entirely gone! Thank you, God above!!
Anyway, I'm finally getting back into a regular painting schedule, and I can say that all this has taught me that painting is truly therapeutic for me, and I could never completely give it up! I'm never happiest than when I'm planning a new concept for a painting and trying to lay it out. And I'm so glad that I'll still be able to offer at least one new large painting in the Art Show in April.
I love the element of surprise, so I won't completely give away the whole painting. However, I Also don't want to leave my fans hanging, so here is a progress teaser in the form of before and after snippets!
The painting was planned as part of a larger grouping, which I had hoped to complete by April. However, it still stands on it's own, and it actually may be more fun for the grouping to unveil over time. Some people may or may not want the whole grouping in any case, so I had always planned for each image to be complete in itself. Personally, I'm really excited about this whole group, and really pleased with the progress of the first piece.
Of course none of my pieces would be complete without one of my signature Edselonian borders combining Art Nouveau and Deco elements. In this corner of the border I've included one of my favorite cultures in the entire Wheel of Time series. The reference should be pretty clear to even the most casual Jordan fan, although this form is my own personal interpretation of his descriptions.
The first image shows the original line work and some flat colors, and the second image shows the same area after painting in the three dimensional aspects. Hopefully it gives an idea of how detailed the final piece will be, and evokes curiosity over the subject and it's final form! Enjoy and speculate!!
I had also started a smaller character piece as a repaint idea. If everything goes well with this primary piece, there is a small chance that I will still complete that piece as well.
See you all in April!!
Note: JordanCon is a fantasy literature convention focused on series The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan. The annual convention is held in Atlanta, Georgia and the JordanCon 9 convention is being held at the Atlanta Marriott at Perimeter Center April 21-23, 2017. http://www.jordancon.org
This year's special guests are author Charles E. Gannon and fantasy illustrator Stephen Hickman.
So iI started this on Christmas Eve, but it took me so long to stop and play Santa that I'm still not done writing...and now it's Christmas Day afternoon and I'm still writing in between laughing with my kids and siblings, and eating one more helping of homemade cinnamon rolls.
I've been reflecting quite a bit this season on the birth of Jesus Christ, since that's what Happy Holidays means for me. Like most Christians, I have no misconceptions that Jesus was born on December 25th. I get the political and figurative relevance of having Christmas coincide with Sol Invictus. Also, I was always taught that for shepherds to be abiding in the fields with their flocks, the time of year was probably March. But since we have no clear consensus on the date he was born, and the important thing for Christians is just to have a time to commemorate his coming to earth... well then the traditional date is just fine by me!
All my Catholic friends at work gave me a hard time for putting Jesus in the manger in my little nativity scene at my desk... telling me that traditionally he shouldn't be present until today, the 25th. But since I like most things complete... and I wasn't raised Catholic... I just put him in the manger right off the bat. I decided to give my friends a nod, however, and refrain from this little journal post until today, so that it actually starts off the twelve days of Christmas, and can stay up until the Wise Men show up at the Epiphany in January.
I started this painting years ago. It's watercolor, and is quite large (30x42 inches), and took me forever to complete. I had spent some time on the concept during the Atlanta Passion Play at the Atlanta Civic Center. I was probably playing either Judas or John the Beloved at the time...I like extremes. I had friends pose for the Angel and the Holy Family, and used some live lambs from a Temple scene for those in the painting. I remember thinking I wanted to imply the star with the shafts of light, and to imply a halo for Mary with the crook of Joseph's staff. As for Joseph himself, I had the idea that he was sleeping and Mary was taking a quiet, private moment to enjoy her new son.
I loved painting the Angel... a close friend was playing one in the play, and I loved the costume... miles of gauzy white that we draped all over scaffolding behind a scrim to give a misty, mysterious quality. I had an idea for a beautiful golden harp, and so I posed him for my painting as a quiet being playing a celestial lullaby for the new king.
As we move into the New Year, I pray for God's blessings on all of you...and that your year is filled with all the wonder and beauty that is present in the nativity!
It has been my intention with this blog to start highlighting my gallery by focusing on a painting that fit each month or season in some way. Because the blog is new, I've had a little bit of a late start, and missed Halloween. However, since it's not quite Thanksgiving yet, and the election process seems to have extended the season of "fear" for many, I thought it was probably still fitting to feature the Wheel of Time™ version of the Boogeyman, Semirhage. And since I'm late with the post and we're almost into Thanksgiving and Christmas, the faint of heart won't have to wait as long for more pleasant paintings to help them "unsee" this Lady of Pain!
Within Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time™ mythology, Semirhage is one of the female Forsaken, or generals of the Dark One. Since he is currently imprisoned in this age, she works to accomplish his nefarious plans to undo his prison, under the hope and promise of assisting in his rule of the people of this Age. She is described as slender and well proportioned, though as tall as a man, with very dark skin, full lips and short wavy hair. In her case, as sometimes happens, evil is couched in beauty.
Originally, she was known as Nemene Damendar Boann, a great healer gifted with the Aes Sedai ability to use the One Power. Her powers were so great, she could even save people from the very brink of death. Unlike many of the other Forsaken, who converted to the Dark One only after their own goals were thwarted, Semirhage seems to have always had an evil twist to her personality. She often took pleasure in inflicting an extra amount of pain as part of her healing process, and if she deemed the patient unworthy of healing, she might even allow them an even more exquisitely painful death in lieu of healing. When the governing institution for Aes Sedai, The Hall of Servants, realized her sadistic tendencies, they offered her the options of swearing a Power Bound oath to stop, or be severed from her ability to use the One Power at all. Instead, Semirhage chose to pledge her soul to the Dark One. In his service, she becomes the master of torture... often painful experiments on her victims similar to the Nazi's of our own Age. So great was the fear of falling into her hands that prisoners were know to eat through their own wrists to escape being given over to her.
At the end of the previous age, she was imprisoned with the Dark One during the War of Power. In this age, as the seals on that prison begin to fail, she and the other Forsaken are able to escape and connive to free the Dark One as well. Until her return was known to be a reality, she was used as a warning to mischievous children, much as our own Boogeyman.
In my painting, she is shown in her element...torture. She is dressed in the pleated dress style and color (dark, Charlestonian black green) of the Seanchan nation, with which she is associated in this age. The sick green background color made me think of the type substance she would use for experimental transfusions...and the glowing bulbs of light are "glowbulbs" from her original Age, which sounded like odd forms of our own lightbulbs, though they run on power instead of electricity. Hopefully, I imparted enough fear in the face of her victim. The cheetah skin seemed appropriate to her personality...the killing of an animal for a skin would only seem interesting to her.
Please visit my website to view the other Wheel of Time™, Fairy Tale, and Religious art in my gallery... within each gallery category there is a previous and next button at the bottom of the page:
So September was the month I allowed myself to wind down from the DragonCon Art Show, reflect, and ponder ideas for JordanCon and other new art.
Since I work a full time job as an Architectural Designer, the summer becomes a three month Charrette to complete whatever latest painting I've planned for the show. This year, that meant three months of working on Cendrillon at least a little every evening. Plus quickly throwing together more elegant business cards (which you can see above as the red square with my logo), printing/framing the art show pieces, purchasing grid wall this year. As if that weren't enough, I had to load my exhibit in and out by myself since the kids were in school those days. Yeeesh!!
Talking to attendees and fraternizing with the other artists was energizing and enlightening... I learned a lot. There were several big take aways in regards to what people respond to in my work. I also got a great critique from guest artist Justin Gerard, which was very encouraging and motivating. When I added Justin's thoughts to the attendees' comments, I began reconsidering which subjects to move to the top of my to do list. I'm realizing that color, design, pattern, architecture, and even symmetry are personal interests that others also tend to notice and enjoy in my work. And I'm more than happy to throw myself into exploring those themes.
For a week after DragonCon, I would come home from work, eat, and fall asleep. But now I'm finally rested and all I can think about are the new painting ideas that I have to get out of my system. I have three paintings planned for JordanCon... involving the three Taveren boys...which will take a lot of time this winter. Then there are several literary and mythological ideas I feel compelled to create. So it will be interesting to see how this constant barrage of images of wolves and hammers, ravens and spears, crowns and keys, queens and polar bears, goddesses and crescent moons, dragons and gothic towers, and damsels and executioners spin themselves from my brain and to paper... or Wacom board... through the winter and into next spring. I'm gonna need a lot of coffee!