Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"swamp" Illustration Friday March 23/2012

Inspired by the Illustration Friday word: "swamp" and the quotation:

Buttercup: "That's the fire swamp! We'll never survive."
Wesley: "Nonsense! You're only saying that because no-one ever has". - from The Princess Bride

Spent a while sifting thoughts about swamps and about the movie, The Princess Bride (a family favourite for decades).

I'm not quite sure how I arrived at drawing an oil lamp, a clay vessel, not the mystical kind seen in movies. Possibly the idea that we confer mystical power to quite ordinary things and places just because they seem strange, unfamiliar, dangerous. I wondered about the way mist hangs in the air in a damp place like a swamp, and that made me think about how we imagine a spirit manifests itself - a ghost, or a genie in a lamp. I wonder what is inside the lamp, and when the spirits return there, do they condense? Might make for a swampy environment.

Stories involving Djinns fascinated me when I was younger, their power tethered to the will of a human being through a possession, often a lamp, a ring, some small household or personal item.


  1. just found your blog(by you coming to mine... thank you much) and I gotta tell you that it's really cool that you not only put up great visuals(wild mystic lamp you got going on this week) but that you also put a quote in your prose. This week's is great, from one of my favorite movies!

    Great work.

    1. Thanks, Phil, but I have to point you to the I. F. blog - the quote is usually up there. Only rarely do I have to hunt up my own. I find it a real boost, gets the psyche working in a completely new direction, the quote. Great for focus. Check it out!

  2. Cool, I will thanks. I usually only go to IF to get the topic and check links. Another thing I do that sometimes gets my head moving in different directions is to look the word up in the dictionary and see a different definition for the word that's not always the obvious one and sometimes gives you just the perspective you need.

  3. Oh my! I LOVE PB...watched it (truly) about 30 times the summer it came out on satellite. That was when the pay per view channels played them over and over and over again. We had one of those naughty chips that allowed you to get the ppv channels without paying. I was 14 at the time, so I'm innocent. :)

    Wonderful, mysterious imagery in your illustration. I really love your explanation of your thought process in creating this piece and how you tied it to this week's theme. I think you're right about the mystical power applied to swamps (and often negative associations, as well). I think few people truly understand them and appreciate their beauty and allure. Lovely to encounter someone who does.

  4. Lovely illustration the use of the ornate window gives the illustration a lovely atmosphere.

  5. Ah, this is one of the things I enjoy most about IF-- the way a word can send someone on a journey, sometimes direct, sometimes quite circuitous. If you hadn't detailed the connection I might not have seen it, but now that you have, it's so clear-- the will o' the wisps inhabiting swamps are indeed second cousins to the dginns! Fascinating post!

  6. Really cool, mystical and potentially magical illustration! I too, appreciated your accompanying post!

  7. I've always been fascinated by djinns, and I grew up by swamps, so this piece really speaks to me. I love the layers of patterns and your colors.

  8. Amazing patterns, colors and atmosphere!


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