Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Eel by Eugenio Montale Illustration Contest

"The purpose of the contest is to foster interest in the relationship of literature to the visual arts through the design of a hypothetical book cover for EUGENIO MONTALE’s poem THE EEL (L’ANGUILLA). This is an ideas competition only: as of this writing there are no plans for the winner’s work to be featured on a forthcoming edition of Montale’s work."

Ta DA! Here it is! Worked on it like mad and finished it in two nights. The poem that this painting is based on can be found here. When I was working on this, I had the line "eel, torch, whiplash, arrow of love on earth" stuck in my head. Now that I'm done, I think the more applicable line is "green spirit seeking life".

John Bertram has hosted 3 contests so far, this is the 3rd. (I skipped the 2nd one because I didn't care for the story. It was like the precursor to Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons and I really dislike gory religious horror - I'll read it and be engrossed but I don't want to illustrate it.) The first one was Lolita for which I submitted this painting:

Looking at it now, I think my second attempt is a huge improvement, mainly because there's a setting and the figures aren't just floating in space... in a vacuum. I put The Eel cover as my facebook profile picture and as frustrated and upset as I got working on it (the cheap water color paper would not absorb the like-wise cheap watercolors and I had to go over everything in acrylic which was scary), one day I happened to glance at it and was stunned by how much more professional it looked. Felt proud of myself. The font also looks better this time. I got some nice comments on the Lolita painting though which sent me on what felt like a sugar/caffeine high for days.

Remember I mentioned on Twitter ages and ages ago how I got all these books from the children's section of the library that were favorites of mine??? Re-reading them made me realize how BIG a part the illustrations played in making those books have a certain mood for me which caused them to be favorites. So I'm going to post the drawings from 3 of those books as soon as blogger lets me upload them. They are AMAZING. The books are, in order of favoritism, The Wish Giver, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Bridge to Terabithia. Maybe I will post them in reverse order because that's how I like to eat certain foods. Saving the best for last. Except you can't really do that with pizza because it's awkward to hold the little tip and eat the crust first.
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